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PHOTOS: Feeling the burn to earn a beer in Port Coquitlam

A Port Coquitlam yoga and fitness studio has teamed up with a pub to provide outdoor classes in the pub's parking lot.

What started as a love match has become a unique collaboration of two Port Coquitlam businesses trying to stay afloat despite COVID-19 public health restrictions.

Jen Hamilton, the CEO of Oxygen Yoga and Fitness studios, is dating Randy Doncaster, proprietor of the Cat & Fiddle pub, and with both businesses prevented from fully serving their customers indoors, they decided to partner in a new way.

Several times a week for the past month, the pub’s front parking lot has become an impromptu gym.

Hamilton said the wide open space allows her to serve more clients than the indoor studio, and the parking lines are the perfect distance apart to keep everyone safe even as they breathe hard during their workout.

“We’re able to provide a space for people to channel their energy,” she said, adding some of the outdoor sessions are held in the afternoon and evening so a beer can be enjoyed afterward.

Doncaster said the professional partnership helps raise the profile of both businesses and sends a positive message about community building.

“I just see a lot of positives coming from it,” he said.

Yoga to aid India

Meanwhile, several yoga studios in the Tri-Cities are teaming up this Saturday (May 15) to run special classes to raise funds for India’s battle against COVID-19.

The populous country is currently being devastated by a wave of infections of the respiratory virus that has already claimed more than 250,000 lives and crippled its medical system as oxygen supplies run low.

Dawn Slykhuis, who runs RVN Wellness in Port Moody, said the collaboration is a way for local yoga practitioners help out the country where the meditative activity originated.

“I think it is really cool to see studios working together who might typically be in competition,” she said, adding 100% of proceeds from the special outdoor and virtual classes will go to COVID relief in India.

The other Tri-City studios participating are Kushala Yoga and Wellness in Port Moody, and Sadhana Yoga and Sound in Port Coquitlam.

You’re encouraged to contact each studio for schedules and more information.