As Julie McKeone takes a deep breath, she raises her hands over her head and looks up. She glimpses streaks of sun glinting through the canopy of tree leaves. Butterflies drift by and so does the occasional bird, although sometimes they’re flying a little too close for comfort.
McKeone, a yoga instructor, leads her sessions in a less traditional setting during the summer months: outdoors at Fontenelle Forest and Lauritzen Gardens. And in the winter months, she takes the practice inside at the two nature centers.
“Mother nature is my studio. No walls,” McKeone said.
As more yoga studios and gyms offer the practice in Omaha, yoga is being taught in more and more out-of-the-box locales. In recent months, several yoga instructors and studios have partnered with local breweries for a nontraditional offering. There’s even a class called “Broga,” offering yoga solely for guys.
Yoga is offered year-round at Fontenelle Forest. Due to the popularity, staff have added a weeknight session. Lauritzen Gardens also has seen an increase in popularity of its yoga offerings. Starting in June, sessions — which used to be held a handful of times a month — will be hosted weekly.