West Cape May’s Mark Jacopec, 58, was a carpenter and professional drum circle teacher when he took up yoga about 17 years ago and saw his flexibility improve dramatically.

But it took him a while to get over his reluctance to be the only male in class, he said.

“Nationwide, there’s about an 18-to-1 ratio of women to men (doing yoga),” he said.

He was the only man training to become a yoga teacher last year at Yoga Nine in Galloway Township. Men are missing out on the benefits of the ancient practice, he said.

“I cycle obsessively, and I know when I need to do more yoga, because the cycling takes a toll on me, tightening me up,” said the lifelong athlete. “If you just work on strength, the body will tighten — like twisting one of those airplane rubber bands.

“You let the rubber band go when we do yoga. You let the plane fly,” Jacopec said.

So he’s starting a “Yoga for Men” class at Balance Pilates & Yoga Studio on Park Boulevard in Cape May on Feb 13.

Jacopec has made a career of traveling the country, doing drum circle training for corporate groups. He wants to do less of that, and more yoga teaching, like the Friday classes he leads at Atlantic City High School.

“I’ve been working in the community for 20 years (doing drum circles). In the beginning people said, ‘Who’s that crazy guy?’” he said. “I have more credibility now, and I hope to carry that over into yoga.”

For information on men’s classes call 609-884-3001.

Medical award winner

Health Information Management Specialist Karen Franchville, of North Wildwood, is Cape Regional Medical Center’s Service Excellence of the Month award winner for January.

She was honored for taking extra time to help a patient who was overwhelmed with the process of getting her medical records and who had a particularly complex case, a spokesperson said.

She and her husband, Henry, have two grandchildren.

Douglass joins medical board

Glenn Douglass, a Lower Township councilman, joined the Board of the Cape Regional Medical Center Foundation.

Douglass has served in management and supervisory positions with the New Jersey Department of Corrections for the past 15 years. But for a decade early in his career, he was an emergency department technician at Cape Regional Medical Center.

He has also been a school board member for Lower Cape May Regional High School. Glenn and his wife, Brenda, live in North Cape May.

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