'Miss Aggie' Has a New Venture: Yoga

By Reese, Rhonda | The Florida Times Union, January 20, 2007 | Go to article overview

'Miss Aggie' Has a New Venture: Yoga


Reese, Rhonda, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Rhonda Reese

Mention the name Karen Roumillat and most people think of the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society or the Walter Jones Historical Park.

As former executive director of the historical society, great-granddaughter of Jones and niece of "Miss Aggie" - Mandarin's first postmistress - Roumillat is known by long-time residents of Mandarin for her vigilance in preserving pockets of the past.

Now many individuals are looking to Roumillat for help in preserving their inner peace and physical fitness.

"I've wanted to do this for a long time," Roumillat said of getting her RYT - Registered Yoga Teacher certification.

"I started taking yoga 25 years ago through the community education program at Loretto Elementary School and have loved it ever since."

Roumillat said she was especially impressed by one of her teachers, who stayed active into his 80s. She even filled in teaching for him when he fell ill.

"I enjoyed that so much," Roumillat said. "I knew that one day when I had time, I wanted to become a certified teacher."

Last year, she made time to pursue her dream. Leaving her home at 6 a.m. each day, she drove to St. Augustine four days a week for five weeks in order to attend the nationally known Discovery Yoga School.

"It was one of the most life-changing experiences I could ever imagine," Roumillat said of her grueling 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. class schedule. "I was amazed at what I learned about living the moment and enjoying the best of each day. I also learned how important relaxation can be to health and healing."

Roumillat put in 200 hours along with other students who'd come from as far away as Costa Rica and Colorado for certification training.

"The women were absolutely amazing and ranged in age from 21 to 60," Roumillat said. "I was worried about being the oldest student, but that certainly wasn't the case."

Roumillat, who has lost more than 20 pounds and several dress sizes since embarking on her new endeavor, wasted no time pursuing her other long-time dream. Since starting Mimi's Onsite Yoga, Roumillat now leads several group sessions each week and sees several clients in their homes.

"I wanted to help people who might not come out to a class," Roumillat said." "Sometimes if a person is overweight or disabled, they don't feel comfortable trying something new in front of a group of strangers."

In addition to holding yoga classes in homes, neighborhood clubhouses and workplaces, Roumillat offers "chair yoga" for people with limited mobility. …

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