Feel like doing snow salutations? Elgin tap room offers yoga outside

  • Jackie Postelnick of Crystal Lake was among the participants in Sunday morning's "snowga" session at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin.

    Jackie Postelnick of Crystal Lake was among the participants in Sunday morning's "snowga" session at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

  • Jackie Postelnick of Crystal Lake participates in Sunday morning's "snowga" session at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin.

    Jackie Postelnick of Crystal Lake participates in Sunday morning's "snowga" session at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

  • The winter beer garden at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin hosted a snow yoga session Sunday morning. "It's good for the soul, especially now, during all this craziness," said participant Sarah Hitchings of St. Charles.

    The winter beer garden at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin hosted a snow yoga session Sunday morning. "It's good for the soul, especially now, during all this craziness," said participant Sarah Hitchings of St. Charles. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

  • Instructor Alicia Buivis, center, conducts a "snowga" session Sunday at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin.

    Instructor Alicia Buivis, center, conducts a "snowga" session Sunday at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

  • Stacy Smith of Pingree Grove, left, participates in a snow yoga session at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin Sunday morning.

    Stacy Smith of Pingree Grove, left, participates in a snow yoga session at Plank Road Tap House in Elgin Sunday morning. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

 
Updated 1/16/2022 7:39 PM

An Elgin tap room been finding a new way to serve its customers a cold one.

You've heard of hot yoga? Wait until you try "snowga."

 

Yoga instructor Alicia Buivis led more than a dozen students -- bundled up in hats, sweats, and boots -- through their paces Sunday outside in the Plank Road Tap Room's winter beer garden.

Mats were spread on the snowy ground, with pine trees overhead, the smoky aroma of a nearby fire pit wafting throughout the scene, and the piping of soothing music to put the participants in the mood.

Breanne Moreno, who owns the tap room with husband Alan Moreno, said she was researching ways to hold a winter yoga event at the tap room, keeping in mind that indoor space was limited, when she found information about outdoor snowga in the Colorado area.

It met with success when she introduced it in 2020.

"It was in the height of the pandemic, so I think people were just eager to get out and do something safely," she said.

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The ticket for Sunday's event included an hour of yoga in the snow. Afterward, guests could drink back the calories by the fire pit or indoors at the bar, located in the former house built by Breanne Moreno's grandfather and converted into a log cabin by her father.

Elgin resident Aubree Flickema, dean of student life and leadership at Judson University, was among those who brought her mat and winter gear.

"I wanted to try some new things in the fitness realm," she said. "I'm one of those weird people that just loves cold weather."

She said she likes doing yoga outside "because I feel more connected to the earth and nature."

Sarah Hitchings of St. Charles said she also was drawn to the event by the chance to be outdoors. "It's good for the soul, especially now, during all this craziness. And you get warm, so you don't notice it," she said.

It was Buivis' first time teaching in the cold, but she prepared by wearing several layers. As she started, she encouraged her students to get in touch with their inner child, telling them, "It's been a while since I have played in the snow."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Buivis then led the crew in balancing and stretching exercises and "just having some fun." Flowing movements were emphasized, as well as breath awareness, something that might have been easier in the cold with visible exhales.

"It was nice to move. At one point, I was doing a movement and saw a cardinal fly overhead, so that was kind of cool," Flickema said.

Crystal Lake resident Jackie Postelnick said the cold was most noticeable during the savasana pose, which involves lying still and quiet on the mat.

"Even if you're doing yoga in a studio, you'll get cold in savasana, because you're body temperature goes way down, because you're just meditating," she said.

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