Yoga in the Park
Come salute the sun, experience the grass beneath your feet, the sweet air of the morning, the sound of the Falls, a canopy of trees, birds singing and ducks meandering, and maybe a little sweat.
The haven of the outdoors coupled with an intelligent sequence of strength and flexibility makes for one incredibly beautiful morning!
A Community class which welcomes all levels and is offered at $10 or a class pass.
Where : At Glen Park
Directions to Park: located in Williamsville, 14221
Main St to Mill St. Left at Glen Ave. Park in any of the two parking lots. Walk towards Glen Falls. We practice on the grassy knoll next to the falls.
Sheridan Dr to Mill St. Right at Glen Ave. Park in any of the two parking lots. Walk towards Glen Falls
Inclement Weather: if the temp is below 60° or it is raining, class will be at the studio.
Top 10 Reasons to Practice Yoga Outdoors
- Being outside. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, you have got to take advantage of the opportunity to get outside and blow the stink off. Seriously, any chance you can get outside for any activity between May and the first freeze have got to be taken advantage of. ’Nuff said.
- Amazing views. How cool is it to do a spread-legged forward fold and then, when you twist to the side, see a beautiful blue sky or the green leaves of a tree flapping in the wind? This is the view I had today during this very pose.
- Challenge. Anyone can practice inside but not everyone can practice with their feet in the sand, on grass, or on rocks. The ground might be uneven, an ant might crawl across your mat, or the sun may be shining in your eyes, but that is what makes outdoor practice so rewarding. You get to go outside your normal routine, feel the earth beneath your feet, and make playful adjustments to your asanas.
- The music comes courtesy of chirping birds, flowing wind, and the fall of water cascading down. I couldn’t put together a better playlist if I tried. Close your eyes to the sublime.
- Special effects. You may get the unexpected delight of seeing a pelican land in the stream, an egret soaring through the sky, or ducks waddling only a few feet (inches) from you.
- Growing your practice. Said special effects in #5 can also provide extra challenges in staying mindful and present. Yesterday, while practicing near the falls, I saw the ducks come waddling towards us...mom, dad, little ones all coming over to check out these strange animals on mats. I had to set those thoughts aside, resisting the urge to stop and stare, and get back to focusing on remaining present. Surely, this has to be good for building mental strength and clarity in my practice
- Sunshine. There’s just something special about doing a sun salutation when you can reach your arms up and truly salute the sun.
- Wind. Sometimes an outdoor yoga class can feel like hot/warm yoga. It can get a little toasty out there, but this is Buffalo, so we get our fair share of cool wind brushing across our faces.
- Incredible inversions. Getting into a handstand always feels pretty damn good, but when you get to do one and see the ducks and geese walk by, the pose takes on a whole new dimension.
- Postpractice curriculum. Once your practice is complete, the postgame activity choices are pretty cool. A favorite is a walking meditation, a hike, or sitting with your eyes closed meditating near the Falls. Letting the sounds of nature envelop you...provides an excellent way to seal in your practice.
Yoga has been part of Tara’s life for close to 30 years. She grew up as a dancer, specializing in ballet throughout high school. She went on to get her BA in Dance Teaching at the University at Buffalo. That was where she first experienced yoga-like movement and meditation. Guided meditation was a regular part of her modern dance and acting classes. She was re-introduced to yoga again in the form of some of the physical therapy exercises she was given when she returned from performing at Tokyo Disneyland with a knee injury. When her two boys were young, she started taking formal yoga classes at a local gym and eventually at a number of local yoga studios. Around this time, she started incorporating guided meditations into her boy’s lives to help them relax and go to sleep at night.
Yoga was the form of exercise and therapy she returned to again and again whenever she experienced injuries as a dog trainer, as a practitioner of Karate, and after getting injured in a car accident.
When the opportunity arose to take a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training course in October 2016, the timing was optimal and it just seemed serendipitous. She had been incorporating aspects of yoga into her ballet and karate teachings for years. Tara’s goals in teaching yoga are to help others find peace, overcome physical obstacles, and find a method to heal their minds and bodies, as she has.
Tara is currently employed at the Williamsville Central School District business office. She teaches ballet at Karyn Kelly Dance Center and Isshin-Ryu Karate at WNY Karate Center. She is an RYT-200 trained yoga teacher with a BA in Dance Teaching from the University at Buffalo. She has taught ballet since she was a teenager, performed at Tokyo Disneyland, trained dogs for 12 years, and is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor in Isshin-Ryu Karate.