Fitness and yoga instructor Karen Groves is combining two great passions to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
You wouldn’t expect someone so heavily into fitness to have a sweet tooth, but you would be wrong.
The long-time supporter of Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning hosts her own fundraising day on Saturday, September 30 when cake and coffee will blend perfectly with yoga for all of the family.
“I am a real cake person,” says Karen. “I love to bake and always have. My signature bake is lemon drizzle. My daughter, Olivia, refuses to eat shop bought cake.”
Four-year-old Olivia came squeakily close to being born in a class as Karen carried on teaching until she was 41 weeks and five days into her term.
She taught 12 days past her due date, giving birth only two days later.
Class members were getting the jitters.
Karen (44) recalls: “One day my class turned up wearing rubber gloves and aprons, and they had got towels to hand.
“The classes I taught at that time were all cardio based. I managed all the cardio, just toned it down a bit, with a class member demonstrating abdominal work that I couldn’t do.”
Olivia was three-weeks-old when Karen resumed teaching.
It will be gentle, Hatha based yoga on Karen’s fundraising day for Macmillan so no one need worry about doing anything too strenuous.
Karen explained: “I personally have had family members affected by cancer, as have close friends, therefore this is a charity very close to my heart.
“The end of life care that Macmillan provide is phenomenal.”
Karen has run fitness classes at Gedney Victory Hall since 19995 and, more recently, has extended to Holbeach Reading Rooms and Gedney Dyke Village Hall
“It’s fair to say I am not a typical size 8,” says Karen. “I am more of a Marilyn Monroe style figure. My (cardio) classes are very real, they are for real women, with real lives – all they want to do is keep the pounds off and have a slice of cake or glass of wine.”
Karen describes yoga as “a more holistic platform”, with benefits including boosted flexibility.
She said one man who joined the class, who had previously been active in sports, was able to touch his toes for the first time in 40 years.
Karen said: “If you are anxious or stressed, yoga is really calming.”
Olivia and Karen’s niece Holly (3) love yoga and some mums bring children to class.
Baby yoga is the latest string to Karen’s bow and she says it mimics a lot of postures babies make naturally.
• Karen’s World’s Biggest Yoga/Coffee morning starts at 9.30am on Saturday, September 30.
Gedney Dyke Village Hall has been donated free of charge for the event.
There is no charge for the classes, just a donation of your own choosing for Macmillan.
The day begins with an hour-long yoga class (bring your own mat, if you can, although there are a few spares).
The cake eating starts at 10.30am.
Family yoga starts at 11am and then, at about 11.30am, Karen will give a demonstration of baby yoga.
Yoga was developed in northern India more than 5,000 years ago.
Most scientific studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, benefiting strength, flexibility and balance.
The NHS says: “There’s some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.”
Activities like yoga are also recommended to some older adults at risk of falls to help improve balance and coordination.
For more information please contact Karen on 07957 440333 or look on Facebook @funfabulousfitness