Amidst birdsong and the rumbling of cars, Kerry Lee teaches her first Rossland outdoor yoga class of the season at L’Ecole des Sept Sommets on Wednesday. Lee has been teaching yoga in the West Kootenays for over eight years, and has offered Yoga in the Park for six of those years.
Lee started the free classes in part because she liked the idea of practicing outdoors.
“It’s one thing to practice in an indoor environment when it’s really quiet, calm, serene, and you … get to drop into that really sweet place,” she says, “but ultimately yoga is this practice where we learn how to be calm and grounded even amongst distractions.”
Lee also wanted the classes to be as accessible as possible. She’s a student of Mary-Jo Fetterly, who was paralyzed in a skiing accident in 2004, and who taught Lee that “if you can breathe, you can do yoga.”
With Yoga in the Park, Lee seeks to draw out anyone who might be interested, even if they’ve never done yoga before and might be intimidated. She also didn’t want cost to be an obstacle.
“In order for people to come to a drop in class, I need to be paying the rent, so I need to charge,” says Lee. “The nice thing about this way is it becomes accessible for people who maybe their funds aren’t allowing them to participate.”
Participants are invited to donate what they can, with part of the proceeds going to the SPCA. Lee estimates that the donations to the SPCA total $400-$600 a year.
Yoga in the Park takes place every Monday in Warfield at Webster Elementary School from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and every Wednesday in Rossland at L’Ecole des Sept Sommets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Classes run until August 26.