'Yoga has helped me tremendously'

Cary Ashby • Sep 9, 2018 at 10:00 AM

The Silver Sneakers exercise group surprised Mona Hauler with a graduation party Thursday.

Hauler recently became a certified yoga instructor after taking classes for 11 months — essentially one weekend a month — at Open Way Yoga in Huron.

“I went to one class there and loved it. I found it through our teacher training and it just went from there,” the Norwalk woman said.

Hauler was asked what is the most fulfilling part of yoga.

“I just love the stretches. I love how it just makes me feel. I miss it if I miss a week,” she said.

Silver Sneakers has been an exercise group offered at the Ernsthausen Community Center in Norwalk since 2007. There currently are more than 100 participants in the yoga class and three exercise sessions.

“They are just a great group of people; we are all friends,” Hauler said.

Hauler started working at the Ernsthausen front desk. She was a swimming instructor for about 10 years.

“I wanted more hours since I retired from the phone company,” Hauler said, referring to how she started teaching Silver Sneakers classes. 

Rose Austin, of Norwalk, has attended various workshops with Hauler and taught Silver Sneakers classes with her.

“Mona started before I did,” said Austin, who sees Hauler bring a lot of enthusiasm to teaching. “She’s always smiling. She has a hearty laugh.”

On Thursday, Silver Sneakers member Rosemary Riedy organized the surprise party for Hauler at Ernsthausen. She also baked a cake decorated with photos of Hauler in action.

Riedy, who has known Hauler for more than two years, said she is impressed Hauler “went through a whole year of schooling” to earn her certification.

“Yoga has helped me tremendously,” added Reidy, who has had rheumatoid arthritis since about 1997, referring to helping her walk better. “It’s stretching and endurance; it makes my muscles work. That’s what rheumatoid arthritis does — it attacks your (joints).”

The Sandusky woman praised Hauler for being a great yoga instructor.

“All the instructors make it fun to be there,” Reidy said.

Hauler isn’t just teaching yoga at Ernsthausen; she recently taught her first class at CLI (Community, Life and Innovation), formerly known as Christie Lane. 

“It went well,” she said. “All the helpers liked it.”

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