“As soon as I turn on the road to the Star of Texas Bed and Breakfast (for yoga class) I can feel the stress melt away,” said Doris Wootan, RN at the Walker Cancer Center and Yoga enthusiast.

It isn’t difficult to see why. The yoga class is held at one of the more peaceful and picturesque locations and on those windy days in Brownwood, the yoga studio is anyone looking for peace and quite’s dream. It is a single room location with windows lining nearly every wall. The sun streams in and the sometimes high wind flows through the window screen to produce the perfect breeze.

Those inside the yoga studio have come to find peace and balance in their often hectic lives and also to get in a healthy workout. The group meets to stretch muscles, find balance and work on their flexibility. Yoga has long been practiced as a wonderful way to exercise without the harsh cardio moves and is often encouraged for a variety of health problems such heart conditions or degenerative bone issues.

The instructors for Brownwood Yoga are Debbie Morelock and Jae Nelson. The two began hosting two classes in two separate locations, but retain the bond of a single organization.

Morelock has been teaching yoga in various locations around town for 12 years. Six years ago, she began teaching at the Star of Texas Bed and Breakfast, located at 650 Morelock Lane in Brownwood on Monday and Thursdays.

“The atmosphere here was perfect,” said Morelock.

Nelson has been doing yoga for seven years and has been teaching for six years. She also teaches Tai Chi, both at the St. John’s Episcopal Church, located at 700 Main Street in Brownwood.

Both Nelson and Morelock are able to teach to all ages, but in November received their Senior Fitness Training certificates.

Several of the students from Brownwood Yoga were more than happy to testify to the effectiveness of the class and how it has helped them in their own personal lives.

Susan Prosis first began attending the yoga class when she was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. An active student of cardio exercise most of her life, she found herself no longer able to “bounce around” as she put it. She has been attending the yoga class for the last six years.

“It is important to stay moving and we get karma from each other. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do it,” said Prosis.

“Susan is my inspiration,” said Morelock, “her three daughters came to visit and came to yoga with her. They all do yoga, and Susan was more flexible than all of them.”

For Doris Wootan, her time at Brownwood Yoga has become one of her favorite parts of her week.

Wootan was introduced to yoga through a gym she had joined and had heard about the Brownwood yoga class from her physician, Dr. Amy Tindol.

Wootan is a breast cancer survivor and when she began to attend Brownwood Yoga, had recently lost 40 pounds and was looking for a way to keep the weight off. Her first Brownwood yoga class was on November 1 and has rarely missed a session since, and when she has, she said she didn’t want to.

“I didn’t realize how out of shape I was until I came to this class,” said Wootan, “I had lost a lot of my balance and flexibility.”

Wootan also suffers from arthritis, and said when she first began she couldn’t stretch her fingers apart or do some of the poses, but is now able to do them all and can stretch her fingers with no problems.

“I tell everybody at my job and all of my friends,” said Wootan, “it is like I’m preaching about it. Once you start, you’ll never stop.”

Don Morelock’s story is a little different, as he began yoga because his wife is the instructor. Don Morelock was diagnosed with several health issues including a degenerative neck problem. He has consistently attended yoga for three years.

“It’s been good for me as a 56 year old male with a fairly worn out body,” said Don Morelock.

Sometimes, he is taken away from the yoga class for work assignments and in those times, he said he notices a significant loss of flexibility and balance in those few weeks he is away. He said that even though he only does yoga twice a week, he can tell that it does make a difference in his posture and flexibility.

He and Nelson spoke about the often negative effects of aging on the body and how, often, people begin to slump over as the age and they lose bone density.

“As we age, we can say “the heck with it” or we can press in.” said Don Morelock.

At the end of the yoga class, the well known phrase “Namaste” was spoken. Namaste literally means Bow me you or I bow to you. It is recognition of one soul to another soul, and that is exactly what Brownwood Yoga is about. The recognition of one soul to each in attendance, the relation to one another and the inner peace that each finds during their yoga session and hopefully long afterwards.

Brownwood Yoga’s classes are Monday through Thursday at 10 a.m. at St. Johns Church led by Nelson and are $6 each. Debbie Morelock’s class is at the Star of Texas Bed and Breakfast on Monday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and are $5 per class.

For more information about Brownwood Yoga, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Brownwood-yoga/398704876850959.