Yoga on the lawn brings fitness into the real world

Mimi Smith leads yoga practice under a large oak treeMore than 15 people gathered near Carole Chapel on Wednesday afternoon for the first ever Yoga on the Lawn event.

Organized by the Washburn Student Recreation and Wellness Center, which offers a yoga class in its multipurpose room every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:10 to 12:50, the event was the brainchild of Mimi Smith.

The long-time yoga instructor, who teaches at the SRWC, said practicing yoga outdoors is a wonderful thing.

“The wisdom of yoga is to be one with the universe,” she said. “So, when you’re outside, you’re even more beautifully connected to this amazing world we live in.”

Two more outdoor sessions are planned. Mats are provided and on-site registration, including a Washburn identification number and the standard SRWC participation waiver, is required.

Ben Marx, assistant director of fitness and wellness at the SRWC, said he was excited when Smith suggested an outdoor class.

After lugging a cart full of yoga mats up the hill to Carole Chapel from the SRWC, Marx said “it gives us a more real-world application for activities.”

Part of the SRWC’s mission is to help students, faculty and staff experience fitness and wellness in their daily lives.

“Fitness and wellness are not secluded to a facility such as the SRWC,” Marx said.

Smith situated the class under a large oak tree. In the SRWC multipurpose room she plays music during the class. "Today," she said, "nature is our music." Birds, and the Memorial Union chiller, along with a light breeze replaced the sounds of sitar or flute.

All Washburn students are automatically members of the SRWC. Faculty and staff can pay a small monthly fee to participate, which can be covered in part by completion of Tier One of the Employee Wellness Program. Contact the SRWC for more information.

Plan to attend

There are two more Yoga on the Lawn sessions planned. Both will begin at 12:10 p.m. near Carole Chapel.