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.
Michael Sutton has over 40 years experience teaching the principles and mechanics of mind/body connection through martial arts, yoga, and meditation. He is a yoga teacher, martial artist, and spiritual activist. He is also the founder and director of Rising Sun Yoga. His passion is helping others to discover their inherent individual greatness. A certified and registered Hatha and Iyengar-based yoga teacher and a karate instructor, he lives as holistically as he can - contemplating, meditating, visualizing, feeling, eating smartly, staying fit, practicing yoga, and having a healthy outlook. Michael believes that thoughts and their attendant feelings are more powerful than anything you put into, or let come out of, your Self. Those same thoughts and feelings create your beliefs.
He has had the opportunity to experience many injuries including torn ligaments and tendons, ripped muscles, broken bones, fractured ribs, sprains, strains, aches and pains, vertebral problems as a result of engaging in team sports, as well as kidney challenges. He finds the only benefit to having experienced these injuries is that he understands what others have experienced, can teach people how to move properly, help re-align and balance themselves, and assist them in regaining a healthy lifestyle. He is a proponent of functional movement and mobility and believes this can be achieved by minding the messages you receive.
Formerly a practicing herbalist, Iridologist, and health consultant, he learned to address issues holistically and has continued his education in key health related areas, conducting research through topic-related books and as a result, has had the privilege of helping many people. He also presents health-related topics to organizations and various groups alone and with his sister, Mary Ann Amschler, former RN and now holistic counselor.
For much of his life, he studied martial arts (for 33 years) before being introduced to yoga in 1999. During some of that time, he worked in the banking and software industries for 20 years.
Michael founded Rising Sun Yoga to help people change the(ir) paradigm, bring people together in community, and create a center for education in mind, body, and spirit. His classes can be slow and even, mindful and steady, or strong and flowing. Usually his classes are a combination of all of them giving you an opportunity to explore and stretch your boundaries. He is a Yoga Alliance (YA) e-RYT 500 hour certified yoga instructor.
He offers both group classes and private sessions. For private classes, he can be reached at Michael@RisingSunYoga.com or at 716.632.5802. He also offers therapeutic yoga for anyone with injuries or chronic conditions.
Michael has a daughter, Sydney, who is a YA 500 hour certified yoga instructor, adventure seeker, world traveller, ski instructor, and outdoor wilderness guide.