Namaste: Yoga offered in Excelsior Commons Park

Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center offers yoga classes in the Excelsior Commons. (Submitted photo)

From 4-5 p.m. on Thursdays, the Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center will host yoga classes in the Excelsior Commons. The classes will go until the end of August. They will be taught by different teachers and will feature different yoga styles, according to Nicole Lovald, the owner of the center.

People can check the class schedule online at spiritofthelakeyoga.com to see who is teaching and what classes are offered. Students must sign up online before attending because classes are limited to 25 students. The waiver and payments are completed online so everything is touch-free, Lovald said.

Drop-in class passes are available for $20. Packages and memberships are also available.

Social distancing of 6 feet will be enforced. When participants are talking with instructors they are asked to wear a mask. Attendees should bring their yoga mats. Classes will meet at the bandshell a few minutes before 4 p.m.

Online options

Spirit of the Lake also offers online classes. After surveying its students, about 50% said they wanted to continue with some kind of online classes in addition to face-to-face classes, Lovald said. The studio is looking at how to continue this for people who feel safer at home and aren’t ready to be out yet, she added.

“I think it’s just a part of our future now,” Lovald said.

People were initially opposed to the idea of online yoga. But, Lovald sees a shift in her and her students’ perspectives. She thought online classes would be too impersonal. Since they’ve been online, students have realized it’s their same teacher talking to them, who remembers who they are and their story, she said.

For Lovald’s 6 a.m. classes, her students love that they can just roll out of bed and do yoga, she said. They don’t have to get up and drive somewhere. It’s a good option for people who are immuno-compromised or don’t have time to drive to the studio, she said.

Classes in the Commons

There is still something to be said for meeting in person. People are ready to get together as long as they know it’s safe, Lovald said, adding that people are really happy to see one another.

“It was hard not to hug,” she said with a laugh.

There are challenges to shifting her business model so quickly over and over again, she said. Typically, running a business is strategic, with planning for the year ahead and watching trends. This has been a completely different way of doing things, she said.

Lovald says it’s hard for her to plan. Everything shifts and changes daily. The studio is taking safety very seriously, yet some of it is out of their control, she said. Weather for outdoor classes adds another layer of difficulty in planning.

Holding off on indoor classes

The Wellness Center has opened up for massages, but the yoga studio is yet to open for indoor classes. With the extra cleaning and responsibility, it doesn’t financially make sense, Lovald said. The studio is a small space so it would only be able to have five students per class due to reduced capacity requirements.

Positivity through yoga

People have been lonely and crave face-to face-connections, Lovald said. Students have told her that yoga has been a lifesaver for them through the pandemic. It’s something people can do for self-care. Their mat is a place to feel a sense of hope and process their emotions, she said.

“Just in general, the practice of yoga has been really life-giving to people during this really tough time,” she said.

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(Submitted photo)

Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center offers yoga classes in the Excelsior Commons.

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