Out There: Yoga With Butterflies

Interaction with the winged guests of honor brings a certain magic to this Arizona yoga class.
Yoga With Butterflies

At Yoga in the Rainforest, Arizona students sit in Butterfly Pose among beautiful winged creatures of the same name. This Vinyasa-based yoga workshop takes place inside the nation’s largest butterfly atrium. “It’s like practicing yoga outdoors,” says yoga teacher Rhiannon Ritchey. “You’re more connected to the postures, nature, the breath, and the mind.”

Holding a workshop at Scottsdale’s Butterfly Wonderland seemed like a natural idea to Ritchey who used to work there. And when she approached Director of Education Adriane Grimaldi, who had already researched the concept herself, she quickly got the green light. “Where else can you do yoga in a rainforest setting with a waterfall and butterflies fluttering around you?” Grimaldi says. “Our atrium is a perfect setting for doing yoga.”

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All levels of practitioners are welcome in this semi-gentle practice. Ritchey offers modifications and adjustments for anyone having difficulty with a pose. She also introduces different types of yoga breathing and meditation.

Expect to see a lot of smiles around the room, as Lacewings, Monarchs, or any of a number of other species housed in the atrium land on yogis throughout the practice. And if a student is in a pose that could unintentionally harm a butterfly, someone gently removes it. But Richey says this doesn’t happen often. “Our class starts at 5:30 p.m., and that’s when the butterflies go to bed.”


Yoga in the Rain Forest, Vinyasa-based for all levels


Upcoming Tuesdays: 11/18 , 11/25, 12/2 , 12/9 from 5:30–6:30 p.m.


Butterfly Wonderland, Scottsdale, AZ


$20 per workshop

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Images courtesy of Adriane Grimaldi