I come from a baseball family. My father, Gene Budig, was the president for the American League of Baseball for 6 years until the leagues were abolished. Under this time I met and mingled with classics such as Ted Williams and George Steinbrenner, to modern day heroes such as Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter. I’ve even experienced Reggie Jackson’s charm and Yogi Berra asking me how to get to the little boys room because he accidentally walked into the ladies room. Classic.
My father is now a part-owner of a minor league team in Charleston called The Riverdogs. He knew they were accustomed to throwing large events and suggested I lead a yoga event at the stadium. I adored the idea, and to stay within the baseball lingo, “If you build it, they will come”.
And so they did! Come rain or shine (okay, just rain). 350 cheery yogis that I’m pretty sure my father greeted each individually (did I mention he’s the cutest ever?) We held the event on the field this past Saturday with foreboding clouds lurking all around us. People still happily unrolled their mats eager to have this unique baseball-yoga hybrid experience, even though the mats were looking more promising for a slip-n-slide set up than yoga practice. Even my tennis loving mother dropped her racket to come try out the class. I was surrounded by family, friends and that amazing magic you can only get at a ballpark. It was the closest feeling I’ll ever to hitting a home run and triumphantly running the bases with the crowd cheering you on.
We got about 30 minutes into our Downward Facing Riverdogs and Boat Poses (we needed a viable escape method if the skies opened up) when the clouds started to sprinkle. This light mist of cool water was quite welcoming in the muggy Charleston weather. In fact, it was reminiscent of those great water misters they keep outside of restaurants in Vegas. We enjoyed the refresher as we geared up to tackle the signature pose that was used to promote the event: Baby Grasshopper.
photo by Andrew Cebulka
We meant business, and so did the sky—she opened up and poured. Did everyone scatter and go running? No, people laughed and worked harder, and then laid down to experience a glorious savasana in the pouring rain.
It may go down as the most unique and amazing teaching experience yet. A big thank you to everyone who roughed the weather, showed up and realized that regardless of our situation, we can always make the best of it and have so much fun.