YogaSoul Center Hosts a Donation Thanksgiving Yoga Class for Local Food Shelf

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Donations and food collected will be delivered to Sharing Korner food shelf in St. Paul.

Kudalini, Yoga, Meditation, YogaSoul, Minnesota, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Yoga at YogaSoul

This Thanksgiving yoga class is about offering people a time and place to find a quiet moment, take a deep breath, connect with themselves and those they love..." Joyce Paxton

YogaSoul Center will host a free Thanksgiving yoga class, and any food and money collected will be donated to Sharing Korner Food Shelf in St. Paul.

Twin Cities resident and YogaSoul substitute teacher Joyce Paxton and her daughter Kelsey will be leading what is usually dozens of people in a Kundalini yoga class on Thanksgiving morning. The class is open to anyone and no experience with yoga is required. A typical Kundalini yoga class includes exercises, relaxation and meditation -- perfect activities to cleanse the body and fire up the metabolism before a big Thanksgiving meal.

The class is dedicated to Joyce’s friend, Katy Gray, who passed away from breast cancer two years ago. The St. Paul resident was 62, and had lived with her husband, Bill, and their seven children.

Gray was the first person to suggest that Paxton start the class. The class began eight years ago on Thanksgiving at The Center for Happiness, a Minneapolis yoga studio and healing space that is now closed. Paxton figured they’d get some friends and a few others with nothing to do, but instead 50 people showed up. The class continues to be very popular. Last year the Thanksgiving class was held at YogSoul for the first time, and 40 people came out.

“Katy was an inspiration to all of us who were privileged to be included in her circle,” Paxton said. “She was always reaching out to help her family, friends, church, community; she brought out the best in everyone and made you feel special.”

Paxton said the class typically draws $500 in donations, and 500 pounds of food, for which Sharing Korner food shelf is grateful.

The class is also a family affair for Paxton, who lives in Mendota Heights. This is the only class that she and her daughter, Kelsey, teach together all year. The two went through Kundalini yoga teacher training nine years ago, each teach in the Twin Cities area, and are active members of the YogaSoul community. About four years ago, Paxton’s husband became a Kundalini yoga instructor as well, and for the Thanksgiving class he counts financial contributions and delivers food donations.

Paxton said she hopes people come out and take a moment to breathe amid stress that the holidays can bring.

“This Thanksgiving yoga class is about offering people a time and place to find a quiet moment, take a deep breath, connect with themselves and those they love by counting their blessings and showing their generosity to others,” she said.

The class takes place from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at YogaSoul in Eagan. It’s free, but donations for Sharing Korner food shelf are welcome. Donations can include non-perishable food items and financial contributions. Sharing Korner is a food shelf that operates out of a Frogtown home. It supplies food and household items to local low-income families and individuals. Last year at Sharing Korner, more than 150,000 pounds of food went to feed local needy families.

YogaSoul Center’s mission is to help clients win the battle against stress. It has an extensive class offering in several styles of yoga, including Kundalini, Hatha, Yin, and Vinyasa. It boasts a fully equipped Pilates studio and offers many kinds of classes, including Zumba, Tai Chi and belly dancing. Its full roster of teachers and healers provide clients with a variety of healing services, including intuitive readings, Reiki, Thai yoga bodywork, Ayurveda, energy work and several others. YogaSoul also hosts special workshops and Kundalini yoga teacher trainings.

To see a full schedule, make an appointment with a healer or sign up for a class, visit YogaSoul’s website, New students get their first week of classes free.


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Tarisa Parrish

Joyce Paxton