Yoga in the Garden at Blithewold Mansion

Practice your down dogs with a sprawling green lawn and Narragansett Bay as the backdrop.

My favorite type of workout is the sixty-minute, fast-paced, get-your-blood-pumping kind. The type of class where you break a sweat within five minutes and a bottle of water is not nearly enough to quench your thirst.

As Rhode Island Monthly’s editor on all things health and wellness, it’s easy to say that I’ve done a lot of meditation sessions and have taken more yoga classes than I can count. And while I typically prefer something more active over a slower-paced session, yoga in the garden at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum is exactly what I needed on a Friday morning.

Life gets busy. Schedules become hectic. I was already feeling the effects of the summertime hustle being here, there and everywhere all at the same time. So, when I arrived at Blithewold on a mid-Friday morning, I was relieved to see a group of about fifteen women (in their mid-twenties to their eighties, if I had to guess), mats sprawled out on the grass beneath a canopy of trees near the gardens. I felt the morning dew on the ground as I slipped off my sneakers and socks, positioned my mat to face the beautiful views of Narragansett Bay and began poses while following Janet Johnson, yoga teacher at Bristol Yoga Studio.

Towards the end of class I laid on my mat and closed my eyes for just a moment. I could feel a warm summer breeze gently sweep across my face while the sound and smell of freshly cut grass filled the air. I opened my eyes as the sunlight began streaming through the trees offering a morning glow against the pale blue sky.

It was in this moment that I was brought back to the early days of my childhood, when I would spend hours outside on the hammock or laying in the grass, carefree, without any stress or cares in the world. And as quickly as that ‘this must be what Heaven is like’ moment passed, I was grateful for the hour-long yoga session on the serene grounds of Blithewold – Even for just a short part of my day I was forced to slow down, take a breather and calm my mind.

If that isn’t good for the soul, then I don’t know what is.



Yoga in the Garden begins at 9:30 a.m. every Friday morning through September at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum. This is a bring-your-own mat class and costs $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Check the Bristol Yoga Studio website beforehand for weather updates. In the event of bad weather, the class will be held at their studio. Click here to register.



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