“Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life exists.” -unknown
Two miles underground, in the middle of Midway, lies a water source that feeds an incredible natural wonder. She has a lovely hourglass shape, was formed from a geothermal hot spring, and boasts a cozy water temperature of 94°F year-round. You might know this crater as Schneitter’s Hot Pot, Homestead Crater, or the Utah Crater. Regardless of the name you know her by; she has been in the making for years. Some estimate that the limestone rock dome started forming from the geothermal spring 10,000 years ago. This ancient formation with its unique qualities has become a beloved destination for many. Swimming and scuba diving are both popular choices here, but one of the most unique experiences offered is paddleboard yoga through Park City Yoga Adventures.
Julia Geisler, the owner of PCYA, had the idea of taking yoga outdoors. Her mantra early on was, “Get outside and breathe.” She wanted to provide people with the opportunity to enjoy all that this area has to offer. Julia wanted to offer paddleboard yoga classes, but did not want to be limited to the short summer season. Her good friend, Charlie Sturgis, a Park City legend in his own right, gave her the idea of offering yoga in the crater. Going to the crater fit perfectly with her hopes of taking yoga outdoors and allowing her the ability to offer it year-round. Julia entered into an agreement with Utah Crater at the Homestead and the rest is history.
Blake Summers, PYCA’s manager, affectionately calls the crater “the oldest yoga studio in the world” and “the fountain of youth.” He is proud to be able to offer such a distinctive and special experience. He shares, “To be totally honest and fair, it’s the only place in the world that you can do this. So talk about unique, right? Yoga on paddleboards, on hot springs, in a cave…literally the only place in the world that people are doing this.”
The mineral-rich waters and serene environment offer a therapeutic experience to people of all fitness levels, ages, and abilities. Blake says, “For me personally, every time I go into the crater, it just puts me in a great mood. I can walk in there having a rough morning and I always walk out with a smile on my face.” He loves being able to offer this experience to others and feels that it feeds a variety of needs. He explains, “Some people just want a cool, unique experience. Guaranteed, they’re going to get that. Some people need a little bit of spiritual therapy. Some people need […] a physical boost. Whatever it is, I think people get that from this experience in the crater.”
One of the most rewarding parts of Blake’s job is to see the confidence people gain as they work through their nerves and fears during the one-hour class. For some, getting back on the paddleboard is a challenge after falling off. For others, the hurdle is standing up on the board. By the end of class, Blake relishes in the successes of his guests as they stand on their boards looking confident and self-assured. Blake shares, “This is not for super-dedicated yogis, it’s for everyone. It’s really about the uniqueness and about the special place.”
Before heading to the crater, guests also have the opportunity to snowshoe or hike, depending on the season, at Wasatch Mountain State Park. The two together are a winning combination. Blake explains, “[The purpose is to] really kind of get in touch with nature whether it be the winter wonderland or summer beauty. […] It kind of just sets you up perfectly for going into the crater and doing some stretching on the paddle boards and getting into the hot springs. It’s just a great combo. In the winter you see your breath in the air. It’s cold out. It’s crisp. You see the sparkles glistening in the sky, the snow in the trees. And then to go inside the crater in the winter with a little bit of steam and hot water. That contrast is really cool.”
As Park City Yoga Adventures continues offering mindful and unique experiences, they hope to touch as many lives as they can. As explorers themselves, they want to continue to expand on finding and offering new adventures. Their vision and hope in Blake’s words: “We want to keep pushing the boundaries of what a yoga experience is.”
Get Outside and Breathe
Visit ParkCityYogaAdventures.com and book your adventure today!