Home Life Start your autumn by falling into yoga

Start your autumn by falling into yoga

by Kelsey Litwin October 6, 2015
Start your autumn by falling into yoga

Improve your flexibility on a hidden courtyard terrasse with Yoga Vieux Montreal

As we enter the season where we layer our clothes before stepping out the door, you might think the season for outdoor workouts is over. The team behind Yoga Vieux Montreal politely disagrees.

Montrealers can still enjoy a nice workout on a terrasse as the fall begins.

Montrealers can still enjoy a nice workout on a terrasse as the fall begins. Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

In collaboration with Restaurant L’Autre Version, the new studio aims to get Montrealers out and moving before the cold sets in with their Fall Into Yoga series. Throughout the month of October, the hidden courtyard terrace behind the Old Montreal restaurant will become an oasis for those seeking a little movement. In a session open to the media on Sept. 29, The Concordian got a taste of the intimate yoga class that included a vegetarian lunch.

A vegetarian meal is offered after the sessions for all participants. Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

A vegetarian meal is offered after the sessions for all participants. Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

While the humidity resembled the atmosphere of a typical hot yoga class as opposed to a refreshing fall day, the private, vine-covered courtyard definitely was not the setting you would expect for a yoga class. Nor was it what you would expect from an urban yoga practice. It falls somewhere in between that warm-toned mirrored room that has a hint of incense in the air and the bustling city park with yoga mats set up haphazardly on the grass.

It was only when you looked up and noticed the distinct restaurant-style patio umbrellas that you’d remember there were diners enjoying their lunch on the other side of the terrace.

The half-hour Vinyasa Flow is a beginner-friendly introduction to the world of yoga, perfect for those who are intimidated by a room full of a Lululemon-clad yogis. Yoga director Tanya Dawe made all feel welcome and comfortable. Her experience came across as she made her way around the mats, providing corrections as the group moved through different postures.

She quickly addressed the inherent distractions of practicing outdoors with a tale of six-inch centipedes crawling over mats during a class in Hawaii. “Luckily, we don’t have those here,” she laughed.

Participants get to enjoy refreshing cider after a nice workout. Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

Participants get to enjoy refreshing cider after a nice workout. Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

While centipedes might not make an appearance on your mat, dirt certainly will. You’d be impressed with how quickly a yoga mat can attract little flecks of dirt on a cement surface. This might be something to keep in mind before dressing yourself in your favourite workout gear, which Dawe spoke of in passing as we enjoyed our lunch. “It can be more casual,” she said. “You don’t need to be wearing tights.” The goal is to make individuals of all skill levels feel comfortable, no matter if this is your workout for the week or a quick physical activity fix during your lunch break.

As we rolled out of the final resting pose of savasana, it seemed as though we had barely touched the surface of a typical yoga practice. Dawe exclaimed, “this was the shortest class ever!” Just long enough to feel your muscles begin to warm and open up, the group agreed that this short and sweet class was a great afternoon pick-me-up. Participants are treated to a gourmet vegetarian meal with cider included in the price of the class. A definite ‘treat yo self.’

For information on the Fall Into Yoga series, visit yogavieuxmontreal.com.

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