By Katherine Finnegan
By Katherine Finnegan
Small business owner Jackie Gadd is embracing Lakeside Health Awareness Month with complete dedication. Gadd does not promote a healthy lifestyle to community members only during the month of March, however. Gadd is the owner of BYOM Yoga, which provides yoga classes to community members of all ages at different locations. As a certified instructor, she incorporates music, books, and crafts into yoga, as well as a diverse blend of styles to encompass all ages, interests, and skill-levels to promote physical and emotional well-being and an all-around healthy lifestyle for those in her community.
California State Sen. Joel Anderson was honored to provide Gadd of BYOM Yoga with a Senate Certificate of Recognition for her service.
"It is great to have BYOM Yoga participate in Lakeside Health Awareness Month. Jackie's dedication to empowering her students to improve their health is honorable, and her spirit of giving back to the community is inspiring. I am appreciative of her selfless service," Anderson said.
Since she began teaching in 2007, Gadd has worked at multiple schools and gyms in the area. Perhaps most astounding is her program for seniors held at local libraries. The program originated for seniors with qualifying insurance, but in her efforts to reach out to more community members, she has opened up the classes to all, free of charge.
"As long as I'm not renting space, I can offer it for free, and whoever comes and qualifies, great, and whoever doesn't, come anyways. And now I have people coming in that are my age, young adults, people bringing their teenage kids in, so it's become a community place to come do yoga," Gadd said.
In addition to the community aspect that Gadd so eagerly strives for, her classes promote physical, emotional, and mental health.
"There isn't a guarantee that it's always going to provide the same benefits, but what we stress in our yoga training and the results that I like and I've felt is when you take a minute to slow down and breath, you have an opportunity to improve the quality of your moment, so you're taking a break. You're paying attention to how you're breathing, and you can kind of get on top of whatever situation you're in," she said.
Other benefits range from increased flexibility and muscle tone, relief from joint pain, and improved digestion, to stress relief, mood improvement, and a sense of serenity.
Gadd expects to renew a county-funded yoga program for young adults with mental disabilities at six local libraries in order to extend the health benefits of yoga to everyone in the East County community. For more information on BYOM Yoga visit Gadd's website at www.byomyoga.blogspot.com.