Steamy spot offers an opportunity to do in public what you never thought you would

It's leafy, lush and always a balmy 24 degrees. The tropical pyramid at the Muttart Conservatory is the perfect place to do in public what you ordinarily might not.

‘By the end of it you’re calm, you’re relaxed’

Some of the Edmontonians who meditate at the Muttart Conservatory. (John Robertson/CBC)

You might as well be in the Amazon jungle.

The temperature is a humid 24 C, the orchids are popping and the moisture drips off lush green leaves the size of small children.
Corinne Willis leads the mediation and mindfulness sessions. (John Robertson/CBC)

"The richness of the environment is like nothing else," said meditation instructor Corinne Willis.

For the past five years the Edmonton instructor has offered relax and recharge classes in the tropical pyramid at the Muttart Conservatory.

"It's the moisture, it's the green, you get fragrances from the flowers that come to you. You hear the beautiful waterfall and you just can't help take a deep sigh and it just adds to the deep richness of the experience," Willis said.
Inside the refresh and recharge meditation class at the Muttart Conservatory's tropical pyramid. 2:26
  

John Black considers himself lucky he lives so close to a rainforest.

"People spend a fortune to go travel to the tropics. You just have to step in here," the local entrepreneur said.
A canopy of huge leaves dripping with moisture fills the tropical pyramid. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

"You can just feel yourself just come down. By the end of it you're calm, you're relaxed."

For Bev Novak it's about escaping two things; cold and technology.

"With the cellphones ringing and the Ipads going, it's something that I do just for me," said the retiree.

During the winter closing her eyes and sitting still in the pyramid is a "breath of fresh air," Novak said.

"This is best place to meditate."

You can see more from the Muttart Conservatory on this week's Our Edmonton Saturday at 10 a.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. and Monday at 11 a.m. on CBC TV.
Exotic tropical flowers provide a fragrant backdrop for mediation classes. (John Robertson/CBC)