St. Bernard Leisure Program to offer yoga classes

St. Bernard Parish Government Leisure Program is offering Yoga classes for kids and adults. Below is a schedule of class dates and times. For more information please contact Denise Montalbano at 504-278-4295 or

Groovy Kids Yoga

Saturday February 4th, 2017 & Friday March 3rd @ Val Riess Sports Complex

Registration 9:30 a.m. Class 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Assistant will be on hand

Parents are welcomed to leave child or sit in lobby away from child for instructional purposes only

Level: Kids! | Ages 3-13 | Scheduled | $6.00 per person

Class Description: Groovy Kids Yoga Class is a class that combines yoga, joy, and movement, in a fun, innovative, and non-competitive way. The class is designed to make learning and studying Yoga enjoyable, and free from the obligation to be good or bad. The mission is to empower, guide, encourage, support, and love all kids equally in evolving into responsible and self-aware adults. Starting Yoga when young gives children a wonderful foundation in life. Because of their natural balance and flexibility, they can find it much easier to practice poses than adults, and through their rapid progress children build self-confidence, self-esteem and other skills for life.

Parents do not need to stay for the class but can if they want to observe while sitting in lobby. If you have a Yoga mat please bring it, we will have extras on hand though. A bottle of water is also optional. Please arrive 20 minutes before the start of class to complete the waiver and pay for the class.

Flowing Yoga in the Parish

Thursdays Starting January 26th through March 2nd 2017

Level: Intermediate Ages 14+ Thursday Registration @ 6p.m. Class begins 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $6.00 per person

Class Description: Flowing Yoga in the Parish is a weekly vinyasa (movement linked with breath) yoga class. Some experience with yoga is recommended. This style of yoga will work up a sweat and get your heart rate going. If you have attended several beginner level classes and are ready for something more challenging, this is the class for you. This class will usually begin with sun salutations and incorporate standing series, back bending series, inversion, and seated postures.

A yoga mat is required but community mats are available to use, but the number mats are limited. A bottle of water is also a good idea. Please arrive 20 minutes before the start of class to complete the waiver and pay for the class. First class is Thursday January 26th from 6:30-7:30pm in the foyer of the Civic Center, 8245 W Judge Perez Dr. Chalmette.

Parish Community Yoga

Sundays, from January 22nd through February 26th in Torres Park behind Government Complex

Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Class are from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Level: Beginner  Ages 14+  Sundays 9 a.m.  $6.00 per person

Class Description: Parish Community Yoga is a Yoga class designed for everyone in our community. Young or old, flexible or not, this class is for anyone wanting to try Yoga for the first time, or just looking for a noncompetitive Yoga class to relax and enjoy. The class will focus on the breath and the basic postures found in Yoga. Students will be transitioning from sitting to standing, and will be performing moderate back bending.

A Yoga mat is recommended but not required and community mats will be available. Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of class to complete the waiver. If the weather is nice, the class will be outside in Sidney Torres Park behind the council on aging on the concrete pad between the council and the rock with the rope ladder. First class is Sunday January 22nd from 9-10 a.m. and every Sunday after that! If it rains or is very cold we will continue the class inside the Civic Center’s front lobby.

Yoga Questions & Answers:

What is Yoga? Yoga is a philosophy that was developed in India thousands of years ago that combines breathing, physical postures or poses, and meditation.

Do you have to be flexible? No. We practice yoga to become more flexible. Not practicing yoga because you aren’t flexible is like not taking a bath because you’re too dirty.

Is Yoga anti-Christian? Absolutely not, actually many yogis find that practicing yoga deepens their faith. The word yoga means, union or to yolk. One of my favorite teachers says that yoga helps us to merge the body, mind, and spirit.

Is Yoga a religion? No yoga is a philosophical system in which religion can be practiced, or not.

What are the benefits of Yoga? Yoga has many physical and mental health benefits. Practicing physical poses helps strengthen and lengthen the muscles of the body. Many of the poses also incorporate balancing practice. Yoga also helps increase our mental attention and focus.

Is Yoga only for young people? No yoga can be practiced in all stages of life. Your practice will change as you age, as different needs need to be met, but many of the great teachers practiced into their 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Do I need special equipment or clothing? No, just semi tight fitting clothing so your shirt doesn’t go over your head when you bend forward, or your pants don’t fall down when you stand up. A Yoga mat is helpful to prevent slipping, but remember Yoga was practiced long before the invention of stretch pants and fancy yoga mats.

Do I need to be in great physical shape to practice? No not necessarily, but if you have any injuries, especially neck, knee, or back issues, please consultant your physician before coming to practice.

Jason Davey

Jason Davey

Jason Davey Bio – I started practicing yoga because I had quit smoking and started running and wanted to stretch my legs and help my recovery time between runs. I took a class at Swan River Community Center in Arabi, a little more than two years ago, and haven’t stopped practicing since. I have found yoga a great tool to help me not only stretch out my muscles after intense workouts, but for dealing with stress and anxiety. I’m originally from Kansas, and served in the Marines from 99-03 including Iraq. I have lived in Chalmette with my wife Ceshia and my daughter Autumn for more than seven years now and wouldn’t live anywhere else. We all love our community and neighborhood and are proud to call St. Bernard home.

I completed a 100 hour Seva School in March 2016, and a 200 hour training at Shanti Shala in December 2016. The reason I became a teacher was to teach Yoga in the community. I want everyone to have the opportunity to practice Yoga, to give people the tools to live a healthier and happier life. Yoga is not for everyone, but everyone should have the opportunity to make that decision. For me, Yoga means service, service to others and to my community. I hope that I can help just one person live a happier life. I enjoy so much teaching Yoga, and meeting people in our community, and often I find I learn more from the students than I teach them.

In 2017 I’m hoping to establish a consistent beginner, intermediate, and kids Yoga class in the parish, and attend additional Yoga teacher training for veterans with PTSD and for prisoners.