Anew twist on yoga classes on the Saanich Peninsula is a hit.
In December, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre paired with registered yoga instructor Deb Twemlow to offer a couple of trial yoga classes in the aquarium. Since then, the classes have become popular and provide a unique and relaxing setting, said Twemlow.
“We had found that a few other aquariums, mainly in the U.S., had been offering yoga classes,” she said. “So I researched it and we started the idea of offering a trial class at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. It’s turned out to be very popular, I think, because it’s a very relaxing and serene environment.”
Twemlow worked with the SODC’s Innovation Advancement Specialist Christina Smethurst to get the project off the ground, and Smethurst said the Centre is more than happy to be offering innovative uses for the space.
“The aquarium is a great place to take yoga because it’s a totally unique experience. Where else on the Peninsula can you do a goddess pose within two feet of a Giant Pacific Octopus without getting wet?”
Twemlow said she regularly has around 15 participants with space for about 25. She also noted when she asked participants what they were enjoying about the class they all had different answers.
“After the first couple of weeks I asked class members what they were focusing on while we were going through the poses. In a normal class, it a pretty static environment and people are often focused on a wall or on the instructor,” she explained. “Everyone in the class at the aquarium said they were focused on different things. Some said they were looking at fish, others at sea stars and some said they were focusing on the projection screens and tuning into the whale songs being played in the background. It’s a very unique atmosphere, and personally I’ve found it to be a great place to find my breath.”
Participants in the classes — which will run Sunday mornings through the rest of February — are required to bring their own mats and water bottles and Twemlow also recommends dressing in layers. The class is strength building yoga flow and Twemlow said it’s suited for almost any ability level and no previous yoga experience is required.
“Just come open minded, ready to learn and be a part of something unique,” she said.
The current session ends in a couple of weeks but yoga classes will be back in April and May after spring break. The plan is to have classes on Sundays and one evening during the week.
“We know that Sunday mornings aren’t a great time for everyone so we want to be able to provide a class on an evening during the week,” Smethhurst said.
She added people who are interested can keep up to date on the scheduling through the SODC’s website and Facebook page at www.oceandiscovery.ca
Current classes run Sundays until Feb. 24 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and pre-registration is recommended in order to guarantee your spot.
Call 250-665-7511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is a flat rate of $10 for annual pass holders and $15 for non-pass holders.