I’ve attempted some weird moves on George Street over the years from breaking out the robot to leading the entire dancefloor into an impromptu “Macarena” dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” but one move I have never attempted (to my recollection) on the street or in one of its twenty-four bars is a downward dog. That all changed this past Saturday when I took my mat and joined some fellow yogis for Yoga on George.
The event, which coincided with the 33rd annual George Street Festival was a complimentary yoga class hosted by lululemon St. John’s who celebrated the grand opening of their store last year with a community yoga class right in the middle of George.
Before the event, I spoke to Laurabeth Power, an ambassador for lululemon and the instructor for Yoga on George. Laura has been practicing yoga since 2004 and started teaching four years later in 2009. Laurabeth is a busy woman that runs a freelance yoga business called LB Yoga, a non-profit called Soul Warrior Yoga for Youth and co-owns Ignite Wellness which runs retreats, wellness programs, and events.
I thought that George Street was an interesting venue choice for yoga and not generally the type of place you might associate with the over 5,000-year-old practice. Laurabeth said she likes the idea of reinventing public spaces to be “better, more accessible and inclusive”. “So, yoga on George was a challenge to do something different on a street that’s notoriously known for partying,” she said.
I’ve been practicing yoga (as an amateur) on and off (mostly off) for about five years and recently got back into it, making it a regular part of my workout routine. I was interested in what the yoga community in St. John’s looks like and according to Laurabeth, it is “vibrant and growing” and notes that there are “more yoga teachers in town than ever before” with new small yoga businesses popping up. “I think this is a great thing,” says Laurabeth. “The more people that are teaching yoga means that more people will also be practicing.”
I asked Laurabeth what I could expect from Yoga on George and she stated first that this was an all ages, all skill-levels class but did warn to be prepared to move. She said she was expecting “a huge community class bringing peace and wellness on historic George Street”. Last year’s event attracted nearly 400 people and Laurabeth hoped that this year closer to 1,000 people would fill the street with “positive energy and good intentions”.
There certainly was a lot of energy at Yoga on George as Laurabeth was full of energy and excitement as she led around seven hundred people through several yoga poses and flows. The band Green & Gold played live music as Laurabeth lead the class.
The event, which was supposed to start at 10:30, was running a bit late and so I, unfortunately, had to leave before it was all over because I had somewhere I needed to be at 12. My friend that attended with me said that she “kinda loved [it]” though which is great since when I left, Laurabeth had instructed people to hug and hold hands and my friend had no one around her.
From what I did get to partake in, I did enjoy even though some of it was a bit on the “hippy” side for me. That’s the thing about yoga though, so many different people come to practice it for different reasons. I like to do it for exercise while others do it for inner peace and good vibes. Yoga is what you make it and it is pretty cool to see so many different types of people coming together to practice, especially in such an unorthodox place like George Street.
If you’re interested in yoga, check out Laurabeth’s pages or any of the other yoga studios in the city and if practicing yoga in an outside and interesting location is your thing, check out Moksha’s Sunset Savasana on Signal Hill coming up on August 6th!