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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Time to stretch: Yoga in the Courtyard is back at NOTL Museum
NOTL Museum will be holding Yoga in the Courtyard at 43 Castlereagh Street
NOTL Museum will be holding Yoga in the Courtyard at 43 Castlereagh Street

Grab your yoga mat and head over to the NOTL Museum to begin your day with some gentle hatha yoga.

Starting on July 27 at 9 a.m. guests can join yoga instructor Sonya Marie de Lazzer for the first of six free Yoga in the Courtyard sessions. It will be held at the NOTL Museum courtyard tent at 43 Castlereagh St.

“We just find a really gentle stretch. We take time to breathe and just sort of enter the day,” said de Lazzer.

She said hatha yoga is practised at a slower pace, with lots of focus on breathing, controlled movements and stretching.

De Lazzer lives in Niagara Falls and works as a gallery co-ordinator at Brock University where she also teaches art history.

She got into yoga a few years ago, doing it for herself and the health benefits it gave her. It helped her stay calm while juggling a busy schedule.

To develop her skills more, she became a qualified yoga teacher through Shine on Yoga. She has more than 500 hours of yoga training.

“There’s the teaching part of my life that is very present, like in career and yoga, and so it just kind of blended. It was a natural thing to start doing,” said de Lazzer.

De Lazzer was part of the Museums of Niagara Association and worked at RiverBrink Art Museum in Queenston for about seven years before her current job at Brock.

She still teaches yoga at RiverBrink in the summer, and when she met Amy Klassen, the director of finance and marketing at the NOTL Museum, they decided that bringing yoga to the museum would be beneficial.

This is the museum’s third year running Yoga in the Courtyard, though 2020 saw very small numbers due to the pandemic.

“We want to offer a community space for many people, for a variety of activities, and in doing so hoping people will ‘find their way’ to the museum, even if they don’t consider themselves museum-types,” Barbara Worthy, the museum’s community engagement co-ordinator, said in an announcement about the program.

Each session lasts one hour. Everyone is welcome and the sessions are free (donations are welcome).

Spots are limited, so anyone interested must register by emailing Amy Klassen at Participants must bring their own yoga mat, water bottles and yoga props.

The 9 a.m. sessions will run on July 27, Aug. 3, 10, 24, 31 and Sept. 7.