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HEALTHY LIVING: Moonlit yoga at Castle Craig in Meriden

HEALTHY LIVING: Moonlit yoga at Castle Craig in Meriden

This summer Bhogah Yoga in Meriden partnered with Meriden Parks and Recreation to host outdoor yoga events at city parks. This past Friday, I attended the last moonlit yoga event at Castle Craig. Meriden Parks and Recreation opened the gates to the castle in the evening for the third and final session this season. 

Yoga classes led by Bhogah Yoga owner Brianne Barrett, and her certified instructors, in partnership with the city, also include sunset yoga at Giufrrida Park and family yoga on the Meriden Green, which continues into October.

The East Peak of the Hanging Hills is home to Castle Craig. Visitors can climb to the top for panoramic viewing before and after the class. Castle Craig can be accessed through a roadway that begins at the base of Hubbard Park in Meriden. It is open to the public during the week from 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Experienced yogis and those who have never practiced before are welcome to attend the outdoor yoga events.

At the beginning of the final moonlit yoga class, Barrett asked those who were new to yoga to raise their hands so she could accommodate them. She offered modifications for every pose and made her way around the group to adjust attendees’ posture as needed.

Attendees were encouraged to double-up on mats to protect their backs and knees. Barrett said for these events, she usually packs a few extra mats. Protective, layered, athletic clothes are ideal because they provide warmth once the sun sets and prevent bug bites.  

The slope of the mountain gave attendees the opportunity to perfect their balance. Barrett instructed us to set expectations for our practice and be gentle with ourselves. 

She said to breathe deeply as we focused on the present moment. 

Creating community is one of her main missions in teaching yoga, Barrett said. 

“The breath I breathe out is the same breath you breathe in” she said. 

Barrett instructed attendees to introduce themselves to their neighbors and pair up for a partner pose. We pressed our palms together and linked arms as Barrett guided us to gently pull at each other’s arms for a back stretch.

Practicing yoga in the dark presented a unique set of challenges. As the natural light faded it became even more important to listen to Barrett’s voice as she instructed us to transition from one pose to the next. 

Friends Natasha Lacroix of Middletown and Yvonne Rodriguez of Meriden attended the moonlit yoga event together. Rodriguez had been to Bhogah Yoga outdoor events in the past and encouraged Lacroix to join her.

Lacroix said she had never been up to Castle Craig before.

“It’s so beautiful up here” said Lacroix.

For more information about Meriden Parks and Recreation events visit: https://meridenct.myrec.com/info/activities/default.aspx?type=activities.

To learn more about Bhogah yoga visit: https://www.facebook.com/bhogahyoga/.

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris– https://dearfitkris.com/

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