Hot Yoga Heats Up HWY 20 Village souls shift for an awakening in sleepy Woodville, Ohio

“In high school I was the girl who couldn’t run a lap around the track. I think people see on Facebook, ‘Oh, Jessie’s going to yoga?’ So many people have said to me, ‘What’s this Yoga in Woodville’, and a couple of people come once and didn’t come back,” Jessica Cable, a twenty-year veteran middle school art teacher explains candidly.

She’s one of sixteen yogis who have rolled our their mats in at the Legion Hall on Elm Street in the Village of Woodville. Woodville is the Lime Center of the World and is nestled west of the Lake Erie Islands with two-thousand residents, a Subway, McDonald’s community pool and now, two traffic lights and hot yoga on Sunday nights reminding everyone of who they are and the battles they’ll face in the week ahead.

“Sometimes in Yoga people the practice can be difficult to let go of the ego and here in Woodville people are very community oriented and they do that very easily. They come here with an open mind and without preconceived notions,” Yoga Brent acknowledges his observation.


Yoga Brent adds the Village of Woodville to his global tour teaching and studying the spirituality of yoga.

Outfit in non-skid full-toe grip socks, Adidas shorts, and a tribal scarf around his main, Yoga Brent, a Toledo native, is also outfit with a Masters degree in Health Sciences and Health Systems and a resume highlighting a global tour those toes have made.

“I’ve taught in China, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, and Spain,” Yoga Brent supplies humbly before he delves into why everyone has gathered here on a ho-him Sunday evening to enjoy their breath.

“When we exhale we’re exhaling fifty million cells and when we inhale we then have the opportunity to take in fifty million new molecules of energy.” Ujjayi Breath means victory. We’re bringing in 50 million thoughts and with this you can walk towards miracles in life,” Yoga Brent, who earned his undergrad at the College of William and Mary, shares.

Cable initially tried running and Jazzercise when she decided to paint a new chapter of health and wellness into her already slammed schedule of students, marriage, and taking care of three teenagers. Two of whom are twins! This following a dramatic back surgery just four-years ago. The running stuck. Jazzercise went to the wayside.

“I tried that and could still run afterwards,” she admits of the class,“but with yoga the poses definitely decrease the level of soreness and add flexibility. I think I get more out of it mentally now. A sense of calm has come over me and I feel less guilt about taking this time for myself. All I’ve done for the past 16 years is tend for everybody else, so at first this felt selfish. Now, I’m a better mom and better wife. They don’t want me stressed.”

There is always room at the Legion Hall for another mat. Nicole Knepper (front left) shows her Eagle with instructor Yoga Brent to her right. Directly behind her is Jessica Cable.

On any given Sunday, Cable is joined by other former high school classmates and running enthusiasts. Sherri Watson is a devout Christian and hails the Sunday Hot Yoga sessions as her Sunday religion.

“After the first class I had such peace in my head that I’ve been here every Sunday since. “I think being in such a busy, hectic life: running kids, being a mom, and working full-time I’ve really taken to heart what Brent talks about.”

The talk is one directed at the subconscious. Somehow the strategy is this; when yogis such as Cable and Watson are transitioning from airplane to majorette most buried thoughts creep into the conscious mind.

Again Yoga Brent shares his knowledge, “Over time the subconscious is sometimes written in a negative fashion. For some people that’s not the situation. In yoga class it’s a chance for us to observe being very, very conscious of our subconscious. We check in with ourselves and proactively rewrite negative thoughts. There are no real expectations. I notice over time though teaching this changes peoples’ lives.”

Sherri Watson shows her plank on stage before she Chaturangas to the next downward dog.

Watson, the community’s 1992 Homecoming Queen who now serves Elmore as a physical therapist has found a new pleasure in the Prana breathing, Chaturangas and non-competitive atmosphere.

“I’m a big advocate for this now,” she says. I just think about developing patience my kids and exhaling all of the negative stuff that comes during the week.”

“In here if the person on the mat next to you is 10-years younger it doesn’t matter. They found this new ‘thing’ that’s surprisingly amazing. I’m embarrassed about the past. Why didn’t I get moving sooner? I never pushed myself to do something like this. I thought you had to be born to do sports and be athletic and boy did I change my mind,” Cable solidifies.

In the Village of Woodville, where seemingly nothing changes, suddenly something has.

Sherri (Sorg) Watson and Jessica (Hovis) Cable both today just completed the Glass City Half Marathon along with classmate Nicole (Blake Knepper). All three are moms and Woodmore Alumnae from the 90s. Classes are every Sunday at the American Legion Hall at 5:30 pm. The cost is as tiny as the population. $10 buys a month’s pass. To learn more about Yoga Brent click here.

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