It’s a bit of a trek, but one Prince Rupert citizen now living in Costa Rica is coming home, bringing with her some calmness and serenity.
Mandy Lawson, a certified yoga instructor with an extensive background in fitness, and also a Rupertite from birth until age 21, will be running three family yoga sessions at the civic centre by donation.
Lawson currently works at a Costa Rican retreat centre teaching yoga and is training in children’s yoga and prenatal yoga. She teaches multiple classes weekly.
“The classes are centred around a children’s yoga theme. Anyone can do it at any age,” Lawson explained in an email last week.
Lawson moved away from Prince Rupert in 2001 to travel to Nanaimo. She acquired a degree in Psychology and Business Administration at Vancouver Island University (VIU) and promptly afterward began a career in personal training and group fitness.
Out of that experience, the Rupertite wanted to become a certified yoga instructor and went south to Costa Rica for a one-month teacher-training course in the jungle at Anamaya Retreat Center.
“This training changed her life and she fell in love with the country and its people (especially the man who is now her husband),” reads her biography.
Lawson would move from Vancouver to the Central American country later that year and currently lives there with her husband and two-year-old daughter.
Since going to yoga classes at the age of three with her mother in the Judo Room at the civic centre, it wouldn’t have been hard to outline the path that Lawson has taken, as she’s been involved in swimming, track and field, basketball, Girl Guides of Canada, gymnastics, dance and day camps at the centre.
“Since moving away … I have made a point to come back and visit regularly. The community is truly my home. I think that even if my family didn’t still live in Rupert, I would make a point to bring my daughter to see the place where I enjoyed my childhood,” she wrote.
The hour-long yoga sessions will be at the civic centre’s gymnasium on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 11 a.m., and at the auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m. All proceeds of the donations will be given back to the Prince Rupert Recreation Department.
“While in town, I felt strongly that I wanted to give something back to the community … the family class was always going to be a fundraiser but I wanted it to be easily accessible to the people,” said Lawson.
“I wanted to donate the proceeds to something that would benefit the whole community.”
The benefits of yoga are numerous and area participants that take part can feel the positive effects quite quickly, said the instructor.
Participants don’t have to bring their own mats — just comfortable clothing.