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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 4 years ago

Fitness 2016: An abundance of options and LBK’s first yoga studio

The new year brings new fitness opportunities to Longboat Key fitness enthusiasts.

There is only good news in this year’s roundup of the fitness classes on Longboat Key, beginning with a soon-to-open new venue.


Feel Good Yoga, 6350 Gulf of Mexico Drive

Debby McClung is renovating a space at 6350 Gulf of Mexico (next to Christ Church of Longboat Key, Presbyterian) into the Key’s first bona fide yoga studio and naming it after her brand, Feel Good Yoga.

The studio will offer classes in the $15 range and private sessions, and McClung hopes to be up and running by mid-February. In the meantime, you can see if Feel Good Yoga feels good to you at her class at Bayfront Park Recreation Center and stay abreast of studio progress via McClung’s website,, or following her on Facebook.


Longboat Key Education Center, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Suite 212

The Key’s own institute of higher learning (“Like College, Only Better” is its motto) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a fine array of fitness classes, including the Key’s only chair yoga class. 

There are also some intriguing wellness workshops. On Jan. 30, Gen Kelsang Demo will offer a two-hour workshop titled “Aging Gracefully.” It addresses the Buddhist view of aging as an immovable mountain — a basic human experience that cannot be avoided but can be transformed into spiritual development. 

On Feb. 27, Ruth Fishel is offering a workshop, “Time for Me,” based on her recently published book with that title.

Sarasota’s own “Sleep Doctor,” Dr. Matthew Edlund, is doing a new, two-session course on “The Power of Rest — How to Renew Your Body.”

Advanced registration is required for classes. The winter term started earlier this month and runs through Feb. 27. Fitness classes are typically $88 for members and $104 for nonmembers for the eight-week term, but classes can be taken individually. For more information or to register, visit, or call 383-8811.


Bayfront Park Recreation Center, 4052 Gulf of Mexico Drive

There is more activity than ever at this town facility. Jeanne Carter is a new teacher offering new classes, “Ageless Grace” and “Tai Chi Easy,” at a new time, Monday and Wednesday in the afternoon. You’ll have to hurry to try them out, because this is her first year on the Key, and she is only teaching through Feb. 4. Carter is a retired education administrator from the Midwest with a decade of fitness teaching experience.

Here for good is Suzy Brenner, who is teaching Zumba at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Visit, and search “Zumba” to read all about her in last month’s “Aerobic Grandma” column. Better yet, take my word that you will have a good time and get a good workout, and just show up. Moving to music is as good for the spirit as it is for the body.

Barbara Anderson continues in her same time slots, but she has revised and renamed her classes. All her sessions now offer a complete workout, including at least 20 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of core work and a good stretch. The strength-training focus is on upper body Tuesdays, lower body Thursdays and a nifty, 10-minute circuit on Saturday. Anderson reports, “Everyone was ready for a change and so was I.”

Ann Alvis remains at the front of the room for six “Muscles and More” classes every week. Mirabai Holland continues to offer her proprietary workouts, “Skeletal Fitness,” “Moving Free” and “Pumping the Prime.” My own classes are beginner/intermediate mat Pilates and “Joy of Stretch” Yoga.

Rec Center classes are “walk in” — no reservations. Fees range from $8 to $10 for members and $13 to $15 for nonmembers. Membership is still the best bargain on the Suncoast: $25 per resident, $35 per off-island resident and $45 per resident couple. 

The schedule and more descriptions of classes are online at; search “Schedule of Activities.”

Molly Schechter is an ACE-certified personal trainer with a specialty in older adult fitness plus YogaFit Instructor Training, SCF Yoga Fundamentals I and II and Power Pilates Mat certifications. Email her at [email protected].





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