GODFREY — The inspiring views atop the bluffs at The Nature Institute drew in the co-owners of River Bend Yoga, Vicky Delaney and Janet Keffer, for a new opportunity.
Nestled between the birds and the Mississippi River, they knew this spot would be a great opportunity to bring distinctive yoga sessions while offering a chance to give back to the community.
Yoga mats in tow, Delaney and Keffer created Sunset Yoga Fundraiser to benefit the institute’s mission of raising awareness and an fostering appreciation of the natural world through preservation, restoration and education. Proceeds from the donation-based class will benefit the environmental organization. The next session will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 22, behind the main TNI office building, 2213 S. Levis Lane. Delaney will lead the sessions, which are open to all levels of experience.
Guests are encouraged to bring a mat, but River Bend Yoga will have a few on site to loan for those that don’t have one. Delaney also recommends bringing a bottle of water, bug spray and anything else that might help your comfort level.
“Being outdoors with a beautiful view, all of your senses wake up — scent, sight and touch in particular,” Delaney said. “These senses activate the parts of the brain that make you feel more present.
“As we become more fluent in processing a sensory experience, it morphs into a sensuous experience which helps us focus and zero in on the now,” he said.
Delaney encourages those interested to “donate what you can and enjoy this beautiful scenery while doing your mind, body and spirit some good, too.”
The yoga business and the institute also have teamed up for a monthly full moon celebration. Every month, River Bend Yoga starts with a celebration session focused around the Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutation. Each class is $10 for adults and $5 for children. These sessions are completed before TNI’s free program, the Moonlight Hike, sets out into the preserve.
Yoga is a mindful practice with a history dating back thousands of years. Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles; it deepens breathing and meditation for relaxation. River Bend Yoga’s goal is to bring affordable yoga to the entire community. All instructors from the business, 202 State St. in Alton, are certified and Yoga Alliance-registered to insure a safe and meaningful practice.
For information, contact River Bend Yoga at (618) 610-7558 or visit RiverBend-Yoga.com.