WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A mental health counselor is spreading the word on how women can better care for themselves. 

  • Yoga event held Saturday in Polk County
  • Organizers trying to get more minorities involved in yoga
  • Next "Sista Yoga Self Care" is June 1
  • More Polk County headlines

She and the group, Queens of the Roundtable, held a "Sista Yoga Self Care" event Saturday at the Polk County Sheriff's Central District Office. 

One of the organizers, Merissa Green, founder of Queens of the Roundtable,  said yoga has helped heal her back issues, and related stress in her life.

"Participating in yoga, it really helped me to be a little more flexible and fluid. And I can move a whole lot better than I did as opposed to not doing anything at all,” said Green, who started attending yoga classes 15 years ago.  

"It definitely helped me give more love to myself and take better care of my body."

She is friends with licensed mental health counselor Antionette Pollard, founder of Pieces To Peace Counseling Charities. They noticed in their circles of friends that not many had practiced yoga. 

"We both are yogis and we visited other local studios in the county," Green said. "But we didn’t see a whole lot of women that looked like us or other minorities. And we know the wonderful benefits of yoga, and we just wanted to share it with other like-minded individuals and women in the community." 

The event also featured nutrition advice and journaling, another tool to deal with stress.

"Journaling is also a coping skill that’s been used throughout counseling to help individuals process things they are experiencing," said Antionette Pollard. 

The women said they plan to host the free event quarterly. 

"By exposing women of color to yoga and other self care techniques, we know we are changing lives," Green said. 

Brittany Drisdom of Bebo Yoga taught Saturday's yoga classes.

The next "Sista Yoga Self Care" event is on June 1 at 9 a.m. at the Polk County Sheriff’s Central District Office, located at 3635 Ave. G, NW, Winter Haven.