Dozens of people brought their mats and warmest workout clothes to Fort Whyte Alive on Sunday for a version of yoga that’s reserved for only the bravest Canadians.
Ice Yoga, hosted by WildPath’s Ash Bourgeois, saw Winnipeggers out in the frigid -16 C temperatures to do their best downward-facing-dog poses.
The 45-minute session was held on Fort Whyte’s frozen lake. It’s a prequel to a longer Fire+Ice Yoga Festival slated for February.
“We’re just doing it for something for a little different,” Bourgeois said. “In Winnipeg we’re proud of being the city of winter and it’s just nice to be outside and switch it up. We are a very unique community and we make the best out of everything.
“Whether it’s -40 C or -15 C with snow, you’ll see a positive attitude through and through.”
Bourgeois said the cold weather actually helped along the exercises, as they were able to focus on body parts and poses that don’t always get touched on.
“If it’s colder, we tend to do a lot more muscle-building work in the practice,” Bourgeois said. “It’s really catered to whatever is happening outside.”
As for the turnout: it didn’t top last year’s festival, but organizers were happy with the amount of yogis willing to bundle up and stretch on the ice.
“I was surprised,” Bourgeois said. “I knew people in Winnipeg love winter but I didn’t know we’d get the response we got.”