Last Tuesday, instead of rolling out of bed and onto my little porch to practice, I packed up my tape recorder and my clipboard like I always do.
Then I rolled up my yoga mat and headed to the Swan House lawn on the Atlanta History Center campus in Buckhead.
There, I was joined by nearly 100 fellow yogis in one of the most picturesque places I have ever practiced yoga.
The sun was beaming down but it was 9 a.m., early enough to avoid the infamous Atlanta summer scorcher.
The Swan House sat regally on the hill in front of us as we rolled out our mats in the spacious garden.
The teacher of the free class, Neda Honavar of Tough Love Yoga in Virginia-Highland, is a seasoned yogi but does not take herself too seriously.
“It’s okay to laugh in yoga,” she said, as we began our breathing techniques, or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit. Neda then led us into our “Asanas,” the physical postures.
After some warm-ups, we completed several rounds of sun salutations — a flowing series of poses — to warm up our joints and muscles.
Later, she instructed us to balance on one leg while extending the other out and up, and grab onto each other’s ankles for support.
Instantly, the garden filled with sounds of joy as we wobbled our way into decently balanced postures.
We made our way back onto our mats and finished our practice with crow pose, an arm balance posture which starts in a squat and ends with legs balancing on elbows.
By the time the relaxation part or “Shavasana” rolled around, we sprawled out in the grass with our palms turned toward the sky.
Completely content, I lay listening to the combination of singing birds and Neda’s eclectic yoga jams, allowing my body and mind to absorb the rejuvenating powers yoga never fails to provide.
What a morning: Practicing yoga in a beautiful place “to celebrate women,” which is what Loclly Production Coordinator Ainslee Marsden said these events are all about.
“We want to give back to the women of Atlanta,” Marsden said. “I don’t think there’s enough focus on women’s health in Atlanta.”
Loclly, lululemon athletica and Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead joined efforts to produce the event last Tuesday. Another will take place July 17 at Mason Murer Fine Art in Buckhead, with plans for a third in August and possibly more in the fall.
Combining my two life passions — journalism and yoga — is almost unbelievable to me.
But women coming together to share yoga and recognize the importance of women’s mental, physical and spiritual health is a dream come true.
“The light in me honors the light in you,” Neda bowed her head as she closed the class. “Namaste.”