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Yoga, pilates and boot camp at twilight
Picture yourself — and dozens of people — seated cross-legged on a yoga mat and chanting Om as the sky darkens over Rocky Point Park in Port Moody.
It's a scene fitness instructors with the city's recreation complex hope to achieve as they kick off next week the first of three free exercise events to tie in with Port Moody's 100th year.
On Tuesday, Monique Roukema will lead Yoga in the Park, a gentle program that will start with a meditation to prepare for the hour-long, outdoor practice.
Participants will then "warm up" the spine with some seated postures — "allowing our breath to guide us through the movements," she said — before making way to the hands and knees and, eventually, standing postures for strength and balance.
Sun salutations, backbends and twists finish Roukema's set before long-time yoga instructor Ava Stone wraps up the session with 15 minutes of "stretches and chit chat. Anything to help you relax and slow down the day," Stone said.
The second free class of the "In the Park" series will be on Wednesday, May 22, with Lisa Porcellato guiding participants through pilates poses to build up the core. For her mat routine, the focus will be on abs, breathing 100s, single leg and roll ups, side leg series and back extensions.
And the final workout will be a boot camp on Tuesday, June 4, led by Kari Werner, that will include a warm-up, push-ups, burpees, lunges, squats, and core work.
The three sessions run from 7 to 8 p.m., and are suitable for participants of all ages and fitness levels (instructors will show modifications for each pose).
But while the classes sound exciting, especially with views overlooking the Burrard Inlet, Porcellato said they will be cancelled — and not rescheduled — if it rains (check the city's website on the day of the event for a notice).
The idea behind the Park programs, Porcellato said, is to get people off the couch, enjoy the natural scenery and see what kinds of exercise options the city has to offer.
"This is our way to give back to the community and to celebrate Port Moody's special year," said Porcellato, who like the other three instructors are volunteering their time for the Rocky Point Park series.
• Participants (age 13 and older) are asked to pre-register by calling the rec complex at 604-469-4556/4561 or logging into Sign Me Up at www.portmoody.ca. Bring a mat, towel, water and sweater; a donation to the Share food bank is encouraged. Refreshments by Cafe Divano will be served after each session.