Yoga has exploded in popularity in the United States in just the past decade. Today, about 90% of Americans have heard of yoga, compared to only 70% of Americans in 2012. Many people may think of yoga as one of those extra-elegant amenities for Hollywood socialites and suburban moms, but it’s quickly reached mainstream status, Today, literally anybody can enjoy a version of yoga, whether they’re wheelchair bound or celebrating their 100th birthday. Perhaps unexpectedly, yoga has become arguably one of the best amenities in southern Delaware.
One Newark yoga studio owner, Christine Shaw, has created a class that specifically deals with emotional support related to addiction and trauma. She was inspired by her own experiences in self-care while supporting her young teenage daughter who was going through substance abuse and addiction. Some members of Shaw’s class were even self-professed haters of yoga before trying the Yoga for Emotional Support, or YES class, Shaw developed. Not only does the class include various yoga poses, it intertwines classic poses with exercises in self-affirmation, meditation, and acceptance. Many yogis are following Christine Shaw’s example and taking the therapeutic possibilities of yoga into their own practices.
On a more fun note, one of the original “goat yoga” experiences that went viral online in 2017 is based out of a Sussex county family farm. “Goat Joy” yoga, started by Laura Ritter and her 20-year-old daughter Amanda, is a small outdoor yoga experience that is marked by one fun factor: getting up close and personal with adorable baby goats. Most notably, a popular pose in the class is lining up in a table-like position for the ‘goat walk’, where the babies pop up on participants’ backs and climb across.
If you’re adventurous, you could always try a watery twist on traditional beach yoga: paddleboard yoga on the river. Class participants take stand-up paddleboards out onto the water and are led in a stationary yoga class while balancing on their boards. If balancing out on the river makes you nervous, some places offer a trial run in pools so you get the hang of warrior posing over waves.
With all its versatility and ingenuity, it’s easy to see why yoga has become one of the best amenities in southern Delaware. From classes offered in all inclusive community living to family farms and independent studios, surely vacationers, residents, and retirees alike will always have a new version to try if they’re hunting for the perfect class to enjoy.