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Yoga Alfresco: Finding Your Center Surrounded By Sun And Sky

Hartford Courant
Hundreds of yogis will center themselves together outdoors on July 23, but where else can you do yoga outside?

With today’s emphasis on exercise and de-stressing, it would be shocking if you didn’t know someone who practices yoga. When you think about spending the day outside, though, activities like hiking, biking or kayaking probably come to mind before an alfresco session of yoga.

But yoga has expanded the way people think about enjoying the great outdoors and getting in touch with the elements, the sun, the breezes and the sounds.

For the past seven summers, West Hartford Yoga has hosted Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle, a free outdoor yoga class that now attracts thousands to West Hartford Center.

“It’s really about bringing the yoga community together, having an amazing practice on the street together, people from all over the state celebrating yoga together,” said Andrea Miller, studio manager at West Hartford Yoga.

More than 2,000 people attended last year, Miller said, and she expects even more at this year’s event, which is Saturday, July 22 at 8 a.m.

“We’re always hoping for more,” Miller said. She added that registration is not required. “People just show up with their yoga mat and find a space.”

Practicing yoga with hundreds of other people is “pretty magical,” said Amy Ogle, a teacher at WHY. “The energy of that many bodies flowing through the poses together is incredible.”

The owner and director of WHY, Barbara Ruzansky, again will lead the 75-minute class, and DidgeDrum will provide live music.

Gary Libero, who attended the Om Street Yoga event last year for the third time, said that most of his practice takes place indoors. “But practicing outside allows me to tune out the manufactured world and feel the natural and infinite connection with everything around me.”

Om Street: Yoga On LaSalle is on July 22 from 8 to 9:15 a.m. on LaSalle Road, West Hartford. Participants should arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time to secure a spot. Information: westhartfordyoga.com; 860-953-YOGA.

Recurring Outdoor Yoga Classes

Yoga In The City: Free classes return to Hartford parks every day but Friday through Oct. 9. Monday and Wednesday classes are in Bushnell Park; Tuesday and Thursday classes are in Elizabeth Park, all at 5:30 p.m. Saturday classes are in Pope Park, and Sunday classes in Colt Park, both at 10 a.m. Classes will be taught by Vasu Tribe Studio of Hartford.

Yoga Flow on The River:  Riverfront Recapture has partnered with Hartford Sweat, a yoga and fitness studio at 777 Main St., to bring free yoga to the riverfront (the green space across from the Connecticut Science Center), Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m. this summer beginning May 31 through Aug. 30. The class, aimed at strengthening both body and mind, has a meditation component and is accessible to all bodies. Bring your yoga mat. riverfront.org.

Stand Up PaddleBoard Yoga:  Hartford Sweat also will offer a series of yoga classes on boards in the water in Collinsville, beginning July 8. hartfordsweat.com.

WalkAboutYoga:  a combination of hiking and yoga at Silver Sands Beach in Milford. Saturdays and Sundays 9 to 10:30 a.m. and Mondays through Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mats provided. Each class is 75 to 90 minutes. The drop-in fee is $15, with discounts available for more classes. walkaboutyoga.net.

Yoga on Branford Town Green:  Saturdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. until Oct. 1, weather permitting. Free. Bring your own mats. ravenswingyoga.com.

Downdog Paddle and Yoga at Lake Quonnipaug in Guilford: Beginner-friendly stand up paddleboard yoga Saturdays from June 24 to July 22, with classes in Stand Up Paddle Yoga on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 to 9 a.m. and Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. $35, $15 if you bring your own board. PaddleFit classes are also available. downdogpaddleyoga.com.

Rooftop Yoga at Grove Street Garage in New Haven:  Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. $16, $14 for students. breathingroomct.com

Paddleboard Yoga at Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme:  $50, includes all equipment; $25 if you bring your own board. Call Black Hall Outfitters 860-434-9680 or visit blackhalloutfitters.com to schedule your class.

Community Yoga at Bayley Beach, 11 Pine Point Road, Rowayton section of Norwalk: Saturdays and Sundays 8 to 9:15 a.m. and Wednesdays 9:15 to 10:30 a.m., beginning May 27 through Oct. 1. Bring a beach blanket or towel, yoga mat, sunscreen and water. Suggested donation $15 to $20. Yoga moved to the pavilion in case of rain. shaktiananda.yoga/bayley-beach-yoga.

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