Blue Yoga Mat: Fresh Air Yoga by Tracy Fitzwater

I’m not an outdoorsy person, unless you count reading in the shade. When I was a teenager, I failed to see the point of laying out in the sun baking; I usually burned, and I couldn’t read, so why bother? I have actually done some things outdoors, like cycling, hiking, and skiing, but up to this point in time, all of my yoga has been done indoors in a studio, or on a tavern floor. That was all changed recently.

 

International Yoga Day, June 21st, Webster’s Woods

I joined a few other yogis to practice yoga on the first day of summer. If you have never been to Webster’s Woods at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, I highly recommend visiting. The small meadow is highlighted with a 7-foot tall highly polished stainless steel sculpture, “Pi a la mode”, or Pi, and was created by Micajah Bienvenu of San Juan Island.Yes, it’s that symbol for 3.1416…., used in math in the calculation of circles. Our shared practiced focused us on this gate to the meadow. We began with a guided Mantra chant with Kalei Myers, from Sacred Roots-Kundalini Yoga, and while I can’t say I was able to completely follow the chant, it was a great way to set the stage for our practice. Our two teachers, Brooke Cole and Jenny Houston, led us through a series of poses, and we ended with another Mantra chant, this one very energetic. Being out in the woods, with a blue sky with zero clouds was a great way to practice. It wasn’t too hot, the trees sheltered us from the wind that had been blowing all day, and the added bonus of watching the visiting World War II planes on their flight path to the airport just made my practice all the better. I liked the idea that I was sharing my practice, not just locally, but globally. And bonus, I won a prize – a Poser YOGA decal for my car!

 

Pop-Up Yoga: Goat Farm

I’m not going to lie – I kind of had to talk myself into this one! I had seen a video a year ago about goat yoga in Oregon, and shared it on Facebook. I thought, yeah, right – goats? Well, who takes an idea and runs with it? I think we know to answer to that question, don’t we? So on the second hottest day of the year in Port Angeles, I found myself at a small farm off Black Diamond Road. It was suggested that we bring a towel instead of a mat, and clothes that wouldn’t be bothered by dirt, which was possibly a way of saying goat poop. The goats, cute little 10-week old babies, were waiting for us in the barn, while we were ready in their play area/pen. When the door opened, they seemed as stunned to see us as we were to see them! I sensed a small pileup at the door when the goats in the front saw all of us laying out in their space, but once they got over the shock of seeing us, out they came. And they were cute and curious little critters, and after they milled around for a bit, they got smart and headed to the shade. One little goat ended up on the mat of a lucky little girl, who had it all – a goat AND shade! It was hot, hot, hot, with a relentless sun, and Jenny could probably see us melting in front of her eyes, so we didn’t quite make it through an hour, which was a relief! The next time I have the chance to do this, I’ll do a couple of things differently. The first is I will bring a mat – a towel is a poor substitute for a mat, mostly because I kept sliding around on it. Wearing shoes would have helped with traction. Second, I would seek out a shady spot if possible, and that’s not available, I would wear a hat. Finally, have water on hand. I did, but my metal flask got so hot I had to put it under my towel just so I could touch it.