Yoga by the Bay with Erin

Things To Do

This week's edition of our new summer fitness series takes us to Sarasota local, Erin Hurter, who's fostered a movement of positivity and health right here in our very own backyard. As a part-time yoga instructor and the Industry Development Manager for Visit Sarasota County, she knew she needed to do something to help the local businesses she worked with when the pandemic hit. “Yoga taught me that, while I cannot control things that are happening, I can control how I react to them and that’s how this all started,” Hurter says. So, she began to invite those in the tourism industry to meet her at Bayfront Park for a free, community yoga class with boats anchored in Marina Jack as the backdrop.

What she did not expect, was how receptive everyone would be to her practice. And, with that, her desire to foster connection where connection had been lost grew as well. Hurter began offering more community-wide yoga classes every Tuesday on the shores of Bayfront Park where she reminds those in attendance that this is not her yoga practice, it’s not their neighbors, it’s theirs. As her classes grew in size, additional sessions became available on Saturday mornings, outdoors at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Her yogis, who recognize one another as fellow members of  "Erin’s yogi tribe," now enjoy the opportunity to move their bodies and expand their minds twice each week in the great outdoors. 

Regularly sharing her yogi wisdom as she talks students into different poses, these large public, outdoor classes are perfect for beginners, yogis of all ages and even a few pets. As upwards of 100 people attend each class, her tribe has the potential to change the community and the lives of those within it for the better.  Although Hurter teaches for free, there is one qualification for attendance: every student has to do one random act of kindness on a daily basis. "I end each class by saying that you are the author of your own story," she says. "Your feelings are based on the experiences you have had, and it’s your choice to leave an experience with a positive or a negative feeling, so choose positivity." Everyone is welcome, so grab your mat, check-in with yourself, focus on your breathing and spend an hour practicing Yoga By the Bay.

Classes take place Tuesdays at 6pm at Bayfront Park, and Saturdays at 9:00am outdoors at the Van Wezel. 

Photo courtesy of Yoga by the Bay with Erin. Click here to join the community.

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