New Farm Park is great for barbies, kicking the footy, napping in the sun and all those things you can do in any park across the city. But it's the quirky little happenings in New Farm Park that really set it apart. One such quirk is laughing yoga.
Laughing yoga, according to Laughter Yoga Australia, is based on the idea that "laughter lowers the level of stress hormones (epinephrine, cortisol, etc) in the blood. It fosters a positive and hopeful attitude". Using a combination of group laughter and yogic breathing techniques, you get all the benefits of an exercise regime and a good old-fashioned belly laugh.
So, if you happen to find your peaceful afternoon in the park disrupted by the uproarious laughter coming from a group of people standing in a circle holding hands, don't be alarmed. This isn't some weird cult; this is an activity that has been endorsed by Oprah, so it must be good.
Another unique activity that New Farm Park offers is Zumba in the park. Hosted by Chilean Zumba instructor, Carol, the Saturday morning Zumba classes are a great way to shake your bootie in a judgement-free, fun environment. While dancing in public may not seem like the ideal way to spend a Saturday morning, these classes are quite busy so there is a definite feeling of safety in numbers. Plus, what better way to start (and prepare for) the weekend than getting your dance on.
If finding zen through laughter and yoga doesn't pique your interest, and Latin dance isn't really your scene, then perhaps jugging is more your style. Of all the things New Farm Park has to offer, this is probably the strangest. Jugging, sometimes known as medieval football, involves two teams armed with padded weapons and is, according to the Australia Jugger League website, "The best fun you'll have getting your butt kicked". I might take their word for it.
These are just a few of the weird and wonderful activities happening in New Farm Park. I'm certain that if you stand in the middle of park on any given day, you'll find many more quirky and, most importantly, fun goings-on.