Yoga on the Deck Summer 2014: Words of Gratitude

Yoga brings people together. Each week you can feel this postive, loving vibe created and it’s what keeps you coming back. It leaves you feeling happy. It feels good to feel the sun on your skin and be at peace with who you are. Community synergy creates positive change! Yoga is more than just poses.

Photo from Tiffany Hoffman

Photo from Tiffany Hoffman

Three years ago, when I moved back to the area- there was no free community fitness classes around town. I was really surprised because everywhere else I have lived had something of that nature and it is such a boost for the community. I always thought of those classes being a “spark” for someone to make a small change in their life. It could be on a health or personal level. It could even be about simply creating some personal time or bonding time with a loved one. I wanted something like that for our community and expressed my thoughts to the City of Green Bay. CityDeck was the perfect spot for it. “Yoga on the Deck” just seemed like a natural fit and the success of it has proven it to be really special.

Photo By Ben Sechler

Over three summers- it has been even more that what I originally envisioned! From 15 people to over 200+ weekly and all from grassroots marketing- mostly word of mouth and Face Book. I have received messages from people saying how it has made an impact on their lives from dealing with a loss of a loved one, to creating a healthy change, to feeling inspired to start a studio class or buy a DVD to do at home and continue to practice because they felt happier. They found their spark in this free class and were able to go on and make a positive change for themselves. It reminds me of the quote “A thousand candles can be lit by a single candle and yet not diminish the first candle’s light. Happiness is never diminished by being shared.”  I am grateful to hear how this experience allows many people to find a deeper connection with in their lives.


Photo Submitted by Haley Defnet

I want to take a minute to acknowledge some other people who make Yoga on the Deck special. It’s not just me that gives my time, and there are others involved because they have big generous hearts! Thank you to…

The City of Green Bay Recreation Department. They offer a variety of  free events and programs throughout the year at affordable prices:

We have had two years with live music provided by amazing local talent! I would like to thank those that participated this summer:

The Gingersnaps

Keith McGillivray

Dave Duffey and Friends

Bobby Coverston

DJS2 Shaun Shouldeen

Andy Holzem

I’d also like to thank all the Jenstar Yoga teachers (Robin, Amy X, Amy R, Liz, Abby & Laurel) for making an effort to come out and help! You’re the best!

Photo by Chris Knight

Photo by Chris Knight

It is always sad to see this summer end so quickly. Thank you everyone for the love, acceptance and amazing energy these last six weeks! This is hands down one of my proudest accomplishments in life. I love sharing yoga in our community. By request,  I leave you with the poem I read at the end of class on Tuesday. May you live by these words! See you next summer…


Whatever you give away today

or think or say or do

will multiply about ten fold

and then return to you


It may not come immediately

nor from the obvious source

but the law applies unfailingly,

through some invisible source

Whatever you feel about another

be it love or hate or passion

will surely bounce right back to you

in some clear (or secret) fashion


If you speak about some person

a word of praise or two

soon, tens of other people

will speak kind words of you.


Our thoughts are broadcasts of the soul,

not secrets of the brain

Kind ones bring us happiness

petty ones, untold pain


Giving works as surely

as reflections in a mirror

If hate you send, hate you’ll get back

but loving brings love nearer


Remember as you start this day

and duty crowds your mind

that kindness comes so quickly back

to those who first are kind


Let that thought and this one

direct us through each day

The only things we ever keep

are the things we give away.


——- Author Unknown