You might not peg us Pegs as yogis, but Mister and I have been posing for nearly a decade.
While we usually practice in a hot room, barely clothed, yesterday we went for a whole new experience: it was outdoors, it was -10 C without the windchill, and it was something that I'm relishing getting back to.
They are called Yoga Hikes, and they are guided by Winnipeg instructor Gwendolyn Penner, an affable lady who has brought a concept to Winnipeg that we're sure is going to flow with yogis and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
A group of us met Gwendolyn at Silver Springs Park, just outside the city. It was a crisp day, light snow, only a bit of wind. We began by making our way down to a small lake at the bottom of a small valley. The area was protected from any additional wind chill, with tree-lined paths that wound their way around the area.
The format went as follows: we'd walk to a plot, do some poses for about 10 minuets -- fairly basic stuff, a quick warrior two to sun warrior sequence, along with a round of eagle pose -- then continue our hike. In all, we did a full circle around the small lake with three stops for some yoga -- about 3 km over the course of an hour.
While the practice itself wouldn't be demanding for advanced yogis, the whole experience was extremely tranquil, with a nice light exercise in an enchanting sort of setting. There is something to be said about doing your yoga practice with a small group of people -- the slight sting of winter's cold on your face while the only sounds you hear are each other's breathing against the stillness of winter.
Oh wow, just look at me attempt to wax poetic about this, but I tell you yoga will do that to you.
Gwendolyn does several hikes in several locations, including Silver Springs -- the converted quarry that is now a nature park which we loved -- The Forks, and Kildonan Park. You can sign up online, with one class being $20, or you could buy an eight-session pass for $120.
And of course, this isn't just a winter thing, but for all you yogis out there I could not recommend it more to take your practice out to sub-zero temperatures. There was an added challenge of doing balancing poses in your winter boots, while grounding your feet on the uneven, snowy surface really worked the core.
I've done outdoor yoga before, and while I enjoy the feel of gripping the grass between my toes (which you'll be able to do on the summer yoga hikes), there is something about these winter sessions that will get your flow going despite the cold.
For more info on upcoming hikes check out the Yoga Hikes website.
Only in The Peg chronicles the adventures of the Peg family–Missus, Mister and Lil’ Peg–as they discover everything there is to see and do in Winnipeg. Follow them on Twitter at @tourismwpg or visit them on Facebook. For even more info on Winnipeg, visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com. Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to stay in the loop on the latest information, contests, and upcoming events!