An inaugural event Wednesday, June 21, showcased the extent of Cranbrook’s Yoga community with a public event, on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.
Yoga instructors from different studios in town took turns leading almost 70 participants through a series of sets on a balmy summer evening in Rotary Park.
“It’s interesting that it all falls on the same day,” said Chelsea Eisses, who operates The Inner Roar Yoga and Wellness Studio in Cranbrook. “June 21 — National Aboriginal Day, the Summer solstice — has now been coined International Day of Yoga. Events like this are held in a lot of major cities around the world. New York had a big one in Times Square [on Wednesday], Vancouver held events all over the city …”
Eisses invited other Yoga studios in town to take part. And going forward, Cranbrook can look forward to the summer solstice celebration of Yoga as an annual event.
“I was in Vancouver for a lot of years, so I got to participate in [mass public yoga events],” Eisses said. “Then when I was living in the Yukon for a couple of years, prior to moving back to Cranbrook, I got to teach in a few of them. And they were magical. It’s a unique way to connect community.”
Eisses thus reached out to other Yoga studios in town.
“We’re all running businesses. But we all have a gift to share. It’s business, but it’s more important that it’s community, that we’re able to serve the community.”
As well as Inner Roar Yoga, teachers included Krista Birch from Glow Yoga, two teachers from Cranbrook One Love Hot Yoga, the owner of Yoga I Am That, and a couple of “floating” yoga instructors who teach around town, Eisses said.
The event was organized it on the basis of 108, a sacred number in yoga philosophy. Thus each teacher was allotted 12 minutes to lead participants through their set.
“We wanted to find a division where we could all teach an equal amount, and showcase the fact that we’re all different that we all have something special to share,” Eisses said. “And it worked out really well. “
The event started a 6 p.m., and ended at 8:10 p.m., “slightly over time,” Eisses said. “Every teacher had 12 minutes to teach their set — but it took more like 15-17 minutes. Each teacher took time to introduce themselves and ground their people.”
The evening proved to be an intense workout. But it was by no means required to participate in all the sets, Eisses said. “It’s important to listen to your own body, and sit out a set if you don’t feel good. Do a couple, take a break, take a couple more. Some people are really taken by it, and feel the pulse of it and want to do all of them.
“But it felt really good to look out on the crowd and see people sitting, taking a moment.”
With almost 70 coming out to practice Yoga in the park, Eisses was pleased at the turnout, especially for an inaugural event.
“It was difficult to explain to people who hadn’t participated in one before what it would be like — even the teachers. But it really worked out well, and it bonded people. There’s no doubt we’ll do it again next year.”
The entire event was by donation. Eisses will be splitting those donations equally between the Cranbrook Women’s Centre and the Cranbrook Boys and Girls Club.