Yoga class

Shelly White leads a yoga class at the Applied Functional Fitness Center at Fort Hood on Monday. The exercise of yoga combines the structures of exercise, breathing and meditation. According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and improves heart function.

Shelly White knows yoga may not be a familiar phrase around these parts, but the important thing is people keep coming to her class.

“A lot of people will come in new and have never even heard of yoga,” White said. “What’s yoga? They’ll actually call it yoger. But yoga is an all-encompassing workout so I get a variety of people.”

White has served as the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation yoga instructor since the program began in 2009.

She has seen not only a growth in the program, but students have become more knowledgeable about the technique, poses and practice in general.

She first discovered yoga because she wanted help with lingering injuries from her days as a martial artist and BMX bike riding.

“I decided to do something physical, yet not an impact workout,” White said.

Yoga combines the structures of exercise, breathing and meditation.

Yoga puts pressure on the glandular system to increase total health. According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and improves heart function.

Talisa Porch was in the Army for 21 years before retiring as a first sergeant. For her, the class does more than just stretch the muscles and work the body’s core.

“This class has really helped me spiritually connect with who I am versus not knowing who I am,” Porch said. “This is a very good class for those who are in the military and those who have also retired from the military.”

Fort Hood civilian employee Jolamta Miller likes making it to the Applied Functional Fitness Center, where yoga is held, during her workday. The class offers her a chance to recharge.

“We come to get away from our desks and have more energy for the rest of the day,” Miller said. “I feel great; I’m ready to go back.”

Edward Winder was in the Army for more than two decades. His wife discovered the benefits of yoga when she researched ways to help with hip and other injuries he sustained.

“After 22 years in the Army, things don’t move quite like they used to,” Winder said. “I knew that if I did it, it would actually help out.”

Linda Wright retired from the military after 26 years in the Army and attends White’s classes. She said she wished there was a program like that when she was enlisted. Besides all the benefits, White makes yoga fun, Wright said.

“I don’t feel like I have to compete with anybody, and I have an instructor who cares about what she does,” she said. “She really loves what she does and we really appreciate that.”

For more information about the MWR yoga classes, go to or call the AFFC at 254-287-5586.

Contact Albert Alvarado at

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