Yoga instructor Kerry Turner is impressed with a group of teens who’ve kept an open mind toward her yoga class taught biweekly.

Yoga instructor Kerry Turner is impressed with a group of teens who’ve kept an open mind toward her yoga class taught biweekly.

Students learning benefits of yoga sessions

Alternate students at Trail Middle School have been takin regular yoga sessions that has had a deeper value than just the physical benefits.

Alternate students at Trail Middle School have been concentrating on their breathing this winter during a regular yoga session that has had a deeper value than just the physical benefits.

The Cooperative Learning Centre has brought Kerry Turner in to teach yoga every second Monday morning, holding one last session before Christmas break this week.

“The yoga fits right in with some of our core beliefs and philosophies of how we work with our students,” said instructor Karen Howard. “We have a lot of students who struggle with anxiety and other issues and it’s a way for us to learn how to calm ourselves down and learn how to relax.”

Under the Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre, the class offers a family-like environment for students that have found the program because they left high school and decided to come back or felt that a traditional campus wasn’t working for them. Though still providing a structured learning environment like J. L. Crowe or Rossland secondary, the co-op program accepts that it may take longer for students to complete their studies.

At 9 a.m., teachers also join the teens for the gentle relaxation activity in the gymnasium.

After working on slowing and lengthening their breathing, those who wish to partake in the stretching portion of the class are encouraged while others may choose to stay in a quiet place on their mats.

Turner moves the group through basic steps like the tree pose, where individuals balance on one foot with the other pressed against their thigh of the “stump.” The ultimate goal of the class is to find inner balance and to let go of worries or anxieties that are often stored for far too long.

“That’s yoga in a nutshell, it’s a practice of letting go so we can be more open, more compassionate, trusting and unified as a group,” said Turner. “But we can’t do that if we have blocks, if we’re too much in our own head with insecurities, anxiety, depression.”

Seventeen-year-old Taylor Diakew said yoga with Turner gives her a reason to wake up in the morning.

Since she’s started to participate in the exercise, she’s noticed she can hold a stronger focus and feels like she has a tighter handle on her emotions.

“I think it’s fantastic and I don’t know why someone didn’t think of it earlier,” she said. “I think that it just makes all of the students a little bit more aware and gives them a chance to think about their actions and realize what’s a waste of time and what’s worth doing.”

Turner feels that yoga gives people basic skills that sadly sometimes aren’t achieved until later in life. The independent practice teaches individuals how to identify their habits, how to cultivate awareness, how to meet goals and let go.

“It’s incredibly individual but we’re still doing it together so there’s that sense of community but everyone’s journey is a really different one,” she said. “There’s no judgment here, every time you come onto the mat is a different experience, it’s a way to go inward and check out what’s going on.”

An exercise as simple as deep belly breathing is one that people don’t often stop and do on a hectic day. This can move someone from a stress response to a relaxation response and ultimately has health benefits for those with challenges like digestive issues, anxiety or insomnia, she said.

Turner has been teaching yoga for about five years after first being attracted to the relief the physical side of the practice had on her athletic body.

Realigning her body soon took back seat to how yoga helped her release repressed emotions.

The substitute physical education and science teacher is an advocate that good health isn’t just achieved through physical wellness but mental wellness, too.

“For these students to have this opportunity I think is amazing and it’s almost unfortunate they had to hire me in because it’s a budget problem,” she said, noting that yoga is now part of the school PE curriculum but hasn’t quite made its mark. “It would be nice to see this as a regular part of the school program.”

Forty-five minutes later, Turner has completed her class and the teens are sent onto their regular studies, perhaps with a lighter step.

For more information about Turner, visit


Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
‘Springsteen on Broadway’ clears way for AstraZeneca recipients to attend show

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read