Outdoor and indoor yoga classes return
From hatha to heated vinyasa, there are yoga options for everyone this summer. Indoor classes are returning with limited capacities, but studio lawns, public parks and pavilions remain popular outdoor venues for some studios.
The pandemic drove the increase in outdoor yoga’s popularity last summer because it allowed for greater social distancing and sometimes made wearing a mask optional. Now yogis have found – or rediscovered – joy in practicing close to nature, so it looks as though regular outdoor classes are here to stay.
Junction Center Yoga will hold all of its classes outside until fall and requests $10-$15 donations. Drop-in sessions are offered Tuesdays, 10 am; and Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 am, at the Kress Pavilion, 7845 Church St. in Egg Harbor.
“It’s a really lovely wooden deck with a roof, so it protects from sunburn and rain,” studio owner Kathy Navis said, “and the view of Green Bay is stunning.”
Navis has taught classes on the beach for more than a decade, and she’s found that people especially enjoy their yoga outdoors. For those who hesitate to practice outside because of blazing sun or buzzing insects, however, the Kress Pavilion provides sheltered space for 25-30 people.
Junction Center requires unvaccinated participants to wear a mask, and it plans to continue streaming classes on Zoom. Class options include restorative, level-one and level-two yoga.
Yoga in the Park is available on the weekends for all-level vinyasa flow style practice. A rotation of teachers from Door County Yoga will lead classes at Sturgeon Bay’s Martin Park, 207 S. 3rd Ave., on Saturdays, 9:30 am. The class cost is $10, and mats are available to borrow.
“Turns out it’s really difficult to maintain a steady yoga practice by yourself,” instructor Jane Mills said. “The group energy really goes a long way in terms of motivation and the ability to push oneself physically.”
Mae Speer will lead sessions at School Park, at the corner of Howard Avenue and Guy Street in Baileys Harbor, on Sundays, 10 am. The cost is $10, and participants should supply their own mat and props.
As it did last summer, Ironwood Yoga is holding classes on the lawn at its Sister Bay studio.
“It’s so spacious and beautiful,” owner Marnie Massey said. “We plant flowers, and the birds are chirping. People kept asking us to please continue having outdoor yoga after COVID.”
Starting June 21, Ironwood will also resume sunset yoga on Mondays, 7 pm, in Sister Bay’s Waterfront Park.
Despite their popularity, outdoor yoga classes do depend on the weather. Indoor classes don’t have this obstacle, and a few studios have schedules ready. For hot-yoga aficionados, Ironwood’s heated classes are available daily, in addition to hatha, barre and yin. Indoor sessions operate at half capacity, so reservations and payment are required in advance.
Massey encourages nonvaccinated individuals to wear a mask inside the studio and emphasizes Ironwood’s welcoming atmosphere.
“I want people to feel safe, nurtured and unintimidated at my studio,” Massey said.
Sessions at Hotel Washington on Washington Island are all held indoors, but the studio features a wall of windows and a large sliding door that welcomes plenty of natural light and green views into the space. The studio often welcomes guest instructors on weekends.
The Hotel Washington studio offers classes in mindful flow, heated flow, barre and restorative/yin, as well as a yin and gong workshop. Mats and props are provided; masks are required. Online registration is encouraged to secure one of the 10 available spots per class.
Yoga may look different this summer, but warm weather and lots of space to spread out will allow everyone to find some zen and stay healthy and flexible.