SEATTLE YOGA IN THE PARK: GASWORKS
INTENTION: To take my mat (well, my boyfriend’s mat since he never uses it) to parks in the city and practice yoga.
MOTIVATION: My home practice is a mess. The kitchen is too close to my mat, and even turning my mobile devices on silent is not enough to deter me from wondering what’s new with them. My schedule doesn’t always allow me to go to yoga classes, so I need to find a way to get yoga-ing into my day.
WHY PARKS?: Spring and summer in Seattle is the stuff dreams are made of. Beautiful views, beautiful sounds, beautiful air, beautiful water, beautiful mountains, beautiful grass…it’s a different way of taking in the beauty. And a different way of practicing yoga–outside a studio, outside a gym. Parks are easy to access, and the presence of people encourages you to stay within your practice flow.
WHAT ELSE: I will record reflections of my experience in each place, and compile a list of the best parks in Seattle for personal yoga practice.
Gasworks is one of my favorite places in Seattle. It is so weird. Those big ugly gas things are somehow beautiful and fit perfectly into that landscape. I love looking across Lake Union at Gasworks because it looks like a little amusement park from a Tim Burton movie.
I went to Gasworks today because I needed to do yoga ASAP. I was upset. Earlier, I was reminded of the agony of being an introvert. I am not entirely comfortable with my status as an introvert. I deeply envy my extrovert friends and boyfriend and wish I had that whatever-it-is to be comfortable in my own skin around strangers. Thus, the theme for my practice.
I set up my mat on the concrete slab near the water. And that sucked for my sit bones and knees so I moved it to a goose-poop free patch of grass (that is one issue with Gasworks, being so close to the water, the geese love this spot as an eating and dumping ground). The grass was really nice, a perfect balance of soft and sturdy, it wasn’t clumpy or too long. I made it through meditation and pranayama with zero distraction, just the warm, occasionally breezy air around me and the sounds of swallows chirping nearby. This was the setting for most of my practice, it was truly amazing, but I did go at 1:25pm so I’m sure the scene on the weekends or after normal working hours would be different. There were some teenagers riding skateboards on the slab, but I blame myself for choosing an area so close to a perfect skateboarding venue. In the middle of my practice, I could see out of the corner of my eye, a man approaching me with a petition. I hoped he would see that I was IN THE ZONE and pass me by but he didn’t. He started to speak to me and I cut him off “I already signed that” and stepped into plank-chaturanga-cobra-downdog. Pretty rude of me but I was annoyed that he thought it OK to interrupt a woman in her yoga practice and that’s what came out.
While in svasana, one of those sea planes was gearing up to take off right next to Gasworks, so that wasn’t really ideal, but I still felt satisfied at the end.
Pros of Yoga at Gasworks:
- Tons of open space without tree shade
- Near the water with amazing view of Seattle skyline
- Great grass quality
- Generally peaceful on weekday afternoons
- Option to practice on hard or softer surface
Cons of Yoga at Gasworks:
- Goose poop everywhere
- Attracts many people, can be distracting
- Sea planes are loud
- Don’t practice on the big hill, that just wouldn’t work
I had a good practice as Gasworks, despite the intermittent interruption. The water provides a breeze that connected me to my gratitude for being able to practice outside today. Again, this was my one experience on this one day, every day and person is different.