A transformative time challenged us to explore new methods of maintaining our health, wellness, and emotional equilibrium. Beauty and fitness regimens that had been de rigueur were discarded, and new ones took their place. Welcome to 2021’s new world of wellness.
Photos by Brett Hillyard
Tree Poses beneath the leaves
How an outdoor yoga class soothes minds and spirits
By Jenna Condas
Yoginis gather together, socially distanced of course, gazing up at a bright blue sky, the view only interrupted by the occasional falling leaf from swaying sycamore trees overhead. They engage in an inspirational outdoor practice, led by yoga instructor, Analisa Albert, at a stunning Irvine home that can best be described as Zen meets Minimalism meets California cool. The class is set in a space surrounded by lush vegetation, flora, trees, and cactus. It is further enhanced by the calm of trickling water from a pool fountain and birds sweetly serenade the practitioners as they connect to nature through their poses and meditation.
Originally hailing from Panama, Analisa Albert has led this enchanting private outdoor yoga class since May 2020. Seeing a real need during the pandemic for people to reconnect, both with each other and nature, she reached out to a core group of women who enjoy yoga practice, and now she leads outdoor classes twice a week. The classes are comprised of Hybrid Flow, Sculpt, Yin, Restorative Yoga, and Meditation. Savasana (corpse pose) at the conclusion of each class is accompanied by the traditional “singing bowl,” Tibetan or Himalayan in origin, a sound bath intended to bring calm and relaxation. While yoginis are still in Savasana, each receives a brief yet soothing lower leg and foot massage as essential oils (grapefruit, orange, lemon, or lavender) waft through the crisp morning air, helping to rejuvenate both minds and spirits.
Analisa guides her yoginis through the practice to clear the mind, open the heart, and strengthen the body. “We are all grateful and blessed that through the practice of yoga, we have not only deepened our friendships, but by coming together we were able to stay positive, optimistic, and empathetic during these challenging times.”
Analisa Albert is certified in 700 hours of yoga training including Yin and Restorative and has an additional 300 hours of Advanced Yoga Training. Since 2016, she’s guided over 400 yoga classes both in the U.S. and Mexico.