Days before the Yoga in the Park event, Infinite Warrior Yoga owner Shawn Stephens Davis shared that the coronavirus pandemic had a negative impact on her business.
Despite the struggles, Stephens Davis said Infinite Warrior has managed to keep going virtually and with smaller classes in the studio.
“We are really excited about this event because we really miss the ‘community’ of yoga,” Stephens Davis said. “We believe in the power of unity and that comes from putting our mats down together. It brings together individuals of all shapes, colors and backgrounds without judgment."
"We all have one goal to just be present in the moment.” - Shawn Stephens Davis
Days later, Stephens Davis’ vision came to fruition as 20 people came to Hill Park in downtown Madison for the free Yoga in the Park class.
“We were so exited about the attendance since we didn’t do much advertising and it was thrown together on such a short notice,” Stephens Davis said. “We had some students we had only ‘seen’ virtually because they aren’t ready for in-studio participation yet, but they were excited to get out in the fresh air and we met some new friends that haven’t practiced with us before.”
Stephens Davis’ business was forced to shut down on March 16 for the COVID-19 quarantine. Before the shutdown, classes at Infinite Warrior ranged in size from 15 to 30 people. The studio re-opened June 1. Classes in the studio now only allow for eight people max per class. The limit allows each student a 7-foot perimeter around their mat and space for the camera so they can livestream the classes for students who want to participate in the class or are not ready to come into the studio yet.
“I am grateful to be teaching in the studio again, along with our livestream platform, but I still missed the energy from being with our group,” Stephens Davis said.
She went on to say that their studio is unique because it offers infrared heated classes, which offer a number of benefits.
“One of the ways I describe the feeling of infrared heat is it’s like being in the sunshine on a summer day in Georgia, minus the humidity,” Stephens Davis said. “So in an effort to get the community we were all craving and still provide the heated experience, yoga in the park seemed like the best way to achieve both.”
Overall, the students loved the class. Many said they appreciated the break in the heat as soft winds blew through the park. Others said they felt more grounded internally because of their physical connection to the ground rather than the level studio floor.
“But mostly we heard how much they had missed their fellow yogis and being able to see them in person but still be safe,” Stephens Davis said.
As for the future of Yoga in the Park, Stephens Davis said they plan to have another free community event on Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. They would also like to try out different parks. More information about upcoming Yoga in the Park events can be found on the Infinite Warrior Facebook page.