Take It Outside...Accessible Yoga, That Is!
Bringing together two loves...accessible yoga and nature...is really pretty simple when it is just me out on the trail with trekking poles in hand, eagle eyeing every tree, bench, picnic table, post or other element of nature as a potential support prop. But how to bring this concept to an accessible yoga class where people practice seated, standing or like to move between the two?
Let’s face it, hauling a folding chair to an outdoor space, while possible, is not so appealing. Then there’s the uneven ground to consider, a daunting thought for those struggling a bit with balance. Practicing on a slab of cement? Just no. Some parks have shelters but for a class folks can count on, they need to be rented, and they are not cheap. Finding a sustainable and accessible option with enough room for safe distancing can be a challenge.
Then one day it hit me. There is a smaller open air shelter in a nearby arboretum, so I decided to look at it from a new perspective. Views include a beautiful grassy meadow full of bluebirds and big sky or the arboretum area with, well, lots of trees. Naturally. Three large picnic tables that can be moved to create more distance, several built in benches along the back for those that like to move between standing and seated, a place on each end if someone really wants to roll out their mat, a paved sidewalk leading to the shelter, wheelchair accessibility and handicapped parking. It was perfect.
I reached out to my local parks and recreation department, and they loved the idea! Accessible Yoga! Outdoors! Props provided! In May and June! The excitement of bringing together two of my loves is bursting! I guess I’ll be pulling out my retired teacher recess voice once again, and I’ll be doing so with a big smile on my face and happiness in my heart.