For some, the moving meditation of yoga is best practiced in nature. While you could just plop your yoga mat on any old patch of grass, why not check out some of our suggested locales? These five spots run the gamut from peaceful seclusion for individual practitioners to invigorating vibes for those feeding off the positive energy of others. Namaste!

University Of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN 55318
(952) 443-1400
www.arboretum.umn.edu

Discover a quiet, peaceful spot for yoga among more than 1,200 acres of nature at the arboretum. Find tranquility along gorgeous floral gardens or under one of the many large, shady trees. There are also art sculptures throughout the grounds to pose alongside of, as well as in a dedicated area of over 23 pieces, which is especially serene when the arboretum opens at 8 a.m. Occasionally, the arboretum holds organized outdoor yoga classes. Yogis should expect to pay $12 for admittance, but certain Thursdays during the year are free.

Frontenac State Park
Highway 61
Frontenac, MN 55026
(651) 345-3401
www.dnr.state.mn.us

Frontenac State Park offers many scenic options to practice your yoga flow. You can bring your mat to one of the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River or Lake Pepin. Other options include posing along the sandy beach, trailside within the woods or among the wildflowers in the wide-open prairie areas. Make sure to take in the sounds of the birds — more than 260 species have been noted here.

Lake Harriet Park
4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55409
(612) 230-6400
www.minneapolisparks.org

Lake Harriet is a popular place within the Twin Cities to practice yoga individually or within a group. On the northeast shore of Lake Harriet are four gardens, including a peace garden and rose garden, all of which provide a beautiful backdrop to stretch, bend and pose on your own. To join a group, look into the various yoga studios, clubs and instructors who hold sessions outdoors here. Lake Harriett Yoga Project is one such group, and their sunrise classes are free.

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Lake Calhoun Park
3000 E. Calhoun Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 230-6400
www.minneapolisparks.org

Leave the hustle and bustle of the metro area behind and escape to Lake Calhoun Park. You can find many yoga classes meeting here, even in the lake! Join a stand up paddleboard yoga class, such as one from Shed Fitness Studio, where you can challenge your balance and focus practicing yoga on a paddleboard. The class ends with savasana on your board while drifting peacefully in the water. There are also plenty of green areas to practice located off the path that circles the lake.

Minneopa State Park
State Highway 68 & U.S. Highway 169
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 389-5464
www.dnr.state.mn.us

You’ll find a scenic view perfect for sun salutations on the flat grasses near Seppmann’s Mill in Minneopa State Park. This area overlooks the vast grassland and wildflowers below and sits next to the old wind-powered grist mill. While the mill area can be very quiet during certain parts of the day, there are other areas of the state park that have a bit more activity. Yoga near the grassy area and waterfalls of Minneopa Creek are invigorating, but not as secluded.

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Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. She is also a public relations and event planning professional. Her most important job is mother to her young son and daughter, who are her partners-in-crime when checking out the family entertainment scene in the Twin Cities. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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