Yoga in the Park is back this year for its seventh season, bringing free exercise instruction outdoors.
Coordinators of Yoga in the Park have partnered with the 13th Street District and the Marshalltown Parks and Recreation department to bring yoga instruction outside at the newly renovated section of West End Park.
Sessions are 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. every other Saturday through August, with the next this Saturday. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. but can also be completed online. Ages 14 and older are welcome, with ages 10 to 13 needing a guardian present. Pets and children younger than 10 are not allowed. Participants must bring their own yoga mat or enjoy a spot in the grass. Instruction is free of charge, but free will donations are welcome with proceeds going to the cost of instruction and 13 percent going to the 13th Street District.
Sessions are intended for beginner to intermediate skill levels, and to provide a perfect entry point for anyone interested in yoga.
New this summer is a yoga series every Monday. While this event has a $10 cost, each Monday will focus on a different theme and style of yoga with more education than a typical Yoga in the Park.
“Yoga is fantastic not only for the physical benefits that you get from it, but also for the mental and spiritual benefits,” Yoga in the Park coordinator and YogaFit certified instructor Heidi Draisey said.
Teaching yoga since 2014, she left her position at Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA in November to start her own yoga studio Spirited Yoga and Wellness. She said the benefits she’s received from yoga has generated a passion and inspired her to teach others.
In the last decade, Draisey has seen increased popularity for yoga not just in the gym, but at a community level and mental health level.
“It’s not just the physical aspects of balance and flexibility, but also having that ability to override the stress response,” Draisey said. “We all run into stress and it’s a great way that we can self regulate. We can take a moment, be aware that we’re in a stressful situation and knowing that we can use our minds and our breath to override that response and calm us down.”
She said poses taught at Yoga in the Park can be modified to meet different ranges of physical ability.
“If one position is not right for somebody’s body on that day then we can offer other suggestions,” Draisey said. “For those that might be concerned about having a bad knee or a hip replacement or areas of tension or still working with balance, then we offer an avenue that we are able to build on.”
Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611