Try a Session of Yoga at Roger Williams Park

Practice your favorite poses and find your inner Zen surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Before the Yoga in the Park class begins at Temple to Music in Roger Williams Park, I lay out my mat and begin my usual pre-class stretches: child’s pose, inversions, stretching out my arms and legs. I flip to lie on my back and notice the beauty of the Temple’s ceiling. It’s set atop several columns and features ornate details complete with a splash of peeling paint for added character. It’s clear to that this is not a traditional yoga experience and I’m excited for the departure from a class in a typical yoga studio.

“The Temple to Music is a really special place. It holds a lovely energy that creates the perfect blend of serenity and chaos which requires students to constantly check in with themselves,” says instructor Nikole McLeod. “I love encouraging students to feel the wind and sun on their skin and to become fully present in the moment. All of the sounds of the park are fun reminders to find your center, even through chaotic moments.”

The yoga classes at Temple to Music are held on Monday nights through September 16 and are free and open the public. They are presented by the Roger Williams Park Conservancy, an organization dedicated to offering programing throughout the park and ensuring the park’s atmosphere is continually maintained.

The Temple of Music ceiling. Photo by Molly Clark.

“Yoga in the Park was one of our most popular offerings last year, so we brought it back for an extended season in 2019,” says Megan Fischer, executive director of the conservancy. “Programs like Yoga in the Park also help us raise awareness of Roger Williams Park as a valuable community resource and encourage more people to use the park by using it in different ways.”

As the class begins, I find myself noticing things I wouldn’t otherwise notice in a yoga studio — the beauty of the scenery, the gentle caress of the breeze, the pitter patter of the light, on-and-off rain showers. All these elements are soothing and contribute to the meditative nature of my practice, allowing me to breathe deeper and hold my poses longer. And when the class nears its end and it’s time for savasana, I lay back and notice again the splendor of the ceiling above. Apparently I’m not the only one.

“Many students have commented that they love to keep their eyes open for mediation during savasana to gaze at the beautiful ceiling,” McLeod says.

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