(Working into our first downward dogs of the morning!)
Despite practicing on mushy, dirty grass with zero view of the ocean, I was pumped for our first outdoor yoga since May. A little under the weather from the slight excess of Guiness the night before... but hey, sweating the toxins out was a fine way to begin my Saturday!
As we stood at the entrace of Point Pleasant, waiting for a few yogi/nis to arrive, the Park Enforcement white Ford Ranger (very tough!) pulled up, almost side swiping Andrew (who stood his ground darnit!). The security dude got out, swaggered over with his wrap-around black sunglasses and stood right next to us. Quietly. Just stood there.
"Is there a problem?" from our tiny, yoga-mat carrying group of yogic gang bangers.
"You guys waiting for someone here?" question directed to the cars out in the parking lot.
"Yup" waiting for a response for a few minutes... awkward silence. "Should we wait somewhere else?"
"I don't want to cause any problems" Problems? Like a mob of yogis shaking their... blocks?
"Is this bench not for sitting?" - now this came from me, I was a little irritated about the I AM GOD attitude... so I kinda mouthed off a little teeny bit...
"I don't want to cause any trouble, could you wait inside the gates?"
"Why?"- this again from moi.
"I can't say"... hmmm CSIS (Canadian CIA) now has ties to the parking officers in Halifax???
... so we walked dutifully ten feet over to the gates and waited there, while Mr. Lone Ranger followed and stood creepily shoulder to shoulder in our little circle of yoga-terrorists. It was the weirdest most surreal experience.
We managed, after some joking about our crazy yoga-dealings out in the park, to enjoy a beautiful hour of practice in the hot sun (got a nice criss-crossed burn even though sunscreen was applied!). A cute happy Lab Retriever came to visit and sniff some faces during our down dogs and there shade was available for a few yogis who were smart enough to fight skin cancer. Ohms were had with reassurances that if it felt "too weird" then there was no need to partake, just to set intentions or absorb our practice and J. brought YUMMY cookies to share!
Making our way back to the entrance of the park we were joined by our wonderful guide Mr. Lone Ranger in his nice small white truck... escorting us slowly out of the park. Hah. So of course we stopped, and he ambled over.... and.... apologized! Supposedly Paul McCartney (who was performing last night in the Halifax Commons) had indicated that he wanted to take a bicycle ride with his girlfriend through Point Pleasant, and Mr. LR was instructed to keep traffic moving. It was nice that he apologized and almost made up for how poorly he handled the situation. I guess a former Beatles member might do that to some people. At least now we know that our Lulu gear and Zen-auras weren't deemed threatening!
That afternoon, I caved and visited Lululemon to see about finding a new yoga-top. The Lulu-worker commented on my nice yoga-burn and became super pumped when I mentioned the words "yoga in the park" with an immediate: "Where? What studio? What instructor??" host of questions. I had to sheepishly inform her that, well, Halifax seems to be the only city that doesn't officially have a certified teacher led "Yoga in the Park" event... so we do it guerrilla style. Most likely, with the recession going as it is, I'm not sure how many studios would volunteer their time for free anyway. I made sure she understood before leaving that my "leading" the yoga in the park was completely "at your own risk" and not as a yoga teacher-poser. If ever a yoga teacher would like to take over, I would be grateful- there is just no comparison. :)
If there are any other eco-yogi/nis out there that wish their city had a Yoga in the Park why wait? Grab a couple of friends and practice Guerrilla style, an impromptu yoga at it's best.