On a recent Sunday afternoon at Pullman’s Lawson Gardens, four people met to soak in the atmosphere and do a 45-minute acroyoga partner routine.
Acroyoga is a type of yoga that combines traditional flows and poses with acrobatics. It often involves pair or group routines which involve lifting at least one person in the air.
The four on hand, all from Moscow or Pullman, were Lindsay Priebe, Amrah Canul, Caitlyn La Rue and Zachary Cartwright. They agree this style of yoga helps them feel connected to themselves, their partners and the world around them.
“I think it helps recenter you and bring balance to your life — to catch your breath and actually deal with what’s going on,” Cartwright said.
For more than two years, Cartwright, from Pullman, has been an instructor at Sanctuary Yoga, Barre and Dance in Pullman, where he teaches power and sculpt yoga classes.
Sanctuary is currently open and offering in-person classes at 50-percent capacity in compliance with Phase 3 of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 safe start plan, but the studio has found a way to work around that new normal by creating online course options.
Cartwright said virtual yoga classes are a good way for beginners to test the waters on their own time because they can do classes on their own time in their own homes. Sanctuary will even send out recordings of the classes to students for them to practice if they miss a class, he said.
La Rue, also from Pullman, works as the photographer for Sanctuary, where she also takes yoga classes regularly. She said yoga has helped her to feel grounded when the world gets loud.
“There are some other things you can do — like meditation — but that’s kind of intimidating for people to do on their own,” she said. “This is a good way to physically move your body and do meditation at the same time.”
One of her favorite things about taking classes at Sanctuary is that the instructors are welcoming to everybody, regardless of experience.
“The cool thing about yoga is when you go to a class, there are so many people of every different level,” she said. “You can do modififications to make it harder or easier and still have a really good practice — it’s one of the easiest ways to work out, even if you’re not in shape.”
Ellen Dennis is the news clerk at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. She can be reached at (208) 883-4632 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.