It's a Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock. Half a dozen devotees of a new type of workout drift into the exercise room at the West Linn Adult Community Center. Initially, the group looks like it could be assembling for a yoga or Pilates class, but closer inspection reveals that each person is carrying a "Styrofoam roller." by: SUBMITTED - Deena Westerby balances and stretches across her foam roller at the West Linn Adult Community Center.

This piece of equipment is what differentiates instructor Tiffany Carlson's Pilates-inspired Core Strength class from the other exercise offerings at the WLACC. The roller is firm, about 8 inches in diameter and about 4 feet long. All of the exercises Carlson designed for this hour-long class use the foam roller in one way or another, and most of them intentionally engage the abdominal or "core" muscles.

Carlson has taught yoga and Pilates and been a personal trainer for many years. She said the foam rollers have been used to restore blood flow by physical therapists and chiropractors for years and are just now finding their way into common use in exercise classes.

Carlson's students are effusive in their praise of the class in general and Carlson specifically. Penny Mellon said, "I love the foam roller because it takes the kinks out!"

"Tiffany is just the best instructor, and I think I'm in the best shape of my life!" Deena Westerby added.

The variety of Carlson's exercises make the time pass quickly. For example, Carlson has her students stand on the rollers (supported by a wall) and rotate individual legs for balance and to massage the feet. Students also sit across the rollers, leaning back slightly, and then roll the roller up and down their backs. The result is a self-delivered deep tissue massage.

But the position that's most immediately satisfying is to just lie back along the length of the roller and let the arms hang to the side. This is heaven, a position you don't want to leave.

If you think this sounds like an activity you'd like to join, call Carlson at 503-313-3373 for details, or visit her fitness website,, for more information. There are two class offerings at the WLACC each week: Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Here are this week's other activities. Please call the WLACC at 503-557-4704 for specific times and possible fees. Also, all meals listed below are subject to change, but only for the better. Computer classes are being offered by appointment every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 9 a.m. and noon.

Friday, June 29

In the morning, we have the Core Strength class, the Strength and Balance class, the Peripatetic Walkers, the Aerobics class and the Oil Painting group. The Whist card group will meet between 10 a.m. and noon. At noon we will serve fried chicken for lunch. From 12:30 until 3 p.m., the Pinochle group will meet. At 1 p.m., the Texas Hold ‘Em poker group will deal.

Monday, July 2

In the morning we have Tai Chi, the Peripatetic Walkers, the Wood Carving group, the Aerobics class and the Hand & Foot card game group. We will offer tacos for lunch. After lunch, the Bridge group and the Exercise For All program will meet, and the new Pilates-inspired Core Strength class will meet at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, July 3

Morning offerings at the WLACC include the Core Strength class, the Strength and Balance class and the Gentle Yoga class. The "Honoring Our Memories" writing group also meets today from 10 a.m. to noon, and our Ukulele group will strum together at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, July 4

The WLACC will be closed today, Independence Day.

Thursday, July 5

Our morning offerings at the center include the Core Strength class, the Strength and Balance class and our Gentle Yoga class. Our knitting & crocheting group meets from 10 a.m. to noon in front of the fireplace, and the bridge group meets at 11:30 a.m.

WLACC Gift Shop

Come visit the best-kept shopping secret in town, which offers unique gifts and uniquely low prices. The WLACC Gift Shop is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The gift shop accepts cash, checks and well-behaved children.

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