Gary Blanch Park is special to many Ashfield residents. Local groups and schools participated in redeveloping this beautiful park and volunteering events held in the park. The park looks amazing. When you realize this is a community-based project, it is even more amazing. We choose to walk our dogs pass the park everyday. Kids and families make the park alive throughout the summer. Oh and yogis too! It’s so nice to come back to the park for yoga every Saturday mornings. It’s great to see regular students and new faces in our local community.
Even we know there are many benefits of doing yoga, there are still many reasons why we feel hesitated about joining a yoga class, time, cost, and other hidden feelings. Here are four reasons why your local park is the best place to do yoga.
1. You can hide yourself
We are all beginners when we just start doing yoga and we learn to accept our body limit but do the best we can. Beginners feel uncomfortable in a new venue with a new teacher and new classmates. When you think all others can touch their toes, balance and do everything but you can’t, you feel even more uncomfortable. Personal space is important to everyone, especially in a new environment. I always ask a few questions to new students and see where they are at before the class. “Have you done yoga before?” “Any injuries or issues I need to know?” A lady told me she did yoga four times five years ago and she was going to stay at the corner of the back row. It is ok for you to focus on your own practice and avoid any attention. The park is spacious enough for you to stay away from attention. I don’t encourage any new students to hide themselves but if that is what you need, please do. Also, I will still give you a bit of attention.
2. Babysit when you are doing yoga
It’s hard to find some ‘me’ time when you have so many work and family commitments. Yoga session in the park is absolutely kids friendly. We all share the park and it is nice to see kids having fun, people walking dogs while we are doing yoga. While you are doing yoga, your children are having fun in the playground. Babies are welcome too. When you need to walk away with your baby during the class, don’t worry you will bother others. We don’t really know about it.
3. Know your neighbours
How do you start a conversation with your neigbbours? We all want a strong community to help and support with each other. It is so much easier to kick-start a conversation and chat about what’s happening around the community when we are like-minded. This group makes efforts to optimize our wellbeing and we like to talk about health and wellbeing too. Your classmate will introduce you to drink apple cider vinegar that is an effective remedy for dry throat, or tell you a secret way to stop hiccups. You may find your classmate with similar medical conditions to you and you are able to support with each other.
4. Connect to nature
Summer is really lovely in Perth especially early in the morning. Put some sun cream on and enjoy yoga in the sun. Birds are singing but one may swoop you when you are trying to balance with one leg. Sometimes, cloud covers a spectrum of sun and you can enjoy some beautiful breeze. It’s fun and challenging when you do a tree pose on the lawn too.
Morning yoga runs an hour every Saturday mornings throughout the summer. Bring along yoga mat and sunglasses to join in with us. This is the perfect way to start your weekend.
See what Anna feels about doing yoga in the park
Rachel is the founder of VAI YOGA and an occupational therapist. Her yoga teaching focuses on blending two powerful healings, yoga and occupational therapy solutions, to help people face practical aspects of life.