Yoga aficionados will be able to show off their very best tree pose and downward dog stance at this year’s Spirit of the Sea Festival Aug. 4-5.
For the first time, the festival will be hosting Yoga on the Pier at White Rock Pier Aug. 5 at 5 p.m.
The healthy addition came after longtime Peninsula resident Julie Ward suggested the idea to the festival committee in July.
“I wanted an event that brought everyone in the community together, bringing a moment of just being present. I realized a yoga class on the pier would be perfect for that. And not just people with experience, it would be something for all people,” Ward said.
“I went to the Sea Festival committee and pitched the idea and everyone loved it. Next thing I knew, I was on the committee.”
The event, which is by donation, will be headed by Bikram yoga instructors Jai and Sandy Braithwaite and West Coast Hot Yoga instructor Tracy Sundbo, who will be at the ends of three lines on the pier on a podium, providing tips and encouragement to participants.
And it’s not just for yoga pros. Ward, a critical care nurse at Surrey Memorial Hospital who has been practicing yoga on and off for the last 14 years, said the event is the perfect way for beginners to try out the spiritual exercise in a fun and open environment.
“Yoga is amazing. Whenever I feel like I’m losing ground it brings me back to the present. And if people want to try it out, all they need is a mat or a towel,” Ward said. “We are going to have an opening prayer song and drums presented by the Semiahmoo First Nation to kick off the event, so we’re getting everyone from the community involved.”
On either side of the pier, there will be paddleboarders led by Sun Dog Adventure Sports and Training owner, Scott Robertson, who will be following along on the water.
The event could draw more than 800 people, Ward estimated.
Robertson, a longtime friend of Ward’s, said the healthy and active additions of yoga and paddleboarding to this year’s festival are ways to wake up the city and get residents to try something new.
“White Rock is a bit behind on the whole paddleboard thing. It’s really picked up all over the world, and I’m hoping we can bring it here,” Robertson said.
Yoga registration cards and brochures are available at Five Doors Down, 15047 Marine Dr.
For more information about the festival, visit http://spiritofthesea.ca/