Hot yoga in cool castle: Yoga session in Ice Castles at the Forks helps out Polar Bear Fund
Proceeds to benefit Kal Barteski's Polar Bear Fund, which supports polar bear-related projects
Winnipeg's chilliest castle will be the site of some hot yoga action this weekend.
About 60 people are expected to head to The Forks Sunday to participate in a yoga class at Ice Castles, all in support of The Polar Bear Fund.
"This was just sort of a spontaneous idea," said local artist Kal Barteski, who helped organize the event. "Yoga is everywhere, there's lots of ways to practise doing yoga or the practice of yoga. And I love polar bears and I love ice … so we thought this was a great thing."
Inside the Ice Castle structures are seven hidden small polar bear sculptures and one larger polar bear ice sculpture, said Barteski. Doing yoga with bears was appealing to her, she said.
"It is going to be a beautiful, sort of restorative class. So all ages, all abilities.
"If you have a yoga mat, if you'd like to not lay right on the ice, that would be great — bring a yoga mat. And definitely dress appropriately. I think that goes without saying in Winnipeg, but make sure you have some layers and some ski pants."
The class is already full, said Barteski, but that doesn't mean there won't be some no-shows. People can still come by and, if there's room, take the class.
Love of bears
Barteski's relationship with polar bears began years ago after a trip to Churchill.
"Seeing them just for one second changed the trajectory of my life," she said. "Also, standing on the shore of the Hudson Bay while you're in Churchill is a mind-blowing event.
"We're an ocean province. With whales and bears, it was the most exciting thing I had ever discovered, even though I don't know why I didn't already know that."
When she came back, the artist started The Polar Bear Fund to support polar bear-related projects.
"It raises money for innovative, non-invasive and inspiring polar bear projects that we have in Manitoba," said Barteski.
"And there's really only one place Polar Bears happen in Manitoba and that's in Churchill, and that's really where my heart is and my passion.
"So we're raising money for local, small, meaningful projects there."
While the group is doing their yoga, they just may put together a new yoga pose.
"There is a very iconic move that polar bears do where they put their bum high up in the air and their face on the ground and just sort of slide along. I think we'll get the group to do that," she joked.
With files from The Weekend Morning Show