There are plenty to choose from, each offering calming and restorative benefits as well as great views
By Mary Beth Roach
Yoga is a relaxing and meditative form of exercise and the scenic locations for yoga programs in several area parks this summer only enhance the calming and restorative benefits that yoga provide.
Along the shores of Oneida Lake, William Park is the site for two evening programs offered by the Cicero Youth Bureau, Parks and Recreation.
Titled Sunset Yoga, the sessions will be held on Tuesdays, July 13 through Aug. 17, and Wednesdays, July 14 through Aug. 18, from 7 to 8 p.m. Fees for the six-week sessions are $60 for residents of the town of Cicero and $70 for non-residents.
Pre-registration is required. There are no drop-ins or walk-ups.
They allow for 20 participants for each session, according to Linda Adams, recreation program director for the Cicero Youth Bureau, Parks and Recreation, and those slots fill up quickly.
She credits instructor, Allison Woznica, as one reason for the program’s popularity. She has built a following and people come back to her classes, Adams explained.
Also, it’s a good stress-releaser, she added.
“Pre-COVID, we needed ways to relax and reduce stress,” she said. “We still need ways to reduce stress and I think yoga is one of those programs that’s designed to help people to relax and recreate in a healthy way.”
To pre-register for the yoga classes, visit cicero.recdesk.com and click on Programs/Events. From the dropdown menu, select Program Registration. The classes are in the Fitness category.
The Syracuse Department of Parks and Recreation offers yoga programs at several parks in its system this summer, each one showcasing unique views of the Syracuse skyline in peaceful surroundings.
Registration is done by the individual class instead of an entire session. This allows people to visit different parks in the system.
“We’ve got such beautiful settings. I think people appreciate that. Classes have, over the years, introduced people to new parks or new sections of parks,” said Chris Abbott, recreation program director for the Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs.
Another advantage to these outdoor locations is the space they provide. Although the COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, there is enough area to have safe classes, he added.
Early weekend risers can enjoy watching the sun rise over Syracuse as they practice yoga from the deck of the Burnet Park Golf Course Clubhouse. The yoga classes are offered on Saturdays at 7:15 a.m. through July 24. The easiest access point for the clubhouse is at the intersection of Avery Avenue, Salisbury Road and Whittier Avenue.
The lily pond at Thornden Park is another placid spot for yoga. The program will be offered there on Sundays, from July 18 through Aug. 7, at 9 a.m. The pond is across from the well-known E.M. Mills Rose Garden at Thornden, with a small waterfall. The lily pond is immediately off the Ostrom Avenue entrance to Thornden Park, on the left-hand side; brick stairs lead up to the site.
Another picturesque locale is at Onondaga Park, where yoga classes will be held at the roundtop where the Mountain Goat Statue is located. These will be on Saturdays, from July 31 through August 28, at 9 a.m. From this spot, participants will be treated to a panoramic view of downtown Syracuse skyline, the Syracuse University area and the hills to the south of the city. The closest park entrance to the location is off Crossett Street.
The programs at Burnet, Onondaga and Thornden Park are $3 per class and pre-registration is required. Registration is available per class by visiting Syracuse.recdesk.com, click on Programs.
The yoga classes are listed at the end of the Fitness and Wellness Category. The website also has information on other wellness programs being offered.
For those who enjoy a sunrise over a more urban setting, Metro Fitness has partnered with the Syracuse Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs Department to offer a Wednesday yoga class at 7 a.m. at Clinton Square. This class will run from July 7 through 28 and is free of charge. This is walk-up only.
According to the Onondaga County Beaver Lake Nature Center website, the hatha yoga class being held outside the Visitor Center there this summer affords the opportunity to “connect ourselves with the beauty of nature all around is.”
The class will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Fridays, July 9 through Aug. 6. There is a fee, and registration is required. For more information, visit: www.onondagacountyparks.com/parks/beaver-lake-nature-center or call 315- 638-2519.