It turns out that plenty of local residents are Down(dog) to Brunch, as the combination of outdoor yoga and brunch has taken off in St. Charles Parish.
Destrehan resident Jess Melancon and Luling resident Jenna Schexnaydre launched Down(dog) to Brunch in the summer of 2018. The two have worked at Anytime Fitness Destrehan since 2013.
“This has been an idea of ours since we became certified in yoga and Les Mills Body Flow,” Schexnaydre said. “It started as just an idea, but especially on our good weather days it’s really so refreshing and brings life to you to stretch and work out in the outdoors.”
The class, which cost $10, is their own personal blend of music and movements in the styles of tai chi, yoga and pilates.
“We just know so many people who don’t go to a gym because they’re intimidated, so we wanted to offer something for everybody,” Melancon said. “It is really for everybody. With two instructors, one of us is always showing modifications for an advanced poses. Plenty of people have come who have never taken a yoga class before and love it.”
The duo, who has offered the class in the past exclusively at Ormond Plantation, have most recently begun to also host classes at Truck Farm Tavern in St. Rose. In the future they said they hope to have classes each month at each location and would also like to incorporate a weeknight date night class in the future.
“I always say that this class refreshes,” Schexnaydre said. “It forces you to stop, slow down and take a deep breath. Yoga really is a mind body connection. It really forces you to slow down and forget about everything else that’s going else in the world. This time is for you and time to focus on that.”
The class offers a connection to nature and a chance to absorb vitamin D, she added, pointing out that every class ends with a meditation.
“Moving is so, so important to your health and so important mentally,” Schexnaydre said, adding the combination of yoga and brunch offers participants physical, social and mental benefits.
Melancon said that while movement has always been important, this year’s pandemic and the stress and anxiety it has brought to many people has highlighted the need for people to take care of themselves.
“We’ve had people come and say this is the medicine they never knew they needed,” Melancon said of the class.
Participants are asked to bring their own yoga mat or towel, and drink specials are available for those who choose to stay at the class location for brunch.
For more information on the Down(dog) to Brunch or to view a schedule of classes, visit the Down(dog) to Brunch Facebook page.