Orlando is known as “The City Beautiful” and at the center of the downtown district, you find Lake Eola. Lake Eola has been one of my favorite places in Orlando for years. It’s a round-ish lake, circled by a nearly mile long path and a greenish blue fountain as its centerpiece. The park is always alive with festivals, concerts, plays, farmer’s markets and more. There are art installations around the lake and the resident geese that greet all of the visitors. On Sunday I found one of the best, best, best things about Lake Eola: Yoga in the Park.
Yoga in the Park has been on my “to-do” list for months. Yesterday, Jenny and I finally made it. It was so worth the wait.
It was so much better than I could have ever expected. Our teacher started the class with gentle stretching. With each pose and each breath, I felt the tension in my body start to melt away. He told us to be kind to our bodies and embrace ourselves the way we would a loved one who needed a hug. We stood under the shade of a giant oak tree that kept the sun off our backs as our instructor guided us through an hour of yoga. There was an uncharacteristically cool breeze that carried us through the 90+ degree heat. We took deep gulps of fresh air and I felt the park pulse with the collective energy of 100-ish yogis.
As we laid on our mats in savasana, on a bed of wood chips, my eyes focused on a canopy of leaves above my head. It was electrifying. I felt connected, and not to my cell phone, to my inner self. I walked out of the park knowing that I would do my best to be back next week, and the week after that.
Prana is a Sanskrit word that describes the energy that makes up life. Every day, you should do something to feed your prana, or your life force. Doing yoga feeds my soul and makes my body stronger. It challenges me and it shifts my perspective. I rewarded my body’s hard work with my favorite smoothie, a take on the aptly named prana smoothie from The Juicery….