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Yoga anyone? Fitnesss favorite hits the beach, water

Instructor Amy Lundberg warms up her group for their first outdoor yoga class of the summer.

Summer weather is finally here, and that means one thing: it’s beach season.

After a long, cold winter spent hunkered down indoors, many find themselves not quite bikini-ready by the time summer rolls around. With temperatures rising, getting outside for a workout can be a welcome change in stale fitness routines, and local instructors are making the most of the summer sun.

Two classes offered by the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center are using the city’s beach-side location to add a new twist to an old favorite. Instructors Amy Lundberg and Jessica Stuewe are taking their yoga classes from indoors to out, and their new locations might surprise you.

Yoga hits the beach

The feel of the sand and the sound of waves lapping against the shore set the backdrop for Lundberg’s summer beach yoga class. Beginning June 16 and offered Mondays at 8:30 a.m., she says the class enhances a traditional yoga experience.

“There’s a certain energy about it,” she said about holding the class outside. Lundberg considers yoga, which traditionally encompasses inner stillness along with outer strength, to be a great fit for the outdoors.

With the area’s long winters and short summers, she said that when she teaches yoga outside there’s always a good turnout as people take advantage of the nice weather. She hopes that this summer’s class, offered for a second year by the community center, will see even greater attendance.

“People are sharing how awesome it is,” she said, anticipating that the word-of-mouth buzz will have more people heading to the beach once classes get started.

Designed for participants of all skill levels, Lundberg, who has been teaching yoga for 13 years, said anyone is welcome to come and try it out. She offers different poses and modifications to accommodate different abilities, from beginners to those who have been practicing for years.

“Just come and have fun,” Lundberg said, and make sure to bring along your yoga mat.

Paddle and pose: yoga goes aquatic

After gaining popularity in the lakes area over the past few years, stand-up paddleboards are being utilized in a new way.

The boards, which resemble large surfboards and are traditionally used by standing and using a paddle to move about on the water, add a unique element to a traditional yoga class.

It might look intimidating at first, but Stuewe said that participants of all skill levels are welcome to her paddleboard yoga class. She said that the difficulty of the moves taught is “completely dependent on what the class is comfortable with.”

During the class, participants paddle out and execute yoga moves on the boards. The balance required by being on the water adds to the overall effectiveness of the workout.

This is the third year Stuewe has taught the class through the center. Previous years have been taught earlier in the spring and held in the center’s pool, so Stuewe is excited to take the class outdoors.

“That’s one of the reasons we love living here, enjoying being out on the water…why not do your fitness there as well?” she said.

While Stuewe doesn’t often see class attendees take a spill into the water, she advises having a change of clothes and a towel nearby just in case. Boards are provided for participants, and she said that putting on a swimsuit underneath normal workout clothes is a good idea. And, according to Stuewe, the most important thing to bring to the class is an “adventurous attitude.”

Something else Stuewe adds to the class is an emphasis on giving back. During the class she sets up a free-will donation to March of Dimes. Her son was born prematurely a year and a half ago, and she hopes class attendees will show support for the charity, which funds research on premature births, birth defects and infant mortality.

Those who are interested in the class should call the center beforehand, as the number of available boards is limited. Stuewe also recommends showing up 15 minutes prior to the class’s start time to get set up and ready to paddle out.

Other options available, too

Whether in a studio, on the beach or out on the water, the benefits of yoga go beyond looking good in a bathing suit.

Increased flexibility and an emphasis on overall wellbeing make yoga a good option for both casual fitness-seekers and serious athletes alike.

The classes are open to community center members, but other interested participants can use a day pass or multiple use punch-pass to check the classes out. Those passes are offered through DLCCC.

And if yoga’s not your style, the center is offering a host of other classes to keep yourself beach-ready this summer. Options include cycling, high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T), Zumba and many more.

Lundberg also said that through her personal business she is offering a re-boot program in Washington Park. The class will focus on both inner and outer fitness and nutrition.

Lundberg said the class will “work at the soul level,” and benefit those who have spent years feeling “fatigued and overwhelmed.” Information on class start dates and registration can be found on Lundberg’s website:

Stuewe offers additional stand-up paddleboard classes through her business, Lakes Pace. Contact information and class details can be found on her website:

More information on both yoga classes can be found at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center and on their website.