Pamela Adams prepares to teach at Yoga on Pine. The studio has no set fees for yoga classes by certified instructors. According to Adams, students are asked to donate according to the benefits they receive or what they can afford.
ALBANY, Ga. — Real men don’t do yoga.
Tell that to Roger White, who tried it three years ago to heal his back without surgery. Now, White and his wife, Barbara, are the owners of Yoga on Pine and present the ancient discipline for donations that may be offered.
White, a truck driver with AAA Cooper, had injured his back and could not work. The orthopedist he was seeing recommended surgery, but White didn’t like that idea.
Barbara White was working as a nurse at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and convinced him to try the yoga course at Health Works, the employee gym.
According to the American Yoga Association, people have practiced forms of yoga for more than 5,000 years. Most of its disciplines involve specific physical exercises, breath control and meditation.
“I tried it for a while and it seemed to help some,” White said. I was doing physical therapy at the same time, and it’s really similar to some of the positions in yoga.”
White, 61, said he was out of work for about four months, but he stuck with the yoga, and his back got “better and better.” He felt strongly enough about the ancient art he eventually took a certification course, qualifying him to teach.
“I taught for a while at the Phoebe Health Works as a volunteer,” White said, “and then they started paying me for it.”
The Whites own a building at 503 Pine Ave., and while working on the upstairs floor, it occurred to him to open a yoga studio, Roger White said. He hasn’t quit his “day job” — working as a full-time trucker, but now he teaches yoga on Sunday nights.
There are other certified instructors, including Beverly Burt, formerly with the now defunct Kai Yoga in Albany, Barbara Hoots and Pamela Adams.
The Whites have no set fees for their yoga instruction. Students can pay what they can afford and what they believe the instruction is worth to them. White said that he only wants to “spread the word” and make yoga available for people in the area.
“I think yoga is a real benefit,” White said. It will show you a way to keep your mind, spirit and body in shape. We’re runners too, but yoga has really made a difference.”
Pamela Adams said that “studio” yoga offers the participant the opportunity to “drop in” or tune in to themselves.
“The Whites wanted a place where anyone could go and do yoga and benefit from it,” Adams said. “Some people aren’t able to donate at all, and it’s all right if they can’t.”
Adams has lived in the area for “about a year,” she said, moving from Virginia with her husband. She has a 200-hour yoga certification from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts, a place for “optimized living,” she said, and is working on completion of a 500-hour course.