Nature has a calming effect

Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) is a wellbeing practice of being in the presence of trees or nature. The term was coined in Japan in the 1980s due to the health benefits of spending time in a natural environment such as a forest.

A Napier yoga studio is helping people get in touch with nature at a busy and potentially stressful time of year.

Yinyoga Napier is offering koha yinyasa outdoor sessions, Sunday Sunrise Yoga, on Sunday mornings throughout summer on the grass by the beach opposite Centennial Gardens, Napier, to offer a way for people to look after their wellbeing.

Tomorrow will be the second outdoor session after a successful first week last Sunday (there will be a break over Christmas and New Year).

Yinyoga Napier owner Carol Neilson said she created the classes to make yoga more accessible to people at a time of year when they are often financially-challenged and lack time.

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"It's for anyone to show up who wants to give yoga a go.

"This is a focus on wellbeing for those in our community who really need it at this hectic time of year, all set in our beautiful outdoor Napier beach-front environment."

Having it outside connects people back to the land and helps people relax in a way similar to the Japanese process of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) by being close to nature.

It is important to spent time in nature as it is calming and soothing, she said.

"It's a whole lot different to doing it in the studio."

Last week everyone loved being outside and chilling out on the ground and it was so popular that people will have to book for tomorrow, Ms Neilson said.

The response was "overwhelming" with more than 30 people coming out when only 15 were expected.

About 60 people have already booked for tomorrow.

"It just seemed to open the door on something, we're really encouraged to keep going.

"We're hoping to continue in January and February."

Not everyone wants to go to a studio or book in for frequent lessons, and others can't afford it, so this is a way of bringing people out into the community to take time out for themselves and relax, Ms Neilson said.

"It's about bringing the community together...being by the ocean.

"We want to make it fun and safe."

The plan is also to start sunset sessions early in the new year which are a "chilled"
different vibe to the active flow of the morning yoga, she said.

Magnet cafe, next to where class is being held, will open early for people to grab a tea or coffee and get to know others following the session.

People need to bring their mat (if they have one), layers of clothing, a blanket or rug and a drink bottle.

The session will be held from 6.30am to 7.30am and all levels are welcome.

To book go to www.yinyoganapier.co.nz or text details to 021 284 5090.