Ommmmmmm. It has finally arrived. A runDisney offering that appeals to elite runners AND coach potatoes. Especially if you have ever wanted to participate in the famed runDisney weekends but were put off. (That “running” part can certainly be off-putting!) Your moment has come. Here’s my best tips for runDisney Sunrise Yoga. It’s ZEN for nonrunners.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the benefits of yoga are far reaching. Peer reviewed studies show that it targets everything from arthritis to back pain. Never mind the potential sleep, mood, and stress benefits. Its low impact nature attracts participants of all ages.
runDisney Sunrise Yoga
Finally! A runDisney event that attracts ALL. Yoga for elite runners is a thing. It optimizes days of rest with mobility/balance training. For other mortals, it is as calming and meditative as you might desire. Whether a stand alone activity or a precursor to a weekend of endurance racing, runDisney Sunrise Yoga was the perfect addition to round out their lineup. Who would have expected? runDisney is your new guru for serenity during the normal runDisney weekend craziness!
Debuting at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2022, Sunrise Yoga is not new to Magic Kingdom. (Cast Members have enjoyed this experience before.) However, this IS special for us onlookers!
- Must be 10-years of age.
- Event pricing began at $95.
- Each participant receives a yoga mat (NO LOGO!!), a mesh mat carrier, and a small bottle of Dasani water.
- Transportation from Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) via ferry is included. Walking from nearby resorts is not permitted. The Walt Disney World Monorail System and water launches will not be operational.
Perhaps the word is not out on the (Main) street (U.S.A.) yet, so this event has not sold out as quickly as runDisney 5K or 10K events. Expect this to change!! It is set to return during the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend.
Unfortunately, we are disappointed it is not included in the 2022 Disney Wine and Dine Half Weekend itinerary. Nor the 2023 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
AKA “center of energy.” Or magic, perhaps. runDisney Sunrise Yoga has both, with its trademark event flourish. And cast of characters…
Carissa has been a staple at runDisney races since forever. But we didn’t count on her kicking off yoga at dawn. What a nice treat! (She even brought along fellow celeb, Cinderella, to light up the still-dark skies. runDisney fireworks we have seen for decades. (Usually set off in a distant Epcot parking lot.) But over Cinderella Castle? Pixie dusted firsts!
Or respectful greeting. I would say Fairy Godmother and Cinderella did just that.
And for the record, runDisney fireworks shot off at Cinderella Castle beat the pants off the variety shot off in the Epcot parking lots!
Best Tips for runDisney Sunrise Yoga
- The Early Bird..
This applies not only to the registration process! Though the final ferryboat leaves the TTC at 5 am, the queue there began at 3 am. (I know because I was 5th in line at that hour.) If you have completed the online waiver successfully, you will be on the first ferryboat that leaves for Magic Kingdom after receiving your wristband.
Those solitary steps down Main Street, U.S.A. were certainly worth the 1:30 am wake up call.
Just realize that the closer you get to the Castle, the closer you are to being the show.
At Castle-front, we were surrounded by real yoga pros. They looked, dressed, and posed the part. As I completed my third attempt at a successful Tree Pose I glanced at those behind me. The hundreds and hundreds behind me. (Luckily, no snickering!!) Thankfully everyone was in their own concentration zone. However, if you have any misgivings about performing your butt-up Dolphin Pose in front of a large audience, hang to the back. Or stay left/right of Cinderella Castle. Separate yoga instructors are positioned along the Castle hub.
Sadly, the logo-ed yoga mats that Cast Members have shown off in years past were absent for this inaugural event. In its place were thin blue standard mats. “Bring Your Own Mat.” Perhaps it’s my age, but I felt every bump in the ground beneath my rump. I was hoping- in lieu of the spectacular trademark runDisney medals, refreshment stations, and snack boxes- we would be receiving equipment equally extraordinary. Certainly the event pricing is the same… Chakra thrown!
Know Your Golden Hour
A small disappointment during the inaugural showing was the fact that the dawn arrived at approximately 7:00 am. With a 5:30 am start and hour-long exercise, we never did get to see said advertised “sunrise.” Daylight savings will do the same for the Springtime Surprise. Also, those searching for magical photos of the dawn should train their phones to the east. The sun rises over Tomorrowland, not Cinderella Castle…
Dress for Comfort
Layer for warmth. runDisney diehards will know that the temperature dips right before the dawn. Choose fabrics that allow you to stretch and breath during those salutations! I noticed a few artful folks managed to incorporate runDisney costuming into these guidelines.
Find serenity in the fact that only the most basic yoga concepts and poses are practiced here. The full routine consists of supine stretches, deep diagrammatic breathing, and simple movements.
This graphic from Greatist highlights the best poses to practice in advance.
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These are the best tips for runDisney Sunrise Yoga? Non-runners will appreciate this new runDisney addition more than race veterans. The early and limited access to Magic Kingdom is benefit enough. Lying on hallowed ground in front of Cinderella Castle is a surreal experience. (How many times had my babies toddled in this exact spot? How many celebrities strolled here? Had Roy Disney stood where I now lay?? These are the thoughts that became my mantra.) We OWNED this real estate for more than an hour. That beats the mere seconds running through the Castle in my book/blog.
Shanti means peace and that is exactly what runDisney Sunrise Yoga has to offer. I know I surely will return, running shoes or not!