Salutation Nation 2011: Durham, NC

Happy Sunday, Yogi Bears!!

As I tweeted bright and early, yesterday morning:

I was lucky enough to spend the day before 9/11 in a most peaceful setting, and that setting was at the infamous Durham Bull’s Athletic Park during Salutation Nation, a never ending ommmmmm!

Bright and early, I drove into downtown Durham, NC to park and head over to join my fellow Yogis for some Salutation Nation.

Described by Lululemon, Salutation Nation is:

· An annual, international day of yoga
· Complimentary
· Open to all levels
· Led by local yoga ambassadors
· In the Triangle, led by Jill Sockman (Raleigh), Christine Wall (Durham), Tina Ventrella (Cary), and Lori Burgwyn (Chapel Hill).

Invited by my friend Patty, we were pretty sure that the yoga was going to be a class perfect for a newbie like myself. I think that I’ve been to about 5-7 yoga classes before this but hey, outdoor yoga, why the heck not?!

I wasn’t sure if I was definitely going to the right place. Then, I saw this in front of me.

Oh, wait, definitely in the right direction.

I parked and headed over to my first true visit to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Only I never thought I’d be going to do yoga….

Take me out to the ballpark!

A little early for beer, even for me.

The event started at 9 am, so I wanted to make sure I was there to get a good spot.

All set up, and ready for action!

Good spots were at a premium, as some folks came with giant crews of fellow yogis!


I’ll admit, I may have talked a little smack re: my past experiences with yoga not being very enjoyable or, very hardcore, and the fellow next to me was getting a little sassy. I mentioned that it was very rare that I ever had broken a sweat in a yoga class.

“Clearly, she hasn’t been to any of my yoga classes.”


The Lulus, as I’ll affectionately call them, were the lululemon gals and instructors who were in the front of the crowd with loudspeakers blaring. They got us all organized and ready to pose.

Little Lu-whos!

The first instructor had a pretty wordy intro during which we were supposed to find a partner. Well, I guess the karma gods of yoga got back at me by making sure that I was one of the only single gals in the crowd.


Luckily, a dear woman, Martha, scampered over and was my yogi-buddy, joining me on my mat to share an experience pairing our breath together as we were all told the point of Salutation Nation was for all of us to realize we’re brothers and sisters on this planet. It was a nice way to start the practice.

I was thankful for my Toe Sox initially, as the morning dew left me a little slippery.

Slipping is a no-no for this balanceless yogi.

I’ll admit, while I loved doing yoga outdoors, maybe more than I have in any other environment, the North Carolina early autumn quickly heated up.  Definitely got rid of those sox a little early in the game.

The poses were challenging, and although several women and men confessed to having never been to a yoga class in their lives, the instructors went through them very fast and, most of the time, without explanation.

Thankfully, Mr. Sassy Yoga Instructor was right next to me, and he knew everything from Warrior Two to Happy Baby.’

He looked exactly like this. (Click for Source)

I definitely broke a sweat in this 1.5 hour practice, and REALLY stretched out. I held poses longer than I have in the past, my triceps are super sore today, and the sun beat down on me reminding me that, yes, I was out in the elements, being one with nature.

It was pretty fantastic to wear sunglasses during yoga, it was great to hear “Oms” vibrating through the ballpark, and the attitude of everyone was great. We even enjoyed a moment of careful thought about those affected by 9/11, which meant a lot to me, to just relax and think and be both alone and together in my thoughts.

It’s events like these that remind me why I love being part of a community like the Triangle, and Durham more specifically. Afterwards, we headed over to the Durham Farmer’s Market for pizza from Pie Pushers and muffins from Scratch Bakery. It was the perfect way to start my weekend, and the best way to be part of an amazing community event.

Oh, and I got to tree pose with Wool E. Bull.

So flexible, that Bull.

Did you participate in Salutation Nation anywhere near you? 

Have you ever done yoga outdoors?



8 thoughts on “Salutation Nation 2011: Durham, NC

  1. Pingback: Six Pack Sunday: The Calm Before the Storm « Food, Sweat, and Beers

  2. This event looks awesome, i’m very jealous. I hurt my knee in yoga about 2 weeks ago and as much as i love it now im a little scared to go back. Practicing outdoors is by far the best (beach yoga?? YUP) and i laughed at the part about your sassy neighbor because i’m totally that girl every time someone mentions a non-hardcore yoga experience they have had. I’ll admit it, i’m defensive. Corpse pose, GO!!!

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