Get ready to dance and relax this summer

Meg Millat, of Fit N Fruitful, will teach Zumba in the Park as part of the Fiver Rivers MetroParks Fitness in the Park series. CONTRIBUTED
Meg Millat, of Fit N Fruitful, will teach Zumba in the Park as part of the Fiver Rivers MetroParks Fitness in the Park series. CONTRIBUTED

Fitness in the Park returns with yoga, Zumba

Sunshine, sweat and smiles – Five Rivers MetroParks Fitness in the Park series is back in-person.

“It’s my favorite thing I do every year,” yoga instructor Tori Reynolds said. “There is so much positivity and so many good feelings – there is no place like it to teach outdoors.”

Tori Reynolds, of Speakeasy Yoga, will teach Yoga in the Park as part of the MetroParks Fitness in the Park series. CONTRIBUTED
Tori Reynolds, of Speakeasy Yoga, will teach Yoga in the Park as part of the MetroParks Fitness in the Park series. CONTRIBUTED

After a 2020 live-streamed season, both yoga and Zumba will return to the RiverScape pavilion for free in-person classes from May through August.

“Through pre-registration and capacity limits, we’ve designed an experience that we think will help everyone limit risk and have an experience that is comfortable and meaningful,” said RiverScape manager Meredith Adamisin. “Even with capacity limits, the size of the pavilion will allow us to serve a large majority of the attendants we typically see for programs like this. Particularly with COVID, outside continues to be the safest space to stay active.”

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Newly released guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “outdoor visits and activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people themselves or to those around them.” Masks will still be required when coming to and leaving the Fitness in the Park programs. And, in order to help facilitate a socially-distanced experience, spots will be limited, so pre-registration is required. Participants should bring their own mat, water bottle and towel.

Reynolds is not alone in her excitement.

“I am very, very excited to be in the presence of other people,” Zumba instructor Meg Millat said. “It is leaps and bounds different to be in person and feel the energy of the people around you.”

Fitness for all

“All ages, all fitness levels, everyone is welcome,” Millat said.

Both the Zumba and yoga classes can be modified to meet the ability level of the wide variety of the participants.

“Expect to be moving and just get lost in the music,” Millat said of Zumba.

From heart-pumping cardio to mindful breathwork, the classes are good for the body and spirit.

“There is intentional movement, but it’s also a space for reflection and introspection,” Reynolds said. “There’s a level of balance.”

Yoga in the Park offers benefits for the body and mind. CONTRIBUTED
Yoga in the Park offers benefits for the body and mind. CONTRIBUTED

Fun for all

Returning to a group setting brings with it a level of excitement that is unmatched.

“It’s almost like a festival vibe because people go to have fun,” Millat said.

For Reynolds – who taught virtual classes exclusively for almost a year – returning to in-person classes has been energizing.

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“It has been so great to be around other people and feed off that energy,” she said. “There’s nothing that compares to it.”

And there is a whole new appreciation for the little things.

“A lot of us have been inside a lot and, of course, masked, so just being able to smile at strangers again means everything,” Millat said.

Zumba in the Park is like a high-energy dance party. CONTRIBUTED
Zumba in the Park is like a high-energy dance party. CONTRIBUTED

Five Rivers MetroParks Fitness in the Park

Yoga in the Park

What: Tori Reynolds, of Speakeasy Yoga, will offer in-person yoga at RiverScape as part of the free Fitness in the Park series. Classes will also be live streamed on the Five Rivers MetroParks YouTube page.

Where: RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave.

When: May 8, 22; June 12; July 17, 24; Aug. 7

Time: 10-11 a.m.

Registration: Classes are free but registration is required. Visit www.metroparks.org to register.

Zumba in the Park

What: Meg Millat, of Fit N Fruitful, will offer in-person Zumba – formerly cardio dance – as part of the free Fitness in the Park series. Classes will also be live streamed on the Five Rivers MetroParks YouTube page.

Where: RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave.

When: May 15, June 5, 26, July 10, Aug. 21, 28

Time: 10-11 a.m.

Registration: Classes are free but registration is required. Visit www.metroparks.org to register.

Contact this contributing writer at djuniewicz@gmail.com.