Yoga poses add to Olmsted Falls park’s serenity: Olmsted Dates and Data

OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio – Kiersten Kerr stretched a bit and relaxed waiting for the outdoor yoga session to begin.

She heard about the Yoga at East River Park session through a friend who sent her a link to the event.

“I used to go to a studio before COVID, but it closed due to that,” said the Olmsted Falls resident who never participated in an outdoor yoga class. “I was doing it at home but it’s not the same. It’s nice to do it with others. I’m excited to see how it goes.”

Kiersten was one of about 40 people who attended the Saturday morning class that the Olmsted Falls Parks and Recreation Board and Kelly Patrick of Circle of Life Yoga in Olmsted Township sponsors.

From participants remarks, this initial session went very well.

Students during the first of three free outdoor yoga sessions ground and stretch out through sitting poses at the Olmsted Falls East River Park. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

Linda Hummel is a former parks board member. She said she has supported such an event for a few years now and was so pleased to see Kelly offering these free sessions.

“I am just so happy this occurred. It was wonderful to be outside here in nature and joining in with others” Linda said.

Yoga instructor Jeanne Hawkins led the session after Kelly welcomed all to the open, grassy area that remained shady until about 20 minutes before the cool down. Soft music played in the background with birds chirping and a few squirrels scurrying across the ground from tree to tree. It was a true Olmsted Falls experience with the jets following their usual flight path and the railroad tracks just north of the park. However, only a few unusually quiet jets flew overhead while only one train traveled past the park just prior to all taking to their yoga mats.

yoga students balancing in park

Yoga students perform a pose that balances both sides of the body in their Olmsted Falls’ bucolic environment. (Joanne Berger DuMound)

Chuck Bushley attended with his wife, Jean. He saw a story about the yoga class on and mentioned it to her. Jean is a physical education teacher at Cleveland’s Patrick Henry School. She has been an avid yoga practitioner for about 20 years. She even brought ZENworks Yoga program to her school. She says she “loves” yoga, especially since the world is “so fast paced.”

“It is calmness,” she said. “I have noticed a difference with the students as well. Their lives have been so chaotic. They found calmness in it. It benefits children up through adults.

Sarah Close of Olmsted Falls stretches in the child’s pose, connecting her forehead to the mat. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

Chuck may not perform yoga regularly but he knows its benefits.

“I can always use flexibility and stretch. Plus, it is something Jean and I can do together.”

John Hawkins and his daughter Libby both love yoga, but they also came to support Jeanne, the instructor that day and matriarch of the family.

“I sit behind a desk a lot,” said John, Jeanne’s husband. “This gives me the stretch and flexibility I need. I’ve been doing yoga since Kelly opened her studio, about 5 l/2 years now.”

Olmsted Falls’ resident John Hawkins joins with others in the downward facing dog, which gives an overall body stretch, especially when flexing the ankles. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

Libby said she tries to do yoga when visiting “home” from Chicago. She liked the outdoor experience, but it had its moments.

“I found it a bit harder doing it on the ground and a few sounds you don’t hear when indoors. I just had to concentration and focus more,” she said. “I liked it.”

Jeanne enjoyed leading the outdoor class.

“It was glorious,” she said. “I loved it.”

Karyn Gentile of Columbia Township, front left, joins with others in the tree pose, balancing on one leg and grounding oneself from the feet through the tips of the fingers. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

Kelly led a similar outdoor class in North Olmsted for a few years. She encouraged Olmsted Falls to try this outdoor opportunity last year, but you know what happened in 2020. When she received a go for this summer, she went with it. She enjoyed Jeanne leading the class.

“I loved it. I just wanted to take it all in,” she said. It had its challenges with unlevel ground, but that was OK. I just wanted to enjoy it, which I did.”

She said after the Saturday class, several came up to her and had positive remarks about the session.

Kelly encourages others to join in the next two scheduled outdoor sessions, which begin at 10 a.m. July 10 and Aug 14 at East River Park.

Linda Hummel of Olmsted Falls, front left, slowly stretches the front and side of her body in the reverse warrior. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

“Please, come and enjoy the outdoors with yoga. You can always find a shady spot here. Bring water, a cooling rag and yoga mat,” Kelly said.

The Saturday sessions are free and open to all ages and abilities. You are encouraged to sign up on the city’s website, and click on the picture of Yoga at East Park.

Olympic Trials Bulldog grad: Katie Nageotte, a 2009 Bulldog grad, grabbed the world lead in women’s pole vaulting June 11 and is trying to make her first U.S. Olympic Team.

She is in the June 24 qualifying round in Eugene, Oregon, with the finals June 26. She was a track and field outstanding team member in high school and at Ashland University. The professional athlete writes “Dad” on the inside of her track shoes to honor her father, Mark, who died from a heart attack when she was 16 years old. In one posting she wrote, “. . . and before big jumps, I’ll touch my shoe to feel like he’s there with me helping me.

The first round is this Thursday, (June 24) in the evening and the finals, Saturday (June 26), again, at night. Check the local listings.

Best wishes, Katie. Bulldog country is behind you all the way.

Vietnam veterans: Our veterans are a special group.

On Saturday, June 26, the city invites all to attend its Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day Ceremony from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Village Green. The main speaker is our own Rick Adler, a Vietnam and decorated veteran and Olmsted Falls native. His words will honor all those who served.

The ceremony also features a University Hospitals Air Med flyover/hover, Veterans of Foreign Wars color guard, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. Hot dogs and refreshments will be provided after the program.

But don’t leave after that. Head over to the Charles A. Harding Memorial Covered Bridge around the corner for a DJ who will spin music of the 60s and 70s. She will also honor special song requests.

The city plans to have this ceremony annually on the last Saturday of each June. Let’s show our support for Vietnam veterans and honor all who served . . . and died.

Music is back: The city’s Park and Recreation Board has brought back its Summer Concert Series, Music at East River Park. They run from 6 to 8 p.m.

The first concert is this Sunday (June 27) with the QS Jazz, described as a trio of five who perform interpretations of standard classics with a jazz vibe. The popular Canyon Wind will perform July 25. The band covers Americana, blues, bluegrass, country, folk, pop and smooth jazz classics. The final one is Aug 29 with The RayBans featured. The band plays contemporary, Motown, island and beach music featuring the steel drum. Now that is one I’d like to hear, especially with the Motown tunes. Should be fun.

For comfort, bring a chair or blanket. You also may bring a picnic treat, but the Grand Pacific Popcorn Company will have its specialties to buy.

Cub Scout fun: Olmsted Falls Cub Scout Pack 102 invites all kindergartners and kids through grade 5 to join the pack in some summer fun.

The Pack will have hikes at 6:30 p.m. July 19 at the Fort Hill Loop Trail in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Sandy Ridge Reservation, Lorain County Metroparks. Its field day is at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 16 on our Village Green.

If you are interested in the Pack, contact Rick Riegelmayer,

Kampus kudos: Mark Drobnak of Olmsted Township was named as an Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar at the Rochester Institute of Technology for the 2020-2021 year. The honor is given to the top 1-percent of undergraduates who maintain a high standard of academic excellence while also giving back to their community through civic or volunteer work, conducting research or being engaged in co-op or work in their field of study.

Kim Lenart, a biochemistry major from Olmsted Falls, was named to the Coastal Carolina University’s President’s List for the Spring 2021 semester.

Saint Francis University’s Regina Edgington, a chemistry major from Olmsted Falls, was named to the school’s President’s List for the Spring 2021 semester. For this honor, students must have full-time status and attain a 4.0 quality point average on 12 or more credits during a single semester with no continuing or incomplete grades.

Information, please: To include news, tidbits, honors or activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at She is also on Twitter, @JoanneDuMound. The column’s online version at has direct links for many news items.

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