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REPOST - Friendship Botanic Gardens

Written by Carly Kwiecien

Summertime is here, folks, which means it’s the season to relish in moments of relaxation and serenity. Come stretch away the worries of the day and welcome nature’s energy into your body, mind, and spirit.

Yoga instructors April Fallon and Page Rumer are hosting Yoga in the Garden this summer on the grounds of Friendship Botanic Gardens. Don’t worry – there’s still time to find your yoga mat – no need to practice beforehand! Students can unroll mats in the grass or on a platform in an area of the Gardens that overlooks a small lake, flora and fauna.  

Fallon has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and began teaching two years ago after completing a 200-hour teacher training immersion at Asheville Yoga Center in North Carolina. “It was a 3-week intensive in which studies and practices filled every day! It was an amazing experience,” she said.   

Yoga, an ascetic and spiritual discipline, includes elements of breath control, meditation and postures, and is a practice that connects both a state of mind and body. It is a process of self-discovery and leads to realization of oneself; it combines the essentials of balance, breathing techniques and flexibility.

“My favorite aspect of yoga is the way that I feel after practicing or teaching yoga! [I love the] vital energy and yet the sweet peace surrounding me. [When I do yoga], my body is alive, awake, mindful, and healthy. My spirit is lifted, and I see the good in folks – even challenging days are brighter,” Fallon said.

Yoga techniques allow for self-awareness, encourages self-care and can lead to the fostering of positive energy. This practice teaches us how important it is to allot even a mere 20 minutes each day just to bettering ourselves and takes us away from the presence of technology and the chaos one might face from day to day.

These classes are available to individuals at all levels in their spiritual and physical journey. “I've recently witnessed students who had never taken a class, and over several months of attending an all levels class they become remarkably stronger, and more importantly, confident in their strength,” Fallon said. “Personally, yoga has helped me navigate some very rough times. It has also given me clear vision during the best of times.”

It is an effective way to destress and focus on the disorganization one’s brain might be encountering; yoga’s long-term effects will improve both the mind and body in more than one way.

“Yoga teaches balance and conscious awareness throughout the best and worst life can dish out,” Fallon explained. “Balance and peace are critical to life in the 21st century.”

Yoga in the Garden classes with April are available Thursday mornings from June 7 to July 26 from 9-10 a.m. Classes with Page are on Sundays from June 3 to July 29 from 10-11 a.m. Each class offered is available for all levels. Enjoy a class surrounded by forest green shrubbery, plants and grass, as well as beautiful hues of flowers. Each class costs $10 (cash only). Instructors are paid directly. There is no entrance fee to the Gardens. Be sure to bring your own mat!

To begin, meet at the entrance cabin in the parking lot ten minutes before to be taken to the class’ designated location. After class, feel free to take a hike in one of the Garden’s many walking or hiking trails that wind throughout the entire Garden’s landscape.   

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