US Army Corps of Engineers
Savannah District

USACE employee helps to improve workplace wellness through Yoga Program

USACE, Savannah District
Published April 5, 2019
Helpdesk IT Specialist Dawn Ratner performs a yoga bow pose. Ratner is one of 24 Savannah District employees who participate in the class during lunch.

Helpdesk IT Specialist Dawn Ratner performs a yoga bow pose. Ratner is one of 24 Savannah District employees who participate in the class during lunch.

Helpdesk IT Specialist Dawn Ratner performs a yoga bow pose. Ratner is one of 24 Savannah District employees who participate in the class during lunch.

Helpdesk IT Specialist Dawn Ratner performs a yoga bow pose. Ratner is one of 24 Savannah District employees who participate in the class during lunch.

Savannah District Realty Specialist and Certified Yoga Instructor Emily Jimmo, instructs district team members during yoga class. Jimmo voluntarily teaches the class once a week, during lunch, to help promote a healthy, less stressful work atmosphere.

Savannah District Realty Specialist and Certified Yoga Instructor Emily Jimmo, instructs district team members during yoga class. Jimmo voluntarily teaches the class once a week, during lunch, to help promote a healthy, less stressful work atmosphere.

Dorothy Steinbeiser, a senior realty specialist, with the Savannah District stands in a tree pose during yoga class. The class, taught by Savannah District employee Emily Jimmo, focuses on various poses, meditation, and self-care.

Dorothy Steinbeiser, a senior realty specialist, with the Savannah District stands in a tree pose during yoga class. The class, taught by Savannah District employee Emily Jimmo, focuses on various poses, meditation, and self-care.

Ten years ago when U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District Realty Specialist Emily Jimmo participated in her first yoga class, it was just for fun, but Jimmo said she soon realized the benefits of yoga.

“I fell in love with yoga because of the mental and physical challenge,” said Jimmo. “I love working out! I also love the yoga vibe – It encourages relaxation, open-mindedness, and being present in all that you do.”

Now a certified yoga instructor, Jimmo teaches Savannah District employees yoga once a week as a way to help promote a healthy, less stressful, work atmosphere.

By definition, yoga is a movement of breath and body, which originated in ancient India. It combines mental, physical and spiritual disciplines together to promote relaxation and a healthier lifestyle.

“Yoga is fun, and I want to share that with my peers,” said Jimmo. “It is also a good break from the day-to-day work.”

Certified in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, a style developed by Baron Baptiste, Jimmo’s class focuses on various poses, meditation, and self-care.

“Yoga is for everyone. There are no restrictions,” said Jimmo. “When you take a yoga class, your first responsibility is to honor yourself and your body. Take things at your own pace and ensure your movements respect your health.”

Jimmo said that yoga not only encourages muscle building and strengthening, but it also increases flexibility and muscle toning. In fact, she says an average 40 minute class can burn approximately 170 calories, depending on how much effort each participant puts into the class.

There are currently 24 district team members on the roster, and each week class size depends on work schedules, so there’s anywhere between two and 11 students in each class.

Jimmo said that because yoga focuses on mind and body it not only helps with weight loss, but also helps its participants react positively to everyday life situations.

District Realty Specialist and 40-year Veteran Yogi Carmen Patino can attest to that. Patino has been participating in Emily’s class for the past three years and said she enjoys how she feels after class.

“Yoga helps me mentally, physically, and spiritually, therefore it’s good for your body and soul,” said Patino. “Once I do it and go back to work, I’m much more relaxed and in a better mood.”

Helpdesk IT Specialist Dawn Ratner is a newbie to the class. Having only participated for the past month, Ratner said the class provides a fun outlet for de-stressing while at work.

“I really enjoy Emily’s class,” said Ratner. “It’s fun and very motivating, and everyone is kind.”

Ratner said that she also enjoys the health benefits and relaxation of the exercises.

“I like the fact that you can exercise and relax at the same time and not stress your body out,” said Ratner. “It feels like you’re exercising, but you are also not stressed out about it.”

The free class is held every Wednesday in the Coast Guard Training Room at the Savannah District headquarters building from 11:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. Employees interested in participating should contact Emily Jimmo to sign up.

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