In an effort to provide experiences that break with the norm, Park City Yoga Adventures has adeptly combined up-dogs and namastes with all of the natural beauty our state has to offer. One such class, Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga, is particularly unique, in both location and content. The aquatic-adventure takes place in Heber’s Homestead Crater, a towering, 55-ft tall limestone mound with a natural geothermal spring smack dab in its center. It's a setting that is as striking as it is serene.
The water perpetually hovers around a balmy 96 degrees. What better spot for a yoga class?
SUP Yoga is a veritable lesson in balance.
What seems relatively doable on solid ground, such as standing on one foot, becomes infinitely more difficult when perched atop a shaky piece of styrofoam. But that’s also what is so inherently valuable about the class. It’s an activity where ego is best left behind and a prescient reminder that winning and losing are often one in the same (falling off the board only means taking a dip in the aforementioned hot spring).
And, while the class is certainly strenuous to start, a sense of calm and focus ultimately takes over, and relaxation begins to replace imbalance and uncertainty. Soon, less time is spent on the board and the class culminates in an exercise wherein you're almost entirely submerged in the warm, tranquil, mineral-rich water of the crater. It’s extremely calming and ensures sound sleep, smoother skin and--paddle board aside--a robust sense of balance.
We chatted with the creator of Park City Yoga Adventures, Julia Geisler, to learn more about what they offer and what makes it all so great:
What sparked the idea of SUP in the crater? I had seen paddleboard yoga in mostly beach towns and thought it fit in with our yoga adventure offerings. Considering we are in a mountain town, I wanted to find a place we could operate year round. A friend of mine suggested I go check out the Homestead Crater. I was blown away at the beauty and potential and proposed the idea to the owners. That was seven years ago and we feel lucky every time we get to hold a session in this amazing space. It's like no other yoga studio in the world!
Any benefits you've experienced as a result of this whole thing? What about your clients? We were featured in a book called "50 Water Adventures to do Before you Die"! Many of our guests have so much fun that they join us multiple times, bringing a new friend to share in the fun. Hiking or snowshoeing before adds an extra nature element to the experience - especially in the winter going from the cold snow to warm mineral water. This is yoga with a splash and is accessible to those who can't touch their toes, as well as experienced yogis. Number one question is, "I've never been on a paddleboard or done yoga--is this for me?" Our response is "Yes! But only if you're willing to have fun and get wet!"
What other good stuff does Park City Yoga Adventures have to offer? We offer hiking, snowshoeing, paddleboard, and silk Yoga Adventures year round in some of the most amazing locations in and around Park City, Utah.
Break down the PCYA philosophy for us: We are always looking for new ways to get people into nature to recreate via human powered means. We're advocates for these places we love to play and want to instill a sense of stewardship and treading lightly on the land with our guests. Our owner also directs a non-profit that speaks to this cause...the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SaltLakeClimbers.org).