Yoga in the Park: Everything You Need to Know

It’s the first Monday of summer. Have you put together your summer survivor plan from the tried-and-true tips one of our mom bloggers shared? Yoga in the Park Saturdays is another great summer survival tactic that’s totally kid-free! Can you tell I’m already thinking about the weekend?

I could go on and on about why I love yoga…that is, when I had time to do group yoga. I look back on those days (before kids) and smile. I THOUGHT I knew what busy was, what stress was, but now I can just laugh at my younger, naive-self, shake my head and say, “Giiiiiiiiiirl…,” if I said such things.

So, while sharing this quick list of the benefits of yoga — and there are WAY more than I’m mentioning here — let me just also remind myself of why I loved group yoga and why I’ll be loving Yoga in the Park this summer.

Benefits of Yoga

  • Great for flexibility
  • Builds muscle strength
  • Improves balance
  • Helps you relax and reduces stress (read: SANITY!)

Yoga in the park plank

Yoga in the Park Quick Facts

  • Yoga in the Park is FREE.
  • It’s Saturday mornings from 8:00-9:00 A.M. at 220 N. 13th St in Marshalltown, next to the art sculpture, Echo.
  • Bring a mat if you have one or even a beach towel (some mats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis), water and strap or block, if you wish.
  • It’s open to ages 14+ but anyone 10-13 can participate with a guardian.

Yoga in the Park History

Yoga in the Park is an initiative between 13th Street and the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA. It has roots from the “I give a damn about Marshalltown” community group that’s aimed at getting community members in their 20s-40s more involved in Marshalltown. Based on interest in a “yoga in the park” program, Heidi Draisey and Neil Dalal joined forces to create this great community offering.

Heidi is Marshalltown’s YMCA-YWCA’s Health & Wellness Coordinator. She’s YogaFit, A.C.E. Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Certified and she has headed up the last two years for this Yoga in the Park series. This year she has other certified yoga instructors joining her to teach to mix it up!

Yoga in the park

FAQ (with instructor and organizer, Heidi Draisey)

  • What level of experience is this class for?
    • This is a beginner-friendly to intermediate-level yoga class. The ease and casualness of the class set up is great for beginners, yet intermediate levels find it educational. Even advanced participants enjoy going back to embrace the basics. I want to stress if balance and flexibility are not currently a personal strength then perfect!! Yoga is a great place to develop those strengths… you don’t have to possess them to get started. No one expected you to know calculus before addition! 😉  We don’t get too crazy with the poses either, as our goal is to lay a foundation for people to grow from. We want to introduce yoga to anyone who has ever said “ I should try that sometime.” Let this summer be ‘that sometime!’
  • For someone who has never done yoga before, what would they expect?
    • Everyone gets a workout! One key area I emphasis is the movement/positions and breathing cues: I walk you through the process and I won’t come embarrass you if you don’t get the move off the bat… but don’t worry I also make sure of safety too! And we always have modifications that will be cued so those that are still developing their strength in areas have moves available to them.
  • Can seniors or people with injuries attend? 
    • It is recommended that one is able to get from a standing position to the ground and back up in general in order to participate in these classes. Otherwise modifications can cover most of the rest.
  • Why is it so early?
    • It is from 8 to 9 am because the Salvation Army and a few other area business open up at 9 am and the town ‘wakes up’ then and can be more noisy. Many people like it because they can enjoy yoga and get on with their day without having it cut into Saturday plans. Done by 9 a.m. to carpe diem!
  • Anything else you want people to know?
    • West End Perk opens at 7 a.m. for the coffee lovers and hey, since it’s Saturday, the Spot opens up at 9 a.m.. Ambellish Salon and Boutique will be open and Breathe has great services by appointment to offer too! It’s a good opportunity to enjoy the 13th St. district.
    • Yoga in the Park brings the community together to meet each other: hello new Mom friends!!
    • For Mom’s in particular, yoga can open a world of mindfulness, meditation and stress reduction that can spill over to improved parenting and an overall increase quality of life for the whole family!

Yoga in the park

Other Details

  • The coordinators ask that, to be respectful of other participants, please do not bring young children or pets. They encourage moms to leave the younger kids at home with a caretaker to create time for themselves to rejuvenate.
  • If weather is an issue, they will cancel the session. Call the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA 641-752-8658 after 7:15 a.m. in case of inclement weather.
  • Current Instructor Schedule (subject to change):
    • June 3rd- Heidi Draisey – COMPLETE
    • June 17th- Denise Case
    • July 8th- Ben Cooper
    • July 22nd- Monica Blanchard
    • August 12th- Ellen Krogmann
    • August 26th- Heidi Draisey
  • Special thanks to Restore Church and Dylan Does for donating the use of sound equipment for all three years.
  • This year when you attend and sign your release forms you are entered into a drawing. Each subsequent class attendance also counts as an entry. Prizes will come from 13th St. area businesses and the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA.



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