By Isabella Sorresso
As busy as our day-to-day lives get, we could all use some rest and relaxation. What better way to do that than with some alternative yoga? According to the Yoga Alliance, yoga is, “a comprehensive system for wellbeing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and is a well-known system of postures and breathing techniques to raise quality of life in diverse areas such as fitness, stress relief, wellness, vitality, mental clarity, healing, peace of mind and spiritual growth.”
Whether you are a full-blown yogi or a casual admirer who wants to try something new, alternative yoga may be of interest to you. Alternative yoga incorporates traditional yoga focused on postures and breathing but has a Westernized twist. It adds something odd or unique to the mix that will have an added benefit to the body, mind or both. Several of these types of alternative yogas are even offered right here in Alachua County!
You do not have to be in the circus to fly through the air. Aerial yoga is popping up everywhere, and Gainesville is no exception. Flow Space, Gainesville Circus Center and even the University of Florida’s Student Recreation centers offer aerial yoga classes. This type of yoga uses aerial silks and hammocks to stretch and lengthen your muscles in a low-impact exercise to help decompress your bones.
This type is perfect for fans of trap music who would rather listen to music that hypes them up while working out instead of the calming music associated with most yoga classes. Bodeology holds a trap yoga class, which according to their website is where, “rebel Yogis can enjoy a fun, energetic Vinyasa flow set to trap and hip-hop beats.” In trap yoga classes, you synchronize breath with movements like in traditional yoga but the class is bit faster paced to match the music.
We saved the craziest type of yoga offered in Alachua County for last: baby goat yoga. Baby goat yoga is an occasional yoga class offered by Zen Yoga at Five Hammocks Farm in Alachua and Sanctuary Yoga at Black Prong Equestrian Center. While you find your inner peace, the goats roam around you, perhaps even climbing on top of you as you hold certain poses! Though this type of yoga may seem silly, it incorporates both the healing powers of yoga with animal therapy to leave you feeling happy and refreshed.
Alternate Yoga Locations
If alternative yoga is not for you but you still want to shake up your routine a little, try getting out of your traditional yoga studio and attend a class in a new location.
Cypress & Grove holds brewery yoga at their establishment every Wednesday evening taught by YogaPod. First Magnitude Brewing Company offers yoga on Sundays with rotating studios and instructors teaching the course. Be sure to bring a yoga mat, towel and a friend to have a drink with once you are done!
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Flow Space yoga studio partners with Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park the first Saturday of each month to bring you “Yoga at the Hopper.” It is a morning of free beginners yoga with the scenery of a beautiful state park. Afterward you can stick around and explore the sinkhole, waterfalls and gorgeous nature trails throughout the park.