Sunnylands Provides Perfect Backdrop for Yoga Class

Free sessions run through April 25

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There's no "stretch" in professing to getting one's desert weekend off to a lucid start begins with yoga at Sunnylands Gardens at the historic Annenberg Retreat in Rancho Mirage.

Running through April 25, Sunnylands offers Friday free afternoon yoga sessions upon the idyllic expanse of the Great Lawn. Since beginning in November, the hour-long (noon to 1 p.m.) classes have enjoyed a regular assembly of more than 100 yoga practitioners taking advantage of the sessions, which require no reservation or previous yoga experience.

Led by the buoyant and bubbly Kristin Olson, founder of Urban Yoga in Palm Springs, the all-ages, all-levels sessions are matched in levity and inclusiveness by the incomparable beauty of the Sunnylands' surrounds. For yoga veterans and newcomers alike, the enjoyment of curling one's feet into the cool, shaded grasses proves a bucolic echo of yoga's open-hearted teachings.

VIDEO: Take a sneak peek of a yoga workout and hear what makes yoga in the outdoors different from instructor Kristin Olson.

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Visitors to the sessions are encouraged to bring their own towels or mats (though they are also provided gratis by the hosts). To grab the prime shade of the surrounding palo verdes, it's recommended to arrive at the grounds at least 15-minutes early.

Sunnylands Center & Gardens (www.sunnylands.org), 37977 Bob Hope Drive, is free and open to the public.

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