Posing in Pulaski Park

The local community is invited to participate in “Yoga by the River”

Star News | Lindsey Nolen

Just in time for the often stressful back-to-school season, the Delaware River City Corporation and the Breathing Room yoga studio invite local residents to grab their yoga mats and find zen in the grassy oval in Pulaski Park, located at 3001 E. Allegheny Ave., at their first-ever “Yoga by the River” event on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m.

According to Stephanie Bennett, the program manager at the Delaware River City Corporation, the DRCC works work closely with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to permit all of its events, and came up with the idea for this event since it already hosts a variety of fitness events, including 5Ks, bike rides, kayaking trips and more. Thus, it thought it would be a great idea to add an event focused more on mental and spiritual benefits, especially during this busy time of the year.

“I think that this event is so wonderful because it offers a truly unique experience and view of the city from the Delaware, giving residents a chance to become one with nature and reconnect to the river,” Bennett said. “Many people don’t realize that this calming, beautiful space is right in their backyard. We want to bring residents from surrounding neighborhoods to this hidden gem for a morning of deep breathing and a stunning view.”

With a shared goal of showing all participating residents that Pulaski Park is not just a park, nor an outdoor yoga studio, but rather a shared backyard (which is a major part of DRCC’s vision for the entire North Delaware Greenway and its park), the organizations have ensured all ages are welcome and no yoga experience is necessary to participate in Yoga by the River. Furthermore, if interested community members do not own a yoga mat, one will be available to borrow. However, attendees should remember to bring their own water bottle and sunscreen.

“At this event, [attendees will] spend a relaxing morning on a grassy terrace under, hopefully, blue skies,” Bennett said. “The Breathing Room’s inspirational Roe Pietropaula [with assistance by Annette Steinbrecher] will create a space where anyone can come and practice yoga at a slow pace, allowing time for self-discovery in the pose. Participants can expect to be pleasantly surprised by what they find on the river and within themselves.”

According to Pietropaula, poses (asana) will be beginner based with modifications for more advanced practitioners. She further explained the yoga poses will be accessible to all levels and will consist of seated poses, standing poses, some work on hands and knees and balancing postures for good measure.

“Practicing yoga outside brings us all back to our roots,” Pietropaula said. “Fresh air heightens our awareness, experiencing nature increases calming endorphins, changing your practice environment builds confidence by exposing us to new things and most importantly, practicing tree pose and saluting the sun in front of the real focal point is much more inspiring than focusing on a wall.”

Bennett noted the DRCC chose to work with the Breathing Room, located at 2926 Richmond St. in Port Richmond, on this event because it saw the studio fit since it is situated so close to the trail. Additionally, because the Breathing Room and Pulaski Park are only a few blocks apart, this gives the DRCC the opportunity to draw likeminded “yogis” to the trail, while simultaneously introducing some Breathing Room regulars to the parks and trails of the North Delaware Riverfront Greenway, and new faces to the Breathing Room.

“The Breathing Room is wonderful non-profit doing some amazing things in Port Richmond, so it was no brainer to partner with them,” Bennett said.

To sign up for the first-ever Yoga by the River event online, visit: https://portrichmondyoga.eventbrite.com, or register on the day of the event and pay via cash or check. The price is $5 donation, and an additional $5 donation is appreciated. Proceeds will go toward the development of the Breathing Room and the DRCC.

For more information about the event, call (215) 425–8350 or email info@drcc-phila.org. Visit drcc-phila.org to learn more about DRCC.