10 Ways to Escape into the Wild Lands in O.C.
#2: Fitness – Do Yoga Under the Sycamores
Who needs a studio when there’s Bommer Canyon?
Bommer Canyon is part of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve, and the easy yoga session is offered through the city’s partnership with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, which takes care of participants’ needs. Though you’re asked to bring yoga mats and a couple of towels, a wagon laden with extra mats and felt blankets stands by, and bottles of water are provided.
The day starts with a brisk one-mile hike on a nearby loop trail. Then comes the class, with mats set out on beds of wood chips in the shade, near the old cattle camp that dates back to when the Irvine Ranch ran some of its herds in the area. The hills overlap each other in the distance. The yoga class covers many of the standard poses and isn’t intimidating. You’re frequently reminded not to push too hard. A good-sized tarp or plastic sheet might be useful to help keep the wood chips from creeping onto your mat.
Take a hike! The entryway to Bommer Canyon has been spiffed up with a parking lot, signs, and a trailhead to newly open paths in unrestricted areas, which are open daily. More trails descend from the ridgeline above at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Only certain portions of the canyon are closed, largely to provide wildlife with undisturbed habitat.
Good to Know
➔ Easy hike, with an elevation gain of 150 feet, for ages 16 and up (minors must be accompanied by a guardian). Free
➔ Starting this month, the classes are offered on weekday mornings.
➔ 6400 Shady Canyon Drive, Irvine. Register here, type yoga in the “Keyword” section, and in the “All Areas” menu scroll to Bommer Canyon.