For Esplanade's Shelley Chinskey, the new Yoga in the Park series, which continued June 28 at Bob Gardner Park in Lakewood Ranch, means a positive step forward during a difficult time.
Despite COVID-19 still having a pronounced effect on Floridians, the yoga group sessions have gone forward. Chinskey is glad they have.
"For me, this is awesome," she said before participating with approximately 50 other people. "I missed the communal atmosphere. This is the first time I've done something like this in three months. This is heaven."
The free event is led by Yoga Shack owner Courtney Smith, who said the participants go out of their way to make sure they practice social distancing and to follow coronavirus guidelines.
"It just shows that people want to get out," she said. "We are promoting wellness. Everyone is doing their part."
Yoga in the Park, which runs 9-10 a.m. every other Sunday through Aug. 23 (next one is July 12) is a collaboration between Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Lakewood Ranch Community Activities, the Yoga Shack and the Brain Health Initiative. Those who participate are asked to bring their own mat and water bottle.