Yoga in the Park
Do you know of a better wellness way of starting a Sunday morning than with a beautiful 60 minutes of yoga in the park?
Between early May and early September, free yoga sessions are offered several times a week at different places along the Delaware Coast by Dimitra Yoga.
Since I am staying nearby, I opt for the Sunday morning class at 8 am in Lewes Canalfront Park. What a beautiful setting for any kind of relaxing and leisurely activity. And certainly a lovely spot for an outdoor yoga in the park class!
I arrive early on my beach cruiser bike, and unroll my mat on the large grass field next to the big historical lighthouse ship.
As I settle in, more and more students arrive, old and young, big and small, beginners and athletes, men and women. Eventually our class is going to make about 55 people in total!
Kari is our lovely instructor for today’s yoga in the park session.
After class, I had a little chat with her, and she tells me the following.
(Actually as she starts talking, another participant of the class walks up to her wanting to thank Kari for the lovely class. She tells us that she was just about to roll out her yoga mat on her boat on which she is staying, when she saw the open class in the park… what a lovely incident!)
Kari did her yoga teacher training with Dimitra, which she said was a beautiful experience, not only for the great support in the community.
The studio has until now been located across the highway in Plantations West on a back road. It is now moving to Savannah Road across the villages of Five Points. In the future it will offer 2 yoga rooms, one hot and one not heated room.
Yoga in the park classes are donation based
Yoga in the park classes are donation based. Cooperations are with habitat of humanity and city of lewes, wanting to give back to the community.
About 10 teachers take turns at covering the classes, that are offered: in Lewes on Canal Front and Lewes Beach, in Rehoboth Band Stand, and at Bethany board walk every Sunday with some more classes during the week.
Kari says ‘we are exited for the summer. I have seen pictures with more than 100 students attending. It is a good community, people talk and hang out together, it is very sociable.’
I agree, I have observed this to be a very active community too, with people walking, biking, doing yoga, attend gyms, all the watersports. And not to forget Henlopen State Park!
‘It is so pretty here’, Kari raves, ‘you want to be outside and want to encourage that too.’
Kari has been trained in hot vinyasa style and explains ‘We modify and have different class levels. I teach midlevel vinyasa at the studio, we were encouraged to come up with our own sequences and put what we practise into it, it is not a set thing. We are always encouraged to try new things.
We have stationary classes at the studio, which is more foundational. There is a good mix right now.’
Kari admits, that the reason how today’s class started was that she couldn’t get out of bed and was really lazy, so ended up on her belly on the mat. She says ‘this is ok, I mean sometimes it is hard to get up and start moving, so why not start slow.
You can still stretch out as much as you need on the ground, so I wanted to do some gentle and easy stuff to wake up the body with different movements and just like kind of build from one step to the other.
I like to throw in the chaturanga, because we kind of all mess up our shoulders when we do that. So just to bring awareness, so that people kind of know to pay attention to that just a little bit more.
Taking you deeper
The flow of chair to the hands over head, I just feel like that takes you into it a little deeper. Once again slowing down your forward folds like having to take to put more movements in there to focus more on what you are doing.
And than the hand over head just getting people to deepen more into the forward fold, letting the body take you into it, instead of forcing your way into it so much.
The standing postures are about foundation in the legs and balance. Once we were in there, we ended up in dancer, which was all the shoulder opening. And at the end, just bringing it all back down again.
Give your hips a little extra love
Pigeon is always a good one to give your hips a little more love, turning inwards, turning it back in and counteracting the opening we did before.
I like to play when I practise, make silly movements, turning around in different ways is fun, and it is teaching your mind a new way to think. There is more than one way to get into poses. Yoga can be anything.’
And I have learned a new pose today: the crazy airplane! It is a good core warmup for sure and actually hard to do! It takes time and practise, not easy but good fun.
I am definitely going back to attend more yoga in the park or on the beach classes on my next trip! Come join me!
Grab a fresh green juice from Cafe Nectar & Juice Bar after class… yummilicious!