June 11, 2019 News & Features » Cover Story

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The Great Outdoors 

Get some fresh air (hopefully) this summer with healthy outdoor activities.

click to enlarge Camille Smith of Black Dog Paddle

Scott Elmquist/file

Camille Smith of Black Dog Paddle

Yearning for a Yurt?

Camping near Richmond just got a little more glamorous. Four yurts — you know, those round, wood-framed structures that are some kind of cross between a cabin and a tent — are now available for overnight stays at Pocahontas State Park. Each one contains a queen-sized bed with a twin-sized trundle pull-out and a dining table that seats four. There's no heating or air conditioning, but the windows open and the wooden decks are equipped with picnic tables and a fire ring. Virginia residents can reserve a yurt for $75 a night or $454 a week.

Unconventional Yoga

We certainly have no shortage of yoga studios here in Richmond. But there's something remarkable about flowing through a sun salutation under the actual sun, and now that the days are longer we've got ample opportunities for open-air yoga.

Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga: Enhance your practice by taking it to the water. Black Dog Paddle offers yoga classes on the James River, which means by the time you make it to savasana, you won't just feel like you're floating — you'll actually be floating.

Rooftop Yoga: You may not be on top of a mountain during your mountain pose, but on top of a building is close enough, right? Every Sunday through the end of September, instructors from Om On Yoga teach an hourlong class on the rooftop of Quirk Hotel at 10:30 a.m.

Yoga at Maymont: Unroll your mat at Maymont Children's Farm at 6 p.m. every Tuesday from now until October and join your fellow outdoorsy yogis for a free 60-minute class.

Sunrise Yoga: Calling all morning people! Start your day with deep breaths and fresh air at the Virginia War Memorial on Belvidere Street. The 6 a.m. yoga sessions run every Thursday until July 25.

Yoga and Brews: Yoga may not be for everybody, but what if it's followed closely with beer? Two Sundays a month through July, Michelle Lee Landon of One Drop Yoga will lead a pay-what-you-can vinyasa-style class at 11 a.m. in the barrel room at Vasen Brewing Co.

Pink Power

Ladies, need some fitness motivation this summer? Train for one of the most fun and empowering events the Richmond area has to offer — the Pink Power Triathlon and 5K. The 3.1-mile foot race starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, and athletes will hop in the pool to kick off the sprint triathlon at 7 a.m. the next day. Feeling ambitious? Sign up for both events and go home with two medals that weekend.

Both races take place at the Midlothian Family YMCA, and registration is open now.

Racing on the Water

Inspired by watercraft from China, dragon boats look like long canoes powered by 22 team members. And Saturday, Aug. 3, a bunch of them will be making their way down the James River for the Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival.

Located at Rocketts Landing, the daylong event features races for teams of all levels, an awards ceremony, music and traditional Chinese performances. A food truck bazaar, beer tent, marketplace and health and wellness village will also be on site — so even if you have no interest in grabbing a paddle yourself, feel free to explore the festival and watch the athletes take to the water.

For information, check out gwndragonboat.com/richmond.

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