The time of year when we really appreciate Arizona weather is upon us, as is Yoga Rocks the Park. The event returns Sunday, February 23, with its third annual five-week celebration of yoga, music, giving, and getting outdoors (before we all collectively hibernate).
The 75-minute all-levels flow classes will start at 2 p.m. at Steele Indian School Park, and incorporate live music from local artists, including DJ Drez, Reynaldo Moreno and H3lla. In addition to the all-levels class there will be a Yoga Rocks the Park Kids Camp, so there's no need to worry about finding a sitter to get your savasana on.
The event takes place on Sundays from February 23 through March 30, with the exception of March 23. Tickets are $12 and available online, which is a recommended option to save you time in the registration process on day of the event. March 9 is YRP's Free Day, sponsored by Spirit of Yoga at The Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA).
Every week will feature a pair of local, well-known yoga instructors. Opening day features husband-and-wife duo Max and Lisa Cohen, followed the next week by Anton Mackey with Desiree Lapre, then Mary Bruce with Will Glass, Alex Austin with Jenn Chiarelli, and Rebecca Lammersen with Tara Martell closing out the event.
Mackey, who has taught at the event every year so far, says he loves co-teaching, especially with Lapre, because they have similar styles but a different energy on how they deliver.
"The students get a real balanced experience," Mackey says. "Plus her and I do a lot of event together, from our handstand workshops to our yoga retreats, so we have fun teaching together."
Originally started in Denver, Colorado, seven years ago, YRP is now in more than 20 cities in the U.S.
Kristina Krump, Phoenix's YRP event director since its arrival three years ago, says she feels incredibly lucky every day to share and take part in the beauty that is Phoenix's yoga community.
"Yoga Rocks the Park allows everyone in the community the opportunity to come together," Krump says. "It doesn't matter if you are just starting your yoga practice or have been on the journey for decades. We learn from one another; we laugh and dance together; we share a collective, loving vibe."
This year's designated non-profit is The Shine Project, whose mission is to improve the lives of at-risk youth through service, education, and family involvement. A portion of YRP's ticket sales will go to support the organization.
Krump says that, although YRP has expanded into many more cities over the years, its fundamentals and goals haven't changed.
"Yoga Rocks the Park is an event created to bring [us] together to celebrate community, to play, to bring light to local causes and to engage with local business," she says.
Krump emphasizes that the event is truly for everyone and that there are many first-timers who attend the event along with experienced practitioners, all practicing side by side together.
Mackey echoes that sentiment, saying that he feels like this event really brings the community together and is a great opportunity for beginners to experience a class from well-known, local teachers.
YRP offers kids' yoga classes, provided by Meg at Lil' Yogis At Play, for children ages 3 to 10. While YRP offers Kids Camp during the regular flow class, kids are welcome to practice with main class as well. Kids Camp tickets are $10 or $14 for a two-pack.
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The all-levels flow class start at 2 p.m. (kids class starts at 1:50 p.m.), and registration opens at 1 p.m. Krump advises arriving early to mingle with friends and visit the vendors.
"Yoga Rocks the Park is a venue for us to connect to our highest potential as a community," says Krump. "To collaborate, connect, to give and receive. It is my honor and privilege to have brought this event to Phoenix and to serve our community by holding the space for us all to shine!"
For more information, visit Yoga Rocks the Park's website.