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Namaste: Florida Judge Teaches Yoga on Courthouse Lawn

In this April 7, 2017. photo, County Court Judge Eleni Derke leads her yoga class on the lawn outside the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla. Derke is a certified yoga instructor. Derke holds her Yoga on the Lawn class once a month until the weather gets too hot. (Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP) (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida judge sometimes wears yoga clothes under her black robe.

At noon on the last Friday of every month, Duval County Judge Eleni Derkie strips off the robe and heads to the front lawn of Jacksonville’s courthouse where she leads a yoga class that’s free to anyone who shows up.

The Florida Times-Union ( ) reports Derke has taught yoga since 2014 but says her counterparts in the legal profession aren’t always the easiest converts.

Courtroom bailiffs sometimes tease her, but Derke says yoga provides a few moments of peace during an otherwise stressful day. Sometimes, she’s even been known to urge jurors to stretch and take deep breaths during lengthy trials.

She’ll continue the classes this year until the weather gets too hot.

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