Outdoor yoga adds another element to relaxation
As the leaves turn colours and drop from the trees in the annual oncoming of fall, fewer and fewer Calgarians are heading outside to embark on outdoor activities in the increasingly cold weather.
However, a small group of yoga enthusiasts are hoping that the onset of winter comes late this year so that they can get in as many outdoor yoga sessions as possible in the coming weeks.
Instructor Krystal Scott started Calgary Outdoor Yoga in mid-July and has been hosting it every weekend since. She believes that practicing yoga outdoors as opposed to indoors adds different elements to the popular relaxation and stretching exercises.
“With practicing outside, when the terrain is a little more bumpy, it challenges your balance a lot more,” said Scott, who has been practicing yoga for three years and teaches it indoors. “Also, you’re being connected with the earth, being in the trees.”
Meghan Scott (no relation to Krystal) has been practicing outdoor yoga since the sessions began this summer and reiterates that it’s a different experience than the way that most people perform yoga.
“It’s a different challenge than in the studio,” she said. “There’s more to focus on. When you take the studio walls away there’s more to look at, which challenges your balance more.”
A group of 13 people attended the session this past Sunday afternoon in Stanley Park, braving the brisk weather in the process. Although the sessions are at their peak during the summer and will stop once the snow falls, one participant, Vanessa Sokal, said that she enjoys the change that comes with doing it in colder weather.
“I think it’s a little bit better when it’s cooler,” she said. “You’re not sweating like crazy or focusing so much on how warm you are. It’s nice and refreshing.”
She also added her desire to keep the gatherings going as long as possible, a sentiment shared by Krystal and other participants.
“Hopefully we can continue for a couple more weeks,” Sokal said. “Maybe we’ll be lucky.”
With no snow warnings in the upcoming two-week forecast and temperatures predicted to remain above freezing, it looks like luck might be on their side and they can continue doing outdoor yoga. At least for now.
For more information and meeting times visit www.outdooryoga.ca