Yoga on the RocksThere’s something about time spent outside that quiets our minds, something that's even more important of late. Spending time meditating, taking a wellness-focused walk or doing yoga outside only adds to the relaxation component. Here are some ways take a break from our noisy lives and soak up nature while practicing self care.

Nature as therapy

Want to feel better and less stressed? Head outdoors. Join trained Master Naturalists to explore how time spent in outdoor spaces can positively affect both your mental and physical health. Spend time at one of the Natural Areas in and around Fort Collins and take advantage of free, wellness-focused programming, including “Forest Therapy,” “Mindfulness in Natural Areas” and “Wellness Walks” along the Poudre River. Visit the Natural Areas Explorer publication for more information.

Yoga near Red Feather Lakes

Red Feather Lakes, located an hours drive northwest of Fort Collins, is a secluded spot that’s less populated than many Colorado outdoor destinations. Surrounded by 612,000 acres of Roosevelt National Forest, the Red Feathers Lake area is a year-round outdoor playground and the perfect setting for a relaxing yoga class. Enter Red Feather Yoga. Located on the idyllic 140-acre Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Red Feather Yoga invites attendees to experience an outdoor yoga class in a range of styles, including Vinyasa (Sundays from 9 to 10 a.m.), Hatha (Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m.) and Yin (Mondays from 7 to 8 p.m.) Day passes are $16 and five-class punch passes are $60. Visit www.redfeatheryoga.com/yogaclassinfo for details.

Yoga and Tai Chi in The Gardens

The Gardens on Spring Creek is hosting yoga (adult and family) and tai chi classes in The Gardens Saturdays this summer. Embrace the beauty and peace of the beautiful botanic gardens during the series. The adult classes are suitable for all skill levels and are led by a Family Balance Yoga instructor. Participants are asked to please wear a mask and comfortable clothing that they can easily move in as well as provide their own mats, water bottles, sunscreen and any necessary props. Masks will not need to be worn during practice. Participants will have room for appropriate social distancing in our outdoor garden setting. Adult yoga classes take place select Saturdays (July 11, 25, Aug. 8, 22 and 29) from 9:15 to 10 a.m. Cost is $15.

Family Yoga is the perfect opportunity for children and adults to practice yoga together!  During the class, learn to meditate, create poses, flow through yoga postures and partner poses and play fun yoga games. This is the perfect class for all levels of experience and will be best enjoyed by children age 4 and up and their caregivers. As a child and caregiver class, parents must accompany their children. Family yoga classes take place select Saturdays (July 18, Aug. 1, Aug. 15) from 9:15 to 10 p.m. Adults are $15 and children are $12. Members receive 10 percent off class fees.  The cost includes both the yoga class and admission to The Gardens and the Butterfly House. 

Tai Chi, often called meditation in motion, is a traditional Chinese practice that benefits the heart, bones, nerves, muscles, immune system and the mind. Local Tai Chi practitioner and instructor, Min Fan, will teach the outdoor Tai Chi in The Gardens, suitable for all levels. Participants are asked to please wear a mask and comfortable clothing that they can easily move in. Masks will not need to be worn during practice. Participants will have room for appropriate social distancing in our outdoor garden setting. Classes are subject to cancellation if there is inclement weather. Tai Chi classes take place Saturdays in July and Aug. (July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29) from 8 to 9 a.m. The cost is $15 per person.

Visit https://www.fcgov.com/gardens/yoga to register for any of the classes.