By Judy Wakefield
---- — It’s Sunday morning in Andover. You are on your morning downtown coffee run and can’t help but notice several yoga types with mats hurriedly heading to 45 Main St.
But most Main Street stores don’t open yet. So what’s going on?
The Greater Boston Running Company is opening an hour early on Sunday mornings for a free yoga class.
From 11 a.m. to noon this winter, the retail store is turning its downstairs community room into a yoga studio.
“New Balance came in and helped us paint the room, and it looks great,” said Tom Poland of Greater Boston Running. “It’s really worked out well.”
Poland said eight to 10 yoga enthusiasts faithfully show up every Sunday morning for the class, which is taught by a rotating lineup of about 15 instructors from studios across the North Shore, including Brickstone Fitness and Home Yoga, both of Andover. Classes started Dec. 1 and currently are running through March 30.
Yoga instructor Susan Currie of Andover, who teaches at Brickstone, recruited the lineup of class leaders and attends every session herself.
“The classes are geared toward anyone — athlete or not, providing folks are in decent physical shape. And, it’s totally free with no catch,” she said.
Poland said the yoga apparel company Prana is underwriting the series. The store carries Prana apparel, and Poland said if he makes a sale, great. But purchases are not required.
“It’s been so rewarding to watch so many new faces dropping in to the store to give yoga a try.
Currie, an instructor for nearly 10 years, knows firsthand the difference that a regular yoga practice can make.
“Over the years, I have seen many folks transformed by its merits,” Currie said. “I think I speak for all of us volunteering our time and talent to this program when I say thank you to Greater Boston Running Company and Prana for making this happen.”
Nicole Brezinski, another yoga instructor who is a fifth-grade teacher at High Plain Elementary School in Andover, is also thrilled to get the good word out about a free yoga class.
“To witness folks digging deeper, maybe stepping out of their zones of comfort and then transformed in some small way simply makes my day,” Brezinski, who teaches at The Yoga Loft in Wilmington, said in an email.
It’s not too late to join in the classes. Just go about 15 minutes early to secure your spot, Poland said, as word is getting out about the free series.
IF YOU GO
What: Winter Yoga Oasis
When: Sundays, 11 a.m. to noon, through March 30
Where: Greater Boston Running Company, 45 Main St., Andover
How: Free. Arrive 15 minutes early. All levels welcome. Call 978-296-4927.