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Sodersten hosts lakeside yoga

ABOVE: Josie Sodersten (bottom right) instructs the several attendees of her class into it an upward position.

FAIRMONT — Talk about taking advantage of relaxation in the city of lakes. Fairmont resident and Fairmont High School social studies teacher Josie Sodersten is coordinating and hosting lake-side yoga classes at the Chain of Lakes Yacht Club on Fridays as the summer season progresses. Sodersten’s class commences in the mornings from 9am to 10am.

Josie’s Yoga by the Beach weekly summer class program began last summer of 2023. Sodersten sought to take a big step in her yoga journey, by offering it outdoors. The class is open to anyone intrigued for an hour of de-stressing with poses, socialization with peers/teacher and upbeat music while strengthening your body and mind.

“It feels good to bring the moment outdoors,” said Sodersten. She described her style of yoga to be ‘slow vinyasa’, originating in Sanskrit, which means a style of yoga poses in a sequence of soft, steady transitions, while coordinating with one’s breath.

Sodersten has done and taught yoga for over a decade. She began in Arizona when she acquired her license for yoga teaching, after 500 hours of yoga instructor training prior. Originally, yoga classes would occur at the Crossfit fitness center in Fairmont. Last year, she decided to take advantage of her and her family’s Yacht Club membership and bring a more peaceful, natural, earth-y setting to the group now that summer has arrived.

Sodersten opened up about living with common feelings of apprehension, worry, and fear regarding recurring lifestyle circumstances. Sodersten said with a smile that managing her anxiety has become an easier task since she made a routine of yoga and its healing attributes. She agreed that more often than not, the idea of yoga and general benefits fly over the heads of some, while reluctant participants on the fence about it require a little nudge.

“I have really intense anxiety, so it’s nice to give that gift [of healing] to others. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.” Sodersten commented.

On average, Sodersten welcomes approximately 20 people to attend her early-morning yoga class. She explained that as the summer progresses, attendees forget their Friday routine and consequently branch off from the classes. However, Sodersten is hopeful to see new faces this year.

Fairmont High School Dean of Students, Scott Geerdes, attended Yoga on the Beach last year in summer of 2023. Sodersten described him to have perfect attendance to her weekly classes; the dean finding a lot of benefit and gain from the class before the class ultimately concluded as the school year returned in the fall.

Sodersten states that yoga is a necessity for the human body, including active and athletic ones. Yoga and pilates improve motion, flexibility, loosen muscles, and encourage recovery throughout your body. Additionally, staying active with yoga poses improves mental health; including anxiousness, sleep, emotions, and other executive mind functions. Yoga evidently isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth it to try, says Sodersten. Even if it’s just five or ten minutes a day, the practice is extremely rewarding for your body.

“Last time, I saw at least five people who were trying yoga for the first time. So, I hope to see them again.” said Sodersten.

Sodersten noted that she had developed a personal connection with the people joining her in her yoga class. She has watched them develop and fall in love with the routine. Fellow teachers of FHS often attend their colleague’s class.

Regarding interests in yoga teaching, Sodersten suggests in-person instructor training versus online. Mankato and Okoboji areas have training sites.

Classes cost $10 per attendee, and $5 for an attendee with Yacht Club membership. Expression of interest can be made on the event’s official Facebook page or by contacting Josie Sodersten to RSVP prior to the class. Sharing by word-of-mouth is encouraged. Admissions and payments must be made to Josie Sodersten on Venmo or by cash delivered in-person. On the day of the class, wear comfortable or athletic attire and bring along a towel or yoga mat. Attendees will have the option of performing poses on the grass or beach at the Yacht Club shore.

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