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Namaste Awhile: Yoga Coming To Four Rivers



Photo for: Namaste Awhile: Yoga Coming To Four Rivers

Upcoming yoga programs will offer people a new way to connect with nature. (Photo via Shutterstock)

The calming and peaceful practice of yoga is coming to some of Will County's forest preserves, offering people an opportunity to connect with nature in a new way.  

"Happy Mornings Yoga & Hike" will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, July 25 and August 22, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. The program will give participants a chance to connect with nature in two different ways, with a 30- to 40-minute yoga session and a 30- to 40-minute hike, said Angela Rafac, an interpretive naturalist at Four Rivers.

"It's good to be with all the other living things, and remember we are a part of it and not separate from it," Rafac said.

Rafac is a certified yoga instructor and will lead both the hike and the yoga session. The first "Happy Mornings" program was held last month, and Rafac was pleased with how it went. But she said future programs will not necessarily be exactly the same because she'll customize both the yoga session and the hike based on the group participating as well as the weather. 

The hike will allow participants to experience nature in an active way, while the yoga session is a more passive way to experience the outdoors. Rafac said the yoga will be done at the Four Rivers Shelter, and participants will have a nice view of the water. 

Yoga can be done just about anywhere, but doing it outdoors allows people to be present in and connect with nature, said Sara Russell, an interpretive naturalist at Isle a la Cache. 

"There's nothing like really breathing in fresh air," Russell said. "There's something so centering about that."

"Happy Mornings" participants must be 18 or older, but previous experience with yoga is not required. The programs are open to people of all abilities, from beginner to advanced.

If you're not sure yoga is right for you but you'd like to enjoy the quiet solitude of nature, the forest preserve will also offer several "Nature Meditation" programs at Four Rivers. These programs are also for ages 18 or older, and will provide an opportunity to both silently meditate and quietly observe nature.

Upcoming yoga and meditation programs

Nature Meditation: 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Friday, July 19, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Registration required by Wednesday, July 17, by calling 815.722.9470 or online.

Happy Mornings Yoga & Hike: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 25, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Registration required by Monday, July 22, by calling 815.722.9470 or online.

Nature Meditation: 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Friday, August 2, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Registration required by Wednesday, July 31, by calling 815.722.9470 or online.

Happy Mornings Yoga & Hike: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 22, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Registration required by Monday, August 19, by calling 815.722.9470 or online.

Nature Meditation: 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Friday, September 6, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Registration required by Wednesday, September 4 by calling 815.722.9470 or online.

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