CARIBOU – Yoga is partially meant to help individuals reconnect with themselves.
Rachel MacLean hopes to take that a step further: she wants individuals to have the opportunity to also connect with nature during her yoga sessions.
A Trenton native, now living in Braeshore, she is the owner of True Nature Yoga where she is the owner. She received yoga instructor certification just over five years ago and has been running classes in her small studio in Braeshore since.
Those sessions run year-round, while these outdoor sessions will only take place for six weeks. Each Friday at 8:30 a.m., beginning on July 18, anyone is welcome to join her group in Caribou Provincial Park. It will cost $10 per session and they are weather permitting.
“The benefit of doing it here is the beautiful breeze, having your feet in the grass and ultimately an amazing connection with nature and to the earth,” she said. “It’s all about the outdoors and that whole other element of peace.”
She expects each session to fluctuate in size, but on average hopes to see 10 people at each. It’s that number of people she enjoys working with the most. Her studio only holds nine individuals besides the instructor, which was a choice she made when she started out.
“A small group really creates a relaxed, open place to practise,” she said. “You’re more open to it in a smaller setting. I’ve found it’s also great to find something that fits those individuals and with a small group you can do that.”
Anyone can come to her sessions. She said the level of experience doesn’t matter. You only need to bring yourself, a towel or mat, and some comfy clothes. She said she speaks with anyone she doesn’t recognize to introduce herself, find out any possible injuries the person may have and their level of experience with yoga.
“In our conversation it allows me to find a way to create something safe and useful for the each individual person and the group that day.”
Asked if she ever has problems with noise in the outdoor and uncontrolled setting, she said they’ve had park staff whipper-snipping or emptying garbage cans during the class, but the noise doesn’t disrupt the group.
“I’ve had a lot of experience creating a space for people to come and relax,” said MacLean. “Over that time I’ve practised holding attention and feel that we aren’t disrupted here in the park.
“Once you come and start your day here once at 8:30 you think ‘I can do this again.’”
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