Get ready, Yuma! “Yoga in the Park” hits the scene this fall. The city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department is excited to bring this alternative fitness opportunity into the outdoor space and along the Colorado River at Gateway Park.
Angela Parisi of Yoga Journal reports: “Within the confines of a studio, yoga instructors do their best to create an ambiance of soft lights and pleasant sounds, and even an aromatic experience. But striking a mood that embraces a natural setting, can really only be achieved by actually experiencing the great outdoors. Why settle for a replica of natural surroundings when you can have the real thing?” (Yoga Journal 2012 “Back to Nature”)
Outdoor classes add a different dimension to your experience and brings yoga down to its original link with nature. “Yoga means union, and when practiced outdoors, it seems like the union with nature, humanity, and the universe, is truly felt.” says Marie-Josee Griswold, a local yoga instructor and owner of Yogamour in Yuma.
Parisi says: “Being outside can intensify the yoga experience in many ways, since nature inspires all things; focusing awareness, breathing deeply, and practicing stillness.”
Griswold says, “You must first think more in terms of embracing the surroundings, rather than battling the elements.” It can help to remind you that a breeze can deepen your breathing, the warm sun can deepen poses by making muscles more pliable, and a ladybug can invite you to focus on something small and still.
Many aspects of yoga, are in fact, about being in the moment and at one with nature or the universe. That’s why so many poses reflect animals and nature. “By putting your body into the shape of a tree or a stretching cat, by exploring the graceful wingspan of a bird or the fluidity of the sun salute, by breathing with the same cyclical sense as the tides or with an ocean sound, you evoke a sense of harmony, timelessness, and connection to the universe,” says Griswold.
“Pairing up yoga and nature, can be an incredible experience, allowing students to embrace the outdoors. When the classroom is outdoors, free of the mirrors, windows, and designer clothes, the ‘Yoga scene’ is left in the dust. The open space really creates an instantaneous freedom you just can’t replicate indoors,” Parisi said.
“Yoga in the Park” will be offered by the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department beginning Sept. 3, with multiple five and six week sessions available scheduled through March 2014.
Registration is currently underway and is being taken at the main office of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department, One City Plaza, or online at www.yumaaz.gov/parksandrec
You can also register by phone by calling us at 373-5243.
Oscar Chavez is the recreation program supervisor for the city of Yuma Parks and Rec Department. He can be reached at Oscar.email@example.com.