Spring arrives and that first practice surrounded by the trees, the ocean, the birds and even the flies, I feel something loosen.
Practicing yoga outside, I strongly believe, is the best and most effective way to use your practice to reconnect with our Planet. To instill that sense of true connection and community. A yoga practice encased by six 'walls' (around, above, below) with stale air, removed from the elements is a very tangible example of how we've subverted Yoga to become something removed. Separate. Like how we live in urban centres, in our tiny boxes of apartments. Removed and separate from each other and Life.
Today was our weekly 'Yoga in the Park' day. When I moved here, Halifax did not have a regular 'Yoga in the Park'. At all (a hint at the lack of Yoga community). Setting out to change this, we created a facebook page and approached several yoga instructors about coming out, and practicing with us.
A monetary, donation based system of instructor involvement was suggested. The students discussed it and voiced their strong feelings of keeping Yoga in the Park about community, about practicing together because we wanted to and not because it was a 'job'. It was stated that out in the park, in the open space was not the place to set up a personal money jar... .
Our new spot- Tour Site 10 at Point Pleasant ParkUnfortunately, several instructors met, decided that although the students wanted Yoga in the Park to remain about Community they wanted something different. The students were informed: 'You can just practice somewhere else' as they wanted the time, place and date. So in fact, the original Yoga in the Park has been co-opted and changed into an event promoting an individual yoga teacher's venue and business and is no longer about Yogi(ni)s meeting outside to connect and practice together.
Our group still meets every Saturday and sadly we are left without actual instructors to lead us. All are welcome and no personal funding is required. We meet, we practice and I lead as best as I can. The facebook group is in fact 100 yogi(ni)s strong... despite new comers being few and far between. I'm considering shutting it down...
My 'Yoga in the Park' crew practicing their favourite poses in the rainToday we practiced in the rain and it was beautiful. In our new spot, directly facing the ocean we reached up in our Warrior I's feeling the droplets on our faces, our mats, our hands.
We saw a few yoginis from the other group walking out, their yoga obviously being canceled due to rain. Looking over our group; a father, his 9 year old son, Andrew and I, Jen and Chris and Lori... we were a much more varied and non-typical group compared to the young, white female lulus walking out.
I have never felt so connected to Yoga or to the Earth as I moved through the postures and felt the rain on my face.
The Anchor along the way to Tour Site 10 this morning
*****Check out Roseanne's post at 'itsallyogababy.com' today about the corporatization of Yoga- a 'macro' example of trying to build community through capitalism.****
article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com