Garden of the Heart of Heaven at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts

Garden of the Heart of Heaven at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

The traffic.  The heat.  The perpetually overflowing inbox.  Summer in the city… often, it all feels rather unsustainable.  But, there are only so many weeks allotted for “vacation”.  What to do?  We asked a few Boston area yoga instructors to share their secret spots for taking refuge in and around the city during the summer months.  Although I hate to spread the word, one of my absolute favorite haunts for a quiet few moments is along the Fenway, just a few steps out the “back door” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.  There lies the Museum’s Garden of the Heart of Heaven.  Away from the crowds and the museum’s busy interior sits a perfect patch beautifully groomed peace – no cell phones, brimming with shade and a host of gorgeous ornamental garden sculptures to attach one’s gaze and attention.  Understated and elegant…  Exhale.

 

Photo by Ann D'Alessandro

Photo by Ann D’Alessandro

Popular north shore teacher Ann D’Alessandro shares her “special spot” on Plum Island…  “It’s inside the Parker River Refuge and consists of a boardwalk through the woods and marsh. The whole place just kind of pulls one in and makes them feel a part of all it has to offer.  I love to go here for connection, for solitude, for peace and ever changing beauty.”  Practice with Ann this fall at Yoga Center of Newburyport.

For Play Yoga Owner Anthony (Ace) Tomasi, he escapes his very full teaching plate at the Wilkinson Reservation in Andover.  The reservation, part of the Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS), is beloved by many for its narrow trails through white oaks and tall white and red pines which wind along eskers (ridges of rocks), up and down from one kettlehole pond to another.  Says Tomasi, “If you follow the trail to Journeys End, it brings you out to a little nook on Foster’s Pond, and there is a wooden bench there where you can sit and look out at the pond… so very quiet and peaceful.”

Tayla Saba finding her escape through movement

Tayla Saba finding her escape through movement

Tayla Saba who teaches classes at Drive Custom Fit shares that her quiet place is actually not a still physical place. “To quiet my mind, my meditation is to move – a quiet walk in a local park, open eye meditation, moving being one with nature is what fulfills me best. It keeps me at ease, balanced and focused. A simple walk alone enjoy the fresh air, the beauty of this earth is where I go to hide away.”   She suggests taking a quiet walk with mother nature to nurture your mind, body, and soul.

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Ann Poirier finding her zen

Her days begin mighty early so it’s all about staying put for Ann Poirier, instructor at A Yoga Practice in Georgetown.  “My quiet place is simply my back porch… me and a couple of cats translates to heaven to me. My life is not so hectic ya know, so I don’t leave the sanctuary of my house for zen.  I’ve got plenty of quiet spots right here.” Don’t miss Ann’s Thursday 6 AM Sunrise Flow!

Natalie Griswold, a longtime instructor at One Powered Yoga in Reading shares her “place” as a pond in the woods.  For her, the bodies of water are ever-changing. Her present favorite is Silver Lake at Breakheart Reservation in Saugus.  Just north of Boston, Breakheart is a 640-acre hardwood forest with jagged, rocky outcroppings, two fresh-water lakes, and a rambling section of the Saugus River.

 

Ginger in her sweet escape in Chatham

Ginger in her sweet escape in Chatham

Ginger Boermeester, Studio Owner at Roots Yoga in Burlington ventures well beyond the city’s margins to find her antidote.  “My summertime sweet escape is among the lotus flowers of the Third River on Whites Pond in Chatham.  Heading to this slice of heaven in kayaks has been a longtime tradition of myself and my two children.  As you know the story of the lotus flower is beautiful and metaphoric to many.  It has become tradition for my children to go hunt the river for lotus flowers for me, ‘mom’ each summer.  I love to incorporate the lotus among my teachings and you will find many lotus adornments in and around Roots’ studio.”

 

Author Susan Currie is Managing Editor at BOSTON YOGA and an Associate Editor at LA YOGA magazine. Beyond her contributions to these publications, her words and images have been featured in the Boston Globe, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times, the Huffington Post, Spirit of St. Bart’s and on the cover of the book Moving into Meditation (Shambala) by Anne Cushman. 

Susan is also the creator of the Daily Inhale and an RYT 200 registered yoga instructor. She unpacks her various professional experiences through creative (and yoga) workshops she leads throughout the country. Her new book, Once Divided (Shanti Arts 2016), a blend of visual and verse, is now available in wide release. GRACENOTES, its follow-up, will be published in 2017.