new experience #23: take an outdoor yoga class

i tell you, i’m a huge fan of the public square in uptown waterloo, here.

the square, uninhabited

they have been hosting the neatest events all summer long. although the market seems to be a bit of a bust, various cultural celebrations (turkish and latin, for example), fundraisers, the jazz festival…all of these have drawn a lot of people. daily, the square is a hub of activity.

look what else you can participate in!


now, usually, wednesday eves are booked for me – often Aunti visits to toronto occur on this day of the week. and, if i don’t go to toronto, it’s because i’m working at the store.

last wednesday, i worked til 5 p.m., so the timing was perfect to try out outdoor yoga. [this post will be a million words long if i start talking about my previous yoga experiences, so suffice to say that i love yoga, used to attend ashtanga and hatha-style classes religiously, and have gotten out of the practice completely in the last four-or-so years].

but would the weather co-operate?!

rain clouds were definitely threatening in the wed eve sky!

i decided to go anyway – it was super warm out, and what’s a little rain? we won’t melt!

which yoga mat to choose?!

no shortage of options!

i went with my garage sale garbage room find because my blue one is my tried ‘n’ true indoor mat, i didn’t want to dirty the beautiful green/flowered one, and the black carrying case of the garbage room mat is really handy!

there were seven of us who gathered in the square:

i love how they "roped off" an area for us with that green netting!

my spot

my sense of feng shui dictates that i take the front row, right hand side spot for yoga, whenever possible. i like to be able to clearly see the instructor, but not be front-and-centre!

the delightful lindsay from fearless heart yoga on regina street was our instructor for the evening:


just as we were about to get started…

"rain drops keep falling on mat!"

happily, after just a couple of minutes, the rainfall ceased for the evening. yippee!

i loved this class. for one, it just felt so good to do some yoga, again. in terms of format, we did some standing sequences, seated poses and a short shavasana at the end. the poses we executed were not too challenging, somthing i was thankful for after a long work day, and a long break from yoga!


lindsay was warm, funny, unpretentious, and “yogically inclined,” – gifted in her yoga knowledge and prowess.

the thought had crossed my mind that yoga on cement might feel really hard under bum foot- but, you know, it was just fine! it really felt no different from any studio floor i have experienced. what i LOVED was being outside – now, of course, ideally an outdoor yoga setting would look like this:

file photo, aruba, march 2011

…but waterloo doesn’t exactly feature that landscape, now does it?! the best was feeling the fresh air. sure, you could notice the traffic in the background, but it wasn’t bothersome.

as mentioned, lindsay was an excellent instructor. as we progressed through some poses, she would say, “let’s add some spice to it now!” word choice makes such a difference! hearing “spice” as opposed to “let’s make this HARDER!” brought smiles to all our faces.

wrist stretching - try it! i bet your wrists are tighter than you imagine!

the poses we practised on wednesday featured a lot of core strengthening work melded in with downward dogs and cobras. the one hour class passed by in a flash. this experience reminded me of how yoga makes me feel so connected to my body. running empowers me because i feel strong and aggressive when i run; yoga empowers me because i feel such a unity within myself in mind-body-spirit, if that makes sense.

it felt so good to be back on the mat

usually, my least favourite part of yoga is the rest (shavasana) at the end – it’s such a challenge just to lie there and breathe! i was really glad that we only did shivasna for a couple of minutes! works for me!

at one point, lindsay referenced her “former life as a librarian.” that comment made me want to find out more about how lindsay became a yoga instructor. i love hearing stories of people’s life journeys, and how they arrived at the place they are today.

"the boat" takes practice!

yoga brings out deep thoughts: afterwards, i pondered a chicken-or-the-egg question: does yoga attract a certain personality – people who naturally have a depth and vitality to their being, or do these traits grow as a person practises more yoga?

class ended just as the sky was darkening for the evening:

8:30 p.m.

a three minute walk, and i was back home.

i really appreciate that the city of waterloo and fearless heart yoga have teamed up to offer this yoga class opportunity this summer. as my schedule permits, i’ll be back!

outdoor yoga session = a wonderful new experience. next yoga stop, sometime in 2011: hot yoga!

do you have a favourite yoga pose? i have to go with downward dog – it’s extremely centering, and involves your entire body. plus, while you’re in the pose, you just breathe, stretch…i can see why this posture is one of the cornerstones of yoga.

**haha, i had to go back and remove a lot of capital letters! it could take a few days to change my blogging ways!




treat: coffee cake from coffee culture

price: $2.o9

rating: *** (three stars)

tasting notes: i wanted to start off the month with a bang! this is one of my favourite treats: the base of the cake is so-so, to be honest, but what makes this coffee cake divine is the brown sugar/icing sugar topping. mmmm!

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  • Gina Unger  On August 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    yum to the coffee cake! as for the yoga… all i’ll say is, “better you than me!” i’ve tried it. a very good friend of mine became a yoga instructor and she tried in vain to get me aboard the yoga train, but it is not for me! šŸ˜‰ however, i love writing in lower case – way to go with that feat!

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 3, 2011 at 5:31 am

      maybe you need to try another style of yoga, g?!!! but, at least you HAVE tried it!

  • Johanna B  On August 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Love yoga. Started out with “Lilias – Yoga and You” back in the mid 70’s. Still do 20-30 min most days. Fave poze – down dog. I also like twisting pozes. I took yesterday off from work to celebrate my 61st birthday which was Sunday. Got to spend Sunday with my daughter and the baby. He’s at a cute age. Loves to be talked to.

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 2, 2011 at 9:54 am

      happy belated birthday, johanna! i’m so glad you got to see the baby on your special day. bet that was the best gift. twisting poses are also awesome. feels like you’re wringing out your innards in a good way.

  • Holly  On August 2, 2011 at 7:38 am

    That coffee cake looks delicious!

    I too like downward dogs — and warrior poses — they really help stretch out my legs!

    That is so interesting about her librarian comment — I totally agree that hearing those sorts of things is so fun. I think everyone has an interesting story to share and it is amazing what other people have done in the past!

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

      warriors are total muscle builders, eh! who needs weight training?! that’s what is so great about reading blogs – you get snippets of various life stories every day!

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