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    « June 2009 | Main | August 2009 »

    Yoga in the Park + Fitness World = Sushi

    Leaves If you are visiting Squamish this summer and you enjoy a refreshing session of conscious-breathing and tension-releasing exercises, then go to The Yoga Studio on 2nd Ave any day of the week. But if you are here only for a Sunday, then you gotta check out “yoga in the park.” My girlfriend Lydia taught yesterday's class and there will be a different teacher there each week, as there have been different teachers in weeks prior. The fee is by donation only, so whatever you can afford. But imagine this...

    …unfolding your mat onto a perfectly cut lawn of green grass and three-leaf clovers at 9am in the morning. The sun filters through the tall trees, warming your skin and illuminating the park. 25 people in a circle wrapped around the teacher, with a gentle breeze behind your ears and the occasional cyclist riding by. The ground beneath you is not a hardwood floor, but the earth itself; you can feel the subtle bumps under your toes, but it makes you smile. The class is rhythm and flow, a constant state of moving, bending and twisting, lunging and holding -- all the stuff we know we should be doing but just can’t seem to make the time for. Then, after about an hour and fifteen minutes, the heart rate comes back down slowly. You invert into a shoulder stand, headstand, whatever you like, and feel the rush of newly oxygenated blood surging through the stream. The abdomen releases, the tension disappears, you are weightless and calm and the sound of each chirping bird in the distance falls quiet. The sound of your breath is the only thing you hear. You take a deep inhale of the freshest mountain air and unwind into corpse pose, eyes closed, hovering above the ground until the electricity in your body is reduced to nothing more than light waves of energy scanning over you. Ten minutes pass -- it may as well be a lifetime. Your lids open tenderly and look up to see the bubbling white clouds taking shape. You are now ready to begin your day. Your perfect day.

    [That is the best way I can describe yoga in the park to you -- that’s what it was for me. Here’s what it looks like when you look up into the leaves. Photo © Sonnie Trotter]

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