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Health

Outdoor Yoga in the Ozarks

If your vinyasa feels a bit vinya-blah, try your savasana in the sunshine. We've got six places you can enjoy yoga outdoors in southwest Missouri, including Phelps Grove Park, Goats and Yoga and Stand Up Paddleboarding.

By Lucie Amberg

May 2019

Yoga at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield, MO
Photo by Vivian WheelerYoga in the Park is held at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield at 6 p.m. on Sundays. This donation-based class is great for all levels.

With springtime back in the Ozarks, you might be seeking ways to shape up, zen out and enjoy some fresh air. How about an activity that lets you do all three at once: outdoor yoga. 

Whatever your skill level, practicing yoga outdoors will connect you to your environment, and southwest Missouri offers an array of opportunities for downward dogging in the daylight. There are classes  on rooftops, in parks and forests and even on the lakes. So slather on the sunscreen and rock that sun salutation with a side of actual sun. Eagle with the eagles. Tree among the trees. And always remember your mat and water! 

Yoga in the Park (Springfield)

What: Yoga in the Queen City’s best-loved park. 
Where: Near the tennis courts at Phelps Grove Park (950 E. Bennett St., Springfield
When: 6 p.m. Sundays 
Know: Classes are appropriate for all skill levels and offered by donation. 
Bonus: Instructors rotate. Coordinator Kelsey Esther says, “If it’s not your jam one Sunday, 
come back.”

Goats and Yoga

What: Yoga. With goats! 
Where: Herding Dogs Farm (4089 State Highway J, Rogersville, 724-777-3093)
When: 6 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. Saturdays
Know: Wear pants and a shirt that covers your shoulders. Carpool if possible. 
Bonus: Owner Stephanie Wubbena says, “It’s really about the goats.” It’s considered agritourism with very gentle yoga. 

Vessels of Clay

What: Yoga on the water as you balance on a stand-up paddleboard, known as SUP.
Where: The studio travels around the Ozarks.
When: By appointment with some scheduled events. Keep up through their website and on Facebook.
Know: Bring sunscreen, water shoes, sunglasses and a change of clothes. Those new to SUP might start with paddle basics before trying SUP yoga. 
Bonus: Owner Robyn Hurst emphasizes her training. “I joke that what someone learns in the first class [allows them to have] a safe, efficient life of paddle boarding without ever seeing me again,” she says. 

Ozark Mountain Yoga

What: Outdoor classes on Springfield’s south side. 
Where: Ozark Mountain Yoga (1110 E. Republic Road, Suite 108A, Springfield, 417-920-3774)  
When: At instructors’ discretion, classes can be held on the front porch, in the rooftop garden or under the trees. 
Know: All levels are welcome. Pay per class, or purchase a class pass or membership. 
Bonus: Owner Bill Lynch says, “The outside environment… encourages concentration, enhancing awareness of our surroundings and a deeper connection with the living world.” 

Yoga in the Park (Bentonville)

What: Practice within walking distance of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 
Where: Orchards Park Pavilion (1100 NE John Deshields Blvd., Bentonville
When: 9 a.m. Saturdays, May 4 to August 10
Know: Classes are free and appropriate for all skill levels. Keep up on social @PlayBentonville.   
Bonus: Enjoy a post-yoga visit to Crystal Bridges or the Bentonville City Square farmers market. 

37 North Expeditions 

What: Quintessential Ozarks nature with a hike, a view and some yoga.  
Where: A variety of breathtaking spots with pickups available in Springfield and Branson. Danny Collins, founder and guide, says, “We handle all the planning and transportation.” 
When: Two to three times each month, upcoming schedule available at 37northexpeditions.com. 
Know: Packing lists provided for each trip. 
Bonus: Collins says, “Many of our trips end at a winery or farmers market,” where happy yogis relax with wine samples or fresh produce.