Focus mind and body with yoga on the Green
Published: Friday, August 31, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 02:08
With the backdrop of the Houston skyline and the quiet oasis of Discovery Green Park as the venue, Tuesday night yoga classes offer Houstonians a relaxing way to end a busy workday. Core Focused Yoga classes at Discovery Green are every Tuesday night from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the Anheuser-Busch Stage. The classes are free and open to the public, as part of Discovery Green’s Healthy Living Series, an initiative organized by the park’s Programming & Communications staff.
Though classes begin at 6:30 p.m., the atmosphere is relaxed and casual with people coming and leaving according to their own time constraints. Fortunate park-goers spontaneously drop in when they happen upon the class, and people walking to or from work may stop by for only some or all of the exercises. The instructor leads by example and microphone. She stands at the very center of the stage, watching and correcting participants’ poses while engaging in the motions herself.
Elizabeth Swim, who served as instructor this past Tuesday, offered enthusiasm and meditative advice to an eager group of both experienced yogis and those new to the practice. Swim specializes in yoga, sound-healing and mind-body movement. A music teacher by day, she teaches yoga on Saturdays at Studio NiaMoves in the Heights in addition to the Tuesday night classes at Discovery Green. The smile which was spread across her face and the hugs and thank-yous exchanged with participants after class impressed upon all those who attended how impactful the classes are for the community and how rewarding the experience of yoga is for both student and instructor.
“I love it here,” Swim said. “Teaching music is my day job and this is what I get to do on nights and weekends.”
People of all ages and genders were in attendance, from older couples to middleaged women and other young students. Amber Berchiatti, a middle-aged woman with a mat next to mine, came after she found the information on the class on Discovery Green’s website.
“It’s actually my first time,” Berchiatti said. “I was trying to find yoga classes that weren’t a huge time commitment and were close by.”
Kelly Nichols sat on a mat to my right and was also there for her first class. Like Berchiatti, she had also found out about the class online and was excited to have a yoga class without having to commit to buying a package somewhere or having to pay for classes she wasn’t sure she would like at an expensive studio.
“This is awesome,” Nichols said. “It’s free.”
Both Nichols and Berchiatti said they are going to start coming regularly. However, both noted the need to arrive earlier next time.
“Parking was difficult,” Berchiatti said. “I am going to try and get here on timenextweek.”