Cindy Hurlbert may be new to the community, but she’s no stranger here.
Hurlbert has been instructing Movement at the Museum, a rejuvenation yoga class suitable for all ages and abilities, at the Hutson Museum in Parkdale on Thursdays since last winter.
The partnership with the museum came about when Mary Pellegrini, Hutson Museum board president, and Christina McGhee, co-owner of the Blue Canoe, began to brainstorm ways to increase the museum’s community profile. A portion of the proceeds from Hurlbert’s classes additionally go to the museum.
“It’s a super cute space for this small community class,” Hurlbert said. “It’s not set up like a traditional class. Mats go where there is floor space.”
The biggest class so far has been five participants, mostly from the Parkdale area. But there is always room for more.
Hurlbert is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher and stresses that her classes are for everyone, with a focus on relaxation, breathwork, movement and restorative poses.
“We’re not talking about extreme poses,” she said. “Classes are focused on breathing and movement, and I provide options that can serve everyone.”
Movement at the Museum is the first class she’s taught continuously in the Hood River area, but she’s been working towards a career in yoga, creating the company Yoga Visual (www.yogavisual.com).
The path to get there, however, took an unexpected turn last year.
Hurlbert and her husband, Ryan, moved into her in-law’s Trout Creek Ridge Road home late last August from the Beaverton area after her in-laws decided to move to Hood River. Having visited the area for 15 years, the Hurlberts were familiar with the Parkdale community.
“When the opportunity arose to make this change, we thought this would be a great thing to do,” she said.
She’d been working in the Beaverton School District for 11 years with the special needs population as an instructional assistant — she has experience in the areas of autism, ADHD and other special needs, and has worked as an interpreter for the deaf; the year prior to moving to Parkdale, she’d been teaching 12 yoga classes a week in addition to working for the school district.
The plan: Acquire props for her yoga business and eventually transition out of working at the school.
“I had this business plan and then this move came along,” she said. “I have all these props, so I thought, ‘Let’s put them to good use.’”
Because she has props, those who participate in her classes need only bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothes. She provides the rest, including mats.
The Movement at the Museum classes will continue on an ongoing basis, and she has another class starting this September at the FISH Food Bank (see sidebar).
The class at FISH will be “more active, more movement,” she said. “Again, my goal with this class is to make it available to everybody.”
According to a Yoga Visual press release, the FISH class will explore “movement and yoga that can serve us in our everyday life.”
“It’s movement and yoga … it’s not strictly just sun salutations,” she explained. As an example, she recently conducted a class where the movements mimicked poses used in gardening, such as the shape the spine takes when a person is pulling weeds.
“Anybody can walk into that class regardless of age or flexibility and have the benefit of coming, breathing together, finding community and finding movement,” she said.