Sunday Morning Comin’ Down…ward facing dog

I spent an exhilarating Sunday morning communing with about 50 yogis and the world’s calmest infant at Pure Vida Yoga’s “Yoga in the Park.”

I arrived feigning confidence, yanked the price tag off my mat and rolled it out over the grass under a pine tree in an inconspicuous spot in City Park. As I mentioned last time I wrote about yoga, my only natural sun salutation is a squint, which is what I did as I sipped water and checked out my buff fellow participants.

The class began with the child pose, a move I proudly mastered early in my four-yoga class career. Then a series of yoga instructors rotated us through various comfortable, then awkward, then painful, then painfully awkward positions as I breathed through my nose, appreciated the early fall breeze and caught brief, beautiful glimpses of a cloudless sky.

A live guitar player created a calm atmosphere, but we also enjoyed the sound of laughing children romping through the playground equipment nearby. Chirping birds and pealing church bells added to the musical medley of a genuinely lovely morning.

The event raised money for the Joy Rising Project, which provides realistic hair systems to women and children who suffer hair loss due to illness. Prior to class we heard a cool story about a little 12-year old girl named Ireland who is volunteering to donate 20 inches of hair, and a little nine-year old girl, also named Ireland, who will receive it. Josif Wittnik, a founder of Joy Rising, will document the whole process from the cutting to the shipping to California for the wig making, to the presentation, fitting and styling.

Stories like these inspired the free class, at which raffle tickets and good will offerings raised money for the cause.

Time past quickly as we worked our way through various positions until I gratefully followed instructions to assume the corpse pose, closing my eyes, relaxing and reflecting on what a gift the morning had been.

As class ended, we opened our eyes and found a Vande Walle’s caramel on each of our mats.


Here’s a shot of the gang just before class starts. Check out the mat in the top left corner. That’s a real live baby that did nothing more than coo through the entire 1 1/2 hour event. Very impressive.
Here’s a nice shot of the view through my feet. God willing, this will be the best shot anyone will ever see of me practicing yoga.
I’ve been going to City Park for more than 30 years and this is the first time I’ve ever noticed this series of sculptures in the ground. They appear to be skilled yogis.

Here’s a shot of the post-class raffle. I meant to take photos during class but that seemed rude and I really had my hands full just doing the poses. If you ever have a chance to take an outdoor yoga class, I highly recommend that you do. I just loved it.

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