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A Few Different Ways to Exercise


Written and Photographed by Barbara King

If you are on the lookout for some unique and fun ways to battle the boredom of your regular gym workout, Tyler definitely has lots of things happening that might fit the bill.

Every Friday amid the business of downtown, a group of people assemble in the square who are peaceful, relaxed, and in sync. Yoga is going on right there in the downtown Square – with bodies stretching and moving on mats in the center of everything. The YMCA of Whitehouse hosts these free, instructional yoga lunch breaks from 12:05-12:55pm and all are welcome to bring a mat and exercise.

Yoga has been described as a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline. The physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress, make the spine supple, and aid in rehabilitation and physical therapy. The main focuses of yoga, which are exercise, breathing and meditation, have been shown to reduce high blood pressure, improve symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors.

Lindsay Gray, group instructor, explains the merits of yoga as, “a great way to decompress, gain strength and flexibility, and build your core.” Gray walks the group through physical, mental, and muscle exercises, and suggests alternative ways to move based on the abilities of the individual.

Jessica Russell, a stay-at-home mom, sees the yoga sessions as, “an hour away from stress and taking time for myself. It is the quietest and most tranquil time that I have during the week.”

“It is certainly a centering, calming time during my day,” said Gay Howard, who works at nearby TJC. “It has so many benefits, including enhancing digestion, balance, and core strength.”

The group ends their session in quiet meditation, ending with a closing Namaste, (the traditional Indian gesture of bow and benediction) that encourages love, kindness, peace, ease, and wellness. For more information about the Downtown Yoga Break, call the Whitehouse YMCA at (903)839-9622.

Pole exercise is by no stretch of the imagination the preconceived notion of seductive swinging. This is a real workout of climbing, swirling, leaping and moving. Amy Price, the owner of Pole Exercise-Tyler means business on the pole – and her clients will attest to the fact that it is an hour of heavy duty exercise.

Price explains that pole exercise, “builds confidence, strength, flexibility, and muscle memory.” Four poles grace the studio and the night I attended the class, the ladies were learning movements that required climbing, swinging, transitioning, and some fun and cool tricks.

“The studio is a totally safe environment,” explains Price. “We have mats, spotters, and we encourage our clients to challenge themselves, but always to listen to their bodies.” The poles are each bolted into plywood studs in the ceiling and into the cement floor, and are totally secure with no movement.

Pole exercise is widely popular in Europe, and can be a combination of both exercise and entertainment. “The pole session works so many different areas of your body, including shoulders, back, hips, and thighs,” says Price. Price equates a pole exercise session to a mixture of ballet and gymnastics.

Each session starts with a ten-minute warm up of stretching, with Price tailoring each individual workout to the strengths and abilities of the client. “In our studio, we promote self-awareness and challenge you to set personal goals and objectives and try to reach them over time,” explains Price.

LaDeidre Ford has been coming to Pole Exercise-Tyler for 3 months and loves the fact that, “there is no end to what you can do during a pole session. The whole experience is definitely not what I thought it would be. It is an intense, but graceful mix of moves, building up my strength and endurance and I also think I have become more fluid.”

The ladies are encouraging, laughing, and having a great time during the session, while Price shimmies up the pole to show them a new move. Price has clients of all ages ready to climb the pole – even folks in their late 60’s. Some moves that are taught may resemble yoga or trapeze ones, with more experienced polers eventually supporting their weight freely, without hands on the pole at all.

Natania Rosales, 18, said, “I come for the fun and the challenge of pushing my body to climb and swirl and even do handstands against the pole.”

Price hosts “pole parties” almost every weekend for up to six people at a time. The parties are basically poling 101, and include warm-ups, basic spins and eventually a routine that guests can perform.

“It has become really popular for bachelorette parties as well, and the girls come and bring their own food and drinks and have a truly unique, fun experience,” she said.

If you want to try a class or get more information about the poling experience, call Amy Price at Pole-Exercise Tyler at (903)283-4223. The studio has recently re-located to 115 W. Front St., Tyler.

Another alternative for exercise is Tyler’s new iJump Trampoline Park. Stepping into the raucous, exciting world of iJump you will find that this is a fun-filled adventure for the entire family.

iJump is basically a humongous 15,000 area, chock full of interactive trampoline fun. “Kids can literally bounce off the walls in a completely safe environment,” explains co-owner Rachel Guthrie. Her husband Jared and two other couples, Melanie and Cody Ferguson and Tiffany and Todd Sceroler, comprise the team of hard-working entrepreneurs behind this innovative trampoline park.

“We are all parents ourselves, so our number one priority is for the kids to have fun and to be safe at all time,” explained Guthrie. Looking around the massive facility on a Saturday, there are hundreds of kids, but if you look again, and you will see very visible spotters and iCrew members that are especially trained to watch out for everyone.

There are trampolines built for every size and shape, all the way down to the smallest under six squad who can jump safely in “grids.” These smaller jump spots are designed for little ones and are carefully staffed. Parents can also be close and hands-on to help their toddlers soar.

An hour at iJump is $12 and gives the jumper – adult and older kids alike – unlimited access to all kinds of neat activities, including a long 80-foot trampoline, trampoline dodgeball and basketball, and a foam pit. Older kids can play dodgeball in a netted trampoline area, while others are lining up to get a jump on shooting baskets and doing cartwheels in the foam pit. Children 4 and under can jump with a parent for $12. Each additional hour of jumping is $8.

Guests can sign an online waiver before arrival, and iPads are available in the lobby for easy registration. Keeping track of jumpers is easy with color-coded wristbands, and a speaker system that alerts jumpers when their time is up.

There is something to interest everyone, from Open Jump sessions, to ifitClasses, plus teen nights every Saturday 9-11pm, and weeJumps and family nights every Tuesday from 6-8pm.

iFitness memberships are available for $49.99/month with unlimited jumping access. “Rebounding on a trampoline can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour,” said Guthrie. “Jumping also detoxifies your body more than grounded workouts. Vertical motion workouts are a lot more fun, and more efficient than horizontal motion workouts, like jogging or running.”

“We are thrilled to host school groups, youth and church groups, sports team events and corporate jumps,” said Guthrie. VIP Parties can be booked for $240 which includes an hour of jumping for 10 people, 30 minutes in a private party room, Rounders Pizza, bottled water, private party host, a free iJump t-shirt, pair of iJump grip socks for the birthday child, one free iJump pass for the next visit for the birthday child, printable invitations, and basic party needs.

A Premier party is $170, and includes 10 jumpers for an hour, 30 minutes at a party table, bottled water, shared party host, 1 free jump pass for the birthday child, and printable invitations.

The Duke family came to celebrate son Pierce’s birthday at iJump and Mrs. Duke was clearly happy that, “the kids will be exhausted and happy at the end of this, and I won’t have to clean anything up!” There are lots of comfortable seating areas, couches and bar height tables for parents to visit, mingle and watch the fun as it happens.

Expansion plans are in the works, with a possible addition of another 15,000 square feet of iJump trampoline fun.

For more info, to sign up for classes, or reserve a party, call (903)630-7090. The park is located at 2029 Capital Dr., in Tyler. They can be reached at and

The park is closed Mondays and open Tuesday-Thursday 3-9pm, Friday 1-10pm, Saturday 10am-11pm, and Sundays 1-6pm.

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Around East Texas

September 22nd: Pineywoods Ultra 5K Race and more races!

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To be listed here is free! Send us info for your event go HERE.

To add a walk, run, or biking event, please send to, It is always free to list any event.

September 22nd – Pineywoods Ultra – Run through deep East Texas pine forests on a scenic course underneath towering pines. This diverse, single track course, almost entirely underneath a canopy of 100-foot tall pine timber, will keep you captivated as you navigate rolling hills through rooty and pine needle conditioned trails. Enjoy a post race refreshing swim in the 64-acre spring-fed lake while you rest and recover. As home to the forest race in our eco series, you won’t want to miss this unique chance to run with deer through the deep piney wood forests of Eastern Texas. This is a 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k, and 100k. Wind through deep green pine forests on rooty single track while chasing deer and other wildlife. Enjoy the dizzying and majestic pine canopy above as you are shaded on your adventure. Register at 

September 29th – ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk features a 5K run/walk, 1 mile walk, Kids’ Superhero Dash for Dad, and virtual Snooze for Dudes program. ZERO is proud to partner with Urology Tyler, PA to end prostate cancer. Stick around for the family-friendly post-race celebration. Run/walk participants will receive tech shirts, free food and prizes, and the opportunity to connect with others who are impacted by prostate cancer. To register, go to

October 13th – 2018 Corkscrew Half will be held at Kiepersol Winery, 3933 FM 344 in Bullard. Register by e-mailing

November 10th – Salute to Service 5K will be held in Whitehouse. More details to come.

December 2nd – 2018 Tyler Half Marathon & 5K – This event will give athletes a tour unlike any other through the Rose City of Tyler, Texas. The event will start and finish from TB Butler Fountain Square in the center of downtown Tyler, Texas. More information can be found at and be sure to follow The Tyler Half Marathon & 5K on

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It’s SUP to you to try PaddleBoard Yoga this Summer!


Paddle Yoga: July 7th and 21st, August 4th and 18th

Are you looking to challenge yourself or simply wanting to try something new?

Stand up paddle board yoga combines traditional yoga moves with balancing on water. SUP yoga is a unique fitness experience that will engage your core and improve your posture. Plus, there is nothing like relaxing along the water on a summer Saturday morning.

Tyler Paddle is offering two Paddle Yoga classes at 8:30am and 10am. No experience is necessary.

Register now at Each class is $20. Space is limited and all ages are welcome.

Also, all day paddles, Full Moon Paddles, and Sunset Paddles are available. Check for times and to make reservations.

This will be held waterfront at The Cascades, 3363 Cascades Blvd., Tyler, at the marina and boathouse.


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TJC offers Summer Activity, Athletic Camps for ages 3 and up

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From animation to athletics, horsemanship to robotics, and scuba to improv comedy, TJC has a summer camp to spark the imagination of any young explorer.

Registration is open for TJC Summer Camps for kids ages 3 and up. Camps begin Monday, June 4, and continue through mid-August.

“We’ve put together a great lineup of activity and athletic summer camps,” said Heath Stoner, director of TJC’s Ornelas Health & Physical Education Center. Stoner also oversees the college’s summer camps.

“TJC camps offer great opportunities for kids to gain skills to succeed in sports and learn about other cultures through art, science and technology,” he said, “but they’re also often a kid’s first opportunity to spend time on a college campus. Ultimately, we hope our campers are inspired to pursue a college career someday.”

The camps are operated at several locations on the TJC campus, including the Center for Earth & Space Science Education at TJC, Wagstaff and Gentry gyms, the Ornelas HPE Center, art department, science labs, swimming pool and gymnasiums.

TJC offers more than 60 activity camps, including: App Attack; Aquatic Camp; Babysitting Basic Training Bootcamp; Broadway Camp; Camp Illusion; Chess Camp; Code Breakers; Cookie, Cupcakes & Games; Comic Book Creation; CSI; Cultural Arts from Around the World; Dance Intensive for Beginners; Digital Storytellers; Disc Golf; English/Western Horsemanship; Explorers of the Kingdoms of East Texas; Exploring our World of Chemistry; Family Astronomy Camp; French Foil Fencing; Frozen Dance Camp; Game Labs; Improv Comedy; Incredible Stuff; Introduction to High Tech Health Careers; Jazz/Hip Hop Dance Camp; Jewelry Camp; LEGO Comics: Design Your Own Adventure; LEGO WeDo: Robotics for Younger Kids; Little Pony Express; Make Your First 3D Video Game; Make Your First Video Game; Minecraft Animators; Minecraft Designers; Minecraft Modders; Open Water Scuba; Pencil, Ink and Charcoal; Petite Picassos Art Camp; Printmaking Workshop; Robotics Camp; Scratch Jr.: Coding & Games for Kids; Space Camp; Slime Kaboom; Star Wars Stop Animation; Surveying & Mapping; Table Tennis; The Finishing Touch; Video Game Animation; Video Game History; Virtual Reality; Watercolor & Acrylic Painting; and Wood Works.

Athletic camps, run entirely by TJC coaching staff and players, include: baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

For details, or to register online, go to


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