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Park board shuts down free yoga classes at Dude Chilling Park
A group of yoga enthusiasts are hoping to save their beloved outdoor classes held each day at a park in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.
Yoga sessions at Dude Chilling Park have been going on for four years, but the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation recently stepped in to put an end to the classes.
Organizers say the park board called them and said that the classes had to stop unless the group got a permit.
“Vancouver gets that ‘no fun city’ reputation because there are so many hoops to jump through,” yoga instructor Alexa McEwen told CTV Vancouver, adding that the requirements for acquiring a permit aren’t feasible for the group.
Sunday was the last day the classes were offered, at least for now.
“I’m a little bit emotional because I had planned on coming here all summer and the community keeps growing,” participant Steve Cologne told CTV Vancouver. “We need this in Vancouver. It’s kind of part of our culture.”
The free classes were set to take place every day at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the summer and were meant to be open to everyone.
“There have been homeless people here practicing with us and professional and travellers and people who are students and things like that,” said yoga participant Ryan Stevenson.
The group isn’t sure why the park board decided to step in now, but some think there may have been complaints by people living near the park.
“I used to teach a 6 p.m. class and yeah, at certain times the park is pretty full, but there’s space for everybody,” Stevenson said.
A spokesperson said the Vancouver Parks Board can’t comment on the issue until Tuesday.
Meanwhile, class participants are hoping the city will show some flexibility so that they can keep practicing theirs.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Breanna Karstens-Smith