Teacher takes yoga to the great outdoors

Posted: May 11, 2012 at 2:16 am


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WALNUT CREEK -- Although there was a slight chill in the air on a recent overcast Thursday morning, a group of people showed up to stretch.

As yoga mats were arranged in a semicircle at the entrance of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Pleasant Hill yoga teacher Jan Enderle led the students through a series of gentle, flowing movements.

"Outside yoga is a little different. Instead of closing ourselves from the world, we're going to bring everything in," said Enderle, who guided students to the benefits of each yoga pose and movement.

She explained that her style, called Sugi Yoga, emphasizes gentle movements that encourage participants to be mindful of their bodies to ensure a pose or movement doesn't cause any pain. Enderle said she invites students to "find a place where it's comfortable and stay there." The adage "no pain, no gain," doesn't have a place in her class, she said.

After exploring the parks, trails and open space of Contra Costa County for several years, Enderle received training and certifications in horticulture and natural landscape interpretation. Soon after, she took up yoga teacher training at what was then Sugi Yoga studio in Pleasant Hill in 2004.

Enderle's first introduction to yoga "all started with a book and a TV show," when she was 20 years old.

"I did my yoga off and on for several years as I was hiking but hadn't combined the two," said Enderle, who took up backpacking in high school. "I always hiked

Today, Enderle has blended her two passions -- hiking and yoga -- and is offering them through Yoga Nature Adventures for the public's enjoyment.

She started inviting people on yoga hikes and soon developed a following, she said.

"Now, I can't go hiking anywhere without scoping out a great yoga spot," said Enderle, who also teaches at Windbell Wellness Center in Pleasant Hill.

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Teacher takes yoga to the great outdoors

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