Frontline and essential workers, including nurses, police officers and delivery drivers, are invited to stretch, breathe, and pummel the tension accumulated from working through the pandemic.
On April 7 at 8:30 p.m., local yoga teacher Natasha McCagg is hosting a free class in the geodesic dome on Great Slave Lake.
“This event is open to anyone who identifies as an essential worker during the pandemic. All bodies and levels welcome,” said McCagg.
The 60-minute beginners yoga session will conclude with participants hitting a piñata, made by McCagg.
“When Covid happened, my girls and I, as part of our coping (mechanism) was creating piñatas. And we decided, strategically, when to break them. I think now is a good time to bring one out.”
The idea for the frontline yoga class came to McCagg in February, when she went for a routine Covid-19 test at a local clinic.
“I had nurse Kim, and she recognized me as a yoga instructor in the community,” said McCagg.
“She told me, ‘I wish I could attend a yoga class but there’s never a suitable time.”
This got McCagg thinking: she had taught a midnight Summer Solstice class before, so she was no stranger to late classes — and ones held in unique spaces.
Kim suggested an 8:30 p.m. class would allow nurses to finish their charts and head down to a studio.
After gauging the interest through a Facebook post, McCagg contacted Roland Laufer, treasurer at the Yellowknife Artists Co-operative (YAC).
Laufer offered McCagg a slot for her class in the Geodesic Dome during YAC Festival 2022, a celebration of Northern arts, running from April 4 to 10.
The dome, located on the southwest corner of Jolliffe Island, measures 12 metres in diameter and holds up to 30 people.
Participants do not have to pre-register and can arrive on a first come, first served basis.
“We at YAC in cooperation with Natasha McCagg are thanking the health and frontline workers of the NWT for their exceptional hard and dedicated work to ensure our wellbeing in the last two years,” Laufer said. “We hope that this relaxing activity will help restore some energy of the participants who were here for us all the way.”
The temperature inside the dome is usually 10 C higher than outside.
Participants are encouraged to arrive with a matt and wearing layers — McCagg will provide the rest. She’s hoping that clobbering the piñata will prove cathartic.
“I think it will just be fun for the participants to take hold of a hockey stick and take turns smashing a piñata,” said McCagg. “If I get a sponsorship or a venue for free, I will continue to offer this event for free. It’s our way of giving back.”