Summer is finally here in Minnesota and what a better way to take advantage of it than to be active in the park. The Out in the Backyard project brings free classes in yoga and zumba to the residents of the Corcoran and other surrounding neighborhoods. Out in the Backyard began in 2008 through the partnership of Allina Health and the surrounding communities. The projects main focus is in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in community by offering a hub of resources online as well as activities to encourage appreciation and respect for people from all walks of life. The program emphasizes their belief that health in the community is not only a physical need but also a desire to connect with and support our neighbors. The free classes, zumba Monday nights at 6:30 and yoga Saturday mornings at 10:00, give people in the community the chance to get to know each other while enjoying nature and getting a workout. Yoga is a relaxing way to rejuvenate your body after a stressful week. Be sure to bring a yoga mat and be ready to stretch out all those sore muscles. Zumba on the other hand is about dancing and working up a sweat. For those of you that don’t know the moves, don’t worry. Chances are that there are plenty of people that feel the same. My advice to you is to laugh and get in to it. When I am lost, my strategy is to at least wiggle my body in the direction everybody else is going so I don’t disturb the flow. I find this keeps the die-hards happy because you don’t get in their way, and usually provokes some smiles from all the others that may also be a little confused when spinning or coordinating their arms and legs. Try to pick up some steps along the way and eventually, voila! A couple weeks down the road the new people will be looking at you to help guild them! Great instructors, a diverse group of people and a beautiful day in the park make for a wonderful experience. The success for the project is evident in the numbers with some classes having close to 100 participants. So, don’t miss another chance to have fun and meet new friends. Grab your free pass to take a class by registering through the Minneapolis Park and Recreation board at http://www.minneapolisparks.org, Powderhorn Recreation Center 612-370-4960.