Local garden center brings yoga back to nature

20 Oct

I don’t know much about yoga, but I have noticed one thing: unlike many other kinds of workouts, yoga can be done just about anywhere, at any time. I’ve seen it offered outdoors in parks, at breweries, and accompanied by pets like dogs and even goats. But Welch’s Greenhouses on Webster Rd. has come up with something I had never heard of before.

It’s called Yoga at the Greenhouse, and Welch’s hosts it every week. Classes are 60 to 90 minutes long and are designed for a variety of ability levels. Several experienced yoga teachers take turns leading the classes, which are held in … well, one of the garden center’s greenhouses.

The idea to host yoga classes first came to Welch’s staff member Brianna Kane, who wrote, “I love to practice yoga. … It had been a while since I’d been able to practice in a studio. Some coworkers and I were talking one day and thought that yoga would be a great way to utilize the vacant space that we have in the greenhouse.”

They held their first class in early September, to try it out and see if the idea might fly. Turns out it did much more than just fly; about 20 practitioners attended that first week. So plans were made and schedules were drawn up to hold regular classes.

I stopped by a class recently, because I really needed to check out this intriguing idea. Not being too familiar with either yoga or greenhouses, I was curious about what yoga in a greenhouse would actually look like. Would everyone be squeezed in between hay bales, farm tools and seedlings? Would it smell like fertilizer?

The greenhouse is constructed of heavy-duty white plastic, is 100 feet long and about 18 feet wide. When you walk in, it feels like you’re inside a big, quilted balloon. It was very spacious and almost completely empty. Despite its large size though, it was cozy, warm and welcoming. Even voices and sounds were softened. So basically, it was the perfect environment for self-reflection and self-healing. (And it didn’t smell even a little bit of fertilizer.)

Melissa Silva was leading that evening’s practice. She set up her mat at the far end of the greenhouse, and the seven participants spread out in front of her. She began class just as the sun started to set in the west, framed by the greenhouse’s rear entranceway, and casting late-afternoon rays off the trees and bushes beyond. As the darkness deepened, everything was delicately illuminated by a row of twinkly lights which ran the entire lengtn of the greenhouse.

All in all, it was an incredibly peaceful and relaxing enironment. Melissa herself summed it up best when she said, “I can’t imagine a better place to practice yoga.”

Brianna told me that Welch’s hopes to be able to continue the classes through the winter, at least until they start transplanting and need the space. But, she added, “it all depends on how well the greenhouses can stay heated and if it’s comfortable.”

For now, classes have been scheduled every Tuesday and Wednesday through October. In November classes will be held Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings. For details and schedule updates, including which teacher will be leading which classes, follow Welch’s Instagram feed at Theyogahouse_welchs. Cost is $15, which can be paid by cash or credit card upon arrival. Please bring your own water, mat and props. Pre-registration is requested by calling (585) 872-2668.

Welch’s Greenhouses is located at 1267 Webster Rd.

Here are some images from the evening I attended:

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4 Responses to “Local garden center brings yoga back to nature”

  1. Melissa October 20, 2021 at 8:38 am #

    Thank you for coming to check it out and helping spread the news of this offering! Hope to get you on the mat one of these days 🙂

  2. villagehandworks October 28, 2021 at 3:58 pm #

    Looking forward to joining this “grounded” group!

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