What’s Happening at the Jefferson School City Center?

Common Ground's Barbara Germershausen has been teaching yoga for 30 years. She runs Simply Yoga Studio and teaches Gentle Chair Yoga for Common Ground. Common Ground’s Barbara Germershausen has been teaching yoga for 30 years. She runs Simply Yoga Studio and teaches Gentle Chair Yoga for Common Ground.

New to Yoga? Common Ground Instructor Barbara Germershausen Wants to Teach You

Barbara Germershausen is the first to admit that she may not be the right yoga instructor for you. Even so, she wants to talk to you. “I love getting my hands on a student who has never done yoga. That to me is what it’s about,” she said. “It hurts me to think that a student may go to a yoga class and feel it’s just not for them. It doesn’t mean yoga is not for them,” she said. She’s happy to direct students to other classes, studios, and teachers, if that means helping them connect with yoga.

Barbara is no stranger to the magic such a connection can spark—she spent much of her twenties trying to find the right yoga class before trying a session of Integral Yoga in Atlanta in the early 1980s. “They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears,” Germershausen said, explaining that she was initially drawn to yoga as a means to meditation. Her Integral Yoga class—a style that emphasizes the connection between mind, body, and spirit—did the trick. And, when her teacher said he was moving away, she was surprised when he suggested she lead the class in his stead.

“It was terrifying,” Germershausen admitted. “I couldn’t picture myself being in front of people.” However, she apprenticed for several years, and eventually started her own studio in Austin, Texas with her husband at the time, who was a martial arts teacher. “That is really where I honed my teaching skills,” she explained. She moved to Charlottesville in 1996 and taught at Living Yoga until it closed in 2002 when she began her own studio, Simply Yoga.

While she teaches regularly at her studio and for the City of Charlottesville, she was happy to join Common Ground’s mission when it began soliciting teachers at the Jefferson School City Center. “When I first started teaching yoga, it was hard for me to figure out what to charge and how to charge. It just felt to me like you can’t put a price on it,” she said, explaining that one of her teachers helped her see that class fees go to rent, electricity, and feeding the teacher so that she or he can come back and teach again. Germershausen decided early on to barter or offer discounted rates to anyone who couldn’t afford her classes—making her a perfect fit for Common Ground’s mission to provide access to the healing arts through sliding scale fees and donation-based offerings.

Currently, Germershausen teaches Gentle Chair Yoga through Common Ground in partnership with JABA’s Mary Williams Community Center. Two-thirds of the class is done from a seated position and one-third standing up, for those who are able to stand independently or using a walker.

For the yoga-curious, Germershausen suggests calling local studios and talking to instructors about the type of yoga they offer—she says many instructors, including herself, will allow new students to take a first class free to check it out.  And, she urges, don’t give up. “You don’t have to stand on your hands,” she said, indicating there’s a type of yoga for everyone, it’s just a matter of finding the style and teacher that works for you.

From Africa to Appalachia: An Evening with Cheick Hamala Diabate, Sammy Shelor, Danny Knicely and Friends

On Thursday, February 20th the African American Heritage Center, in partnership with the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, will be hosting “From Africa to Appalachia,” an evening of music. Doors will open at 7:30 and the concert will begin at 8:00pm. The evening will trace the evolution of the 5-string banjo, among the very first truly American-born instruments,  to its roots from the lutes brought by enslaved Africans to the New World, most notably the West African n’goni and kora. It has been well argued that the European violin (fiddle) and African-derived banjo comprised “the first duet” in the New World, providing the cornerstone of American musical forms for centuries to come.

“From Africa to Appalachia” will take the n’goni and the banjo full circle, bringing together Grammy-nominated Master Malian Griot Cheick Hamala Diabate with Sammy Shelor, one of the most celebrated bluegrass banjoists of his generation.  Much acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Danny Knicely will join in, as well as numerous special guests, guaranteeing a memorable and powerful evening of music.Tickets available here.

Family and Friends CPR Saturday with Martha Jefferson Starr Hill Center

Martha Jefferson Starr Hill Center is hosting Family and Friends CPR workshops on Saturday, February 15 for those interested in learning CPR but do not need it for their job. Participants will learn CPR for adults, children, and infants; AED use in adults; and relief of choking in adults, children, and infants.

The workshops will be held at the Starr Hill Center from 10:00am-11:00am, 2:00pm-3:00pm, or 6:00-7:00pm. Participants must be 12-years-old or older, and registration is required and limited to ten participants per session.

For more information, and/or to register, call Martha Jefferson Health Connection at 434-654-7009 or 1-888-652-6663.

Mary Williams Community Center Walking Fundraiser in February

The JABA Mary Williams Community Center’s walking fundraiser is still going strong, with only a few more days in February left. During the fundraiser, community members, businesses, and organizations can sponsor a senior member’s efforts to reach his or her walking goal for the month. Funds raised will support the activities and services provided by the Center.

Members will commit to taking an intentional gentle walk for exercise each day they attend the Center during February. Members will also seek donation pledges from family and friends. The suggested donation is $1.00 for every five minutes walked. Flat donations are also accepted.

Community and business organizations are encouraged to “sponsor a week” of the fundraiser by contributing the suggested $1.00 for every five minutes walked per member during the week. Community members can sponsor a day using the same format.

“The Center is scheduled to be open 16 days during the month of February,” said Kelly Carpenter Mary Williams Community Center Manager. “and we hope to have over 1,000 minutes walked!” Carpenter and the rest of the staff are particularly excited about this fundraiser as it serves the dual purpose of raising needed funds and encouraging a daily exercise routine for members. Questions can be directed to Carpenter at kcarpenter@jabacares.org or 434-987-8433.

JSCC logoJefferson School City Center is a voice of the nine nonprofits located at Charlottesville’s intergenerational community center, the restored Jefferson School. We are a legacy preserved . . . a soul reborn . . . in the heart of Cville!


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