June 24, 2020 Update: Accessible, donation-based outdoor yoga led by certified yoga instructors will be taking place at Lake Mansfield beginning on June 29th and continuing through August 28th on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7:45-9am. Beginners welcomed and supported! Currently Eventbrite registration is required by the Town of Great Barrington to maintain COVID-19 safety standards. See important event details here.
It feels like summer is already here at Lake Mansfield! This year, our lake experiences must be informed by the Town guidelines. The trails and picnic area are open and people are paddling and fishing, but the playground and swimming at the lake is currently closed.
It is our tradition to welcome the beginning of each summer with a morning yoga practice at Lake Mansfield. We are hoping to be able to offer our July and August yoga classes again this year. We will let you know in the coming weeks if this is possible.
In our last installment of the Spring 2020 Lake Mansfield Newsletter below, Senta Reis shares her joyful philosophy of community yoga.
The newsletter will soon be available to read in its entirety and download on our website. Please share these stories with your friends and family to help us to continue to strengthen our care of Lake Mansfield on behalf of our entire community.
Be safe, stay healthy, and remember to connect with nature each day!
Christine Ward, Project Director
Yoga at Lake Mansfield:
Gratitude, Intention, Community Self Care
by Senta Reis
Seven years ago Senta Reis and Christine Ward met to create a plan to bring accessible, affordable yoga to the beautiful space of Lake Mansfield. Christine came as a devoted steward of the lake and Senta as a devoted supporter of yoga and nature as a powerful practice for well-being. The concept was simple: offer donation-based lakeside yoga throughout the summer with seasoned teachers. A portion of the proceeds would go to the instructor and a portion to support the Lake Mansfield Alliance for the care of the lake. We were welcomed by the Great Barrington Parks and Recreation Commission when we presented our idea, and the summer yoga program was born. What has transpired has been a dream come true.
Practicing Yoga in Community
The gifts of yoga are many; inner calm, personal strength and health, and the nurturing of equanimity towards life’s ups and downs. Another gift is a sense of belonging to a group of other like-minded people. But beyond the benefits for each individual and the cultivation of daily practice, there is another powerful reason to practice specifically TOGETHER with others.
When we meet together, center ourselves together, breathe together, move together, and then finally intend together in quiet grateful reflection of what is good and what can be, we send a powerful pulse of well-being into the world. It ripples out like a homeopathic dose of good medicine. When we practice yoga at Lake Mansfield, our good intentions are felt by our planet and fellow creatures.
We need this medicine now as individuals, as a community, as a nation, and as a planet. Nature needs this from us. This is the impulse behind an accessible community practice held and supported by the nurturing beauty of a practice out in nature. We welcome all to share in this vision.
Given our current challenges with COVID-19, our summer yoga program will be dependent upon the lifting of current sanctions. We hope to see you again in July, but if this is not possible we will be in touch with other ways to connect with yoga and nature.
Senta Reis infuses her teaching with an earnest commitment to guiding students into an intuitive heart-centered exploration of their full being; body, mind and spirit. A master at welcoming and including those new to yoga, individuals with perceived limitations, and the yoga devotee, her classes are holistic, compassionate and renewing. She received her Kripalu 200 hour certification in 2006 and completed 500 hours in 2010. Senta is additionally certified in Yoga Ed for children and trained in somatic movement, shamanic studies and expressive arts.