Elainia White has a dream for Havelock.
Her dream is to change this, as she calls it, transient community into one that has its people come together. A community she says, "has the potential to make more connections with each other."
White’s plan is to connect Havelock through yoga.
Having suffered from depression and anxiety herself, White knows firsthand the power yoga has to change life.
"Having yoga in my life has totally transformed my outlook on life," she said. "I’m a much happier person."
On Monday nights at 6 p.m., a yoga session above Make it Personally Yours in Havelock takes place. White’s seven students start the class by reading a daily meditation passage from Melody Beattie’s "Journey to the Heart."
As student Molly Millea read from the book, the others sat, eyes closed, on their mats to hear inspiring words about coming to terms with who they are, and liking that person.
From there, the cleansing breaths and long-held poses began.
"My dog went down and didn’t come back up again," first-time yoga student Carla Galloway said after attempting her downward dog pose.
Since October 2011, White has been giving yoga lessons. But after volunteering at Cherry Point, she saw a whole new way to help.
"When someone has a traumatic experience, they lose connection with their bodies," she said.
And, yoga is one form of therapy for trauma recovery to connect people back with themselves.
After attending a workshop on trauma sensitive yoga, White now provides her services to men and women suffering from the effects of war and military life.
The "Back On Track" program allows White to bring yoga into the lives of distressed military personnel.
Retired Gunnery Sgt. Pam Lawley, who practices under White outside of the program, says the help White provides is "awesome."
"It’s really amazing to me how many people don’t get help because they’re ashamed," said White. "It’s like a broken arm. You should let the people who know how to fix it do so."
Following the guidance of clinical psychologist and yoga teacher Dan Libby and what he used in creating his Veterans Yoga Project, White is confident in that the work she does helps.
"Learning to really relax is similar to learning how to run for a long time. It’s a skill," she said.
A skill that White says she can improve in her students with props.
"Props make people more comfortable and get them deeper into relaxation," she said.
What White wants most for her students is for them to learn to relax and how to be here in the now rather than in thoughts from the past or the future. She wants them to be in connection in their own bodies.
White has scheduled a fundraiser to benefit the Veterans Yoga Project at 5 p.m. Sunday at Kickstart Fitness, next to Bagels Plus of U.S. 70, in Havelock. The suggested donation is $10. More information about the project can be found online at the organization’s website at www.veteransyogaproject.org.
For more information on White’s yoga classes and Sunday’s fundraiser, call her at 639-8912.