Paddle into Yoga puts participants on the water

Heather Leo on her paddle board practicing yoga. (Submitted photo)
Heather Leo on her paddle board practicing yoga. (Submitted photo)

By Alec Johnson

If someone is searching for a challenging workout, then Paddle into Yoga may be the one for them.

The class, which is being offered by Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation at Central Park Lagoon, combines paddle boarding and yoga. Taught by a local yoga instructor, Heather Leo, once a person has the basics of stand-up paddle-boarding down, then it advances into vinyasa, or flow yoga.

“It really takes the typical yoga class onto water, so to speak, and within a natural setting with the entire Central Park surrounding you,” said Lindsay Labas, Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation marketing director. The idea for the program came about due to recent trends in the fitness community, and being innovative and creative with the fitness programs, according to Labas. She reached out to Leo, who owns a yoga studio in Carmel, and both thought it would be a good idea to offer to the public. It’s now in its second summer.

“I know on Instagram a lot of yoga enthusiasts post pictures of them doing yoga poses in all of these interesting locations, and I think it follows that trend just bringing a typical class that typically takes place inside into the outdoors and really welcoming nature into everything that they’re doing fitness and recreation wise,” Labas said. Leo, who has been teaching yoga since 2006, says that once she started taking yoga classes 16 years ago, she wanted to be a teacher, and gets joy out of helping people.

“Having less fear in their lives, and being able to just relax for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, whatever time we have together. That’s what keeps it going for me,” Leo said.

Sessions take place for four weeks, and the next four week session will be on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. starting July 7 and running through July 28. The equipment is provided, and the cost is $110.


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