If you’ve never done yoga outside of a studio, you’re missing out. Open-air yoga feels natural and freeing… and it just feels so right.
But you don’t have ball out in Bali for life-changing outdoor yoga. We’ve got regular classes and summerlong workout spots right here in the US of A.
These incredible outdoor yoga classes are the stuff dreams are made of. (Except these are real.)
Given the concrete sprawl of NYC, New Yorkers will jump at the opportunity to bask in some green space. That’s probably why so many people turn out for Bryant Park Yoga — up to 1,000 people show up (we’re talking ‘accidentally touch your neighbor’s foot’ packed). Just a short walk from Grand Central Station, the urban park offers FREE Tuesday morning and Thursday evening sessions curated by Yoga Journal. May to September, join this unforgettable quiet hour in the big city.
Yoga on the Rocks sees your 1,000 yogis, Bryant Park, and raises you another grand. Not only that, they’ll raise you up stadium-style, so everyone has a view of Colorado’s stunning Front Range. If you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about Red Rocks Amphitheatre, host to unbelievable concerts and just as breathtaking yoga. Multiple times per summer, yogis from across the globe converge on Morrison, CO (outside Denver) for mountain poses with CorePower Yoga and The River Power Vinyasa.
Summer Sunday mornings in the city of Pittsburgh are pretty special (emphasis on pretty). Birds chirp, temps creep into the 70s, and the whole town is set to “chill mode”. Truth be told, there’s no better way to experience it than with Yoga in the Square in Market Square. There, the city’s top yogis lead hundreds of their neighbors through invigorating flows while the sun peeks over the city’s skyline. And if your stomach is growling through savasana, know that you’re in a good place for brunch.
We know it’s 2017, but doing yoga in Chicago’s Millennium Park feels like outdoor yoga in 2071. First off, they have the Cloud Gate (the giant silver bean). But the yoga itself—free of charge and hosted by local studios in the summer—is on the Great Lawn of the Pritzker Pavilion. If you don’t know, the lawn is under a crisscrossing pattern of steel latticework. So, it’s like doing your tree pose in a biodome — you’ll roll out a mat on plush green grass, and peer through the arches at the sun, clouds, and cityscape.
Sun, water, and atmosphere. Yoga on the Pier in Philadelphia offers all three for anyone and everyone looking to roll out their mat. Each summer, Malik Wilson of Healing Arts Collective leads classes on the Race Street Pier (over the Delaware River) when the sun is rising, and now, monthly full moon flows at twilight too. And it’s safe to say you’ll have an excellent model for Bridge pose; you’ll be hittin’ the back bends in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
The name says it all doesn’t it? Spectacle Island, a popular spot for Bostonians to beach it come summer, is really a spectacle (“wicked gorgeous”, some might say). And Island Yoga, a summer tradition presented by the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, allows you the peace and tranquility of a Hatha yoga session filled with sea breeze, sunshine, and serious views of the water.
Austin’s Whole Foods (in the Lamar neighborhood) isn’t like your Whole Foods. Aside from the in-house BBQ joint, Allegro coffee bar, and beer and wine flights from Bar Lamar (seriously), the flagship store one-ups your neighborhood grocery so hard. They offer regular rooftop yoga nearly year-round (because Austin doesn’t winter) with Yoga on the Plaza. The classes, hosted for FREE by the yogis of CorePower Yoga and Black Swan Yoga, promise hot beats and an even hotter Vinyasa.
What do you do when you have wide open space, perfect weather, a ton of organic, all-natural freeze pops, and a handful of expert yoga instructors? Yoga block party? Yeah, definitely yoga block party. It’s called Yoga on the Avenue, hosted by Revolution Studio at Houston’s pedestrian-friendly, art deco retail village, West Ave River Oaks. A presence party in the street, hundreds line their mats for the complimentary flow, complete with live DJ and a strong chance of post-flow mimosas.
Yoga with popsicles again? Are we onto something here? Obviously, the hordes of yogis that turn out to Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark every Sunday (starting in the spring) think so. It’s hosted by King of Pops, makers of delicious, locally sourced, all-natural frozen treats (like Sweet Tea ’n Lemonade on a stick), and the classes led by rad yogi Charlie Baxter Graham often fill up the entire field. After the savasana, just walk a block for a pop — mozy right up to KoP’s walk-up window for all of the yum.
When the weather finally comes around in Minneapolis (usually by June), Minnesotans make for Lake Calhoun, right in the middle of the city. While walking and biking around the small lake are always a win, Savasana @ Sunset on Tuesday evenings is pretty special. (Riding your bike TO sunset yoga is another story altogether). Hosted by Luminous Yoga, you’ll set up in the grass overlooking the lake and skyline while the shadow of your warrior pose grows longer behind you.
It was Will Smith that said “hottest club in the city and its right on the beach”. He was talking about yoga at Bayfront Park in Miami, right? Right!? Regardless, this free 75-minute yoga class sets up every Monday and Wednesday evening all year round (it’s Miami) right by the beach, boats, and palm trees. All that’s missing is DJ Khaled driving by on a jetski…which, to be honest, isn’t all that unlikely.
Name a more iconic spot to practice yoga? …we’ll wait. Rolling out a mat at San Francisco’s Baker Beach gives us all the feels. With the sand, bay, and looming Golden Gate Bridge in the backdrop, yoga just doesn’t get much more sublime. EXCEPT maybe if you’re attending Sunset Silent Disco Beach Yoga. The personal headphones bumpin’ the curated playlist will hopefully drown out the sounds of you openly weeping over the unbelievable sunset. Fitt tip: If it’s rainy or foggy (not unheard of in SF), head for Yoga on the Labyrinth at Grace Cathedral.
You may have heard of Namasteve, sometimes referred to as “the infamous” Namasteve. A lot of people have. In San Diego, Steve’s Oceanfront Yoga classes at Palisades Park (with his pot-bellied pig Clubber) became so popular, the city had to cap the size of his classes…and made him part with the pig (FREE CLUBBER!). But! You still get the powerful, meditative perfection of sunny, sea-breezy yoga every Saturday and Sunday.
While Steve is holding down the beach in San Diego, Brad’s beach yogi supreme in Santa Monica, and he’s not afraid to get his toes wet. Yours either, for that matter. His sandy beach yoga often takes their downward dogs into the tide. And for the record, hucking a crow pose on the sand is no easy feat. Meet up with Brad, friends, and tons of positivity every Saturday and Sunday, year-round, at Lifeguard Station #29 of Santa Monica Beach.
Tuesday is a VERY underrated day. Not only is it taco Tuesday and a day that’s not Monday, it’s Toned Up Tuesday in Washington DC. Every Tuesday evening during the spring, yogis flock to The Park at CityCenter for a FREE flow led by CorePower Yoga. The park is more of the “concrete jungle”-type variety, but the practice between the busy streets is a surreal experience (wave at a car from tree pose, why don’t ya). And because it’s at 6, you can still capitalize on taco Tuesday afterward. What a Tuesday it will be!
Everyone knows that phrase: “If you chaturanga outside and play music, they will come”. Who could forget that one? Well that was Yoga Rocks the Park’s plan when they took to a park in Denver seven years ago. It’s so simple yet so awesome — host a thoughtful, enlightening 75-minute outdoor yoga class set to the beat of live music or live DJ, then just wait for all your friends. And what started as 30 yogis has now turned into summer weekend spectaculars in Denver, Omaha, and Phoenix, sometimes flowing (then subsequently dancing) with nearly 1,000 yogis.
Cleveland gets it too. Each year, they host a MASSIVE 60-minute Vinyasa flow (and legit after-party) at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Close to 2,000 yogis from Ohio and beyond pack the lakefront (Erie) courtyard as the sun twinkles through the Rock Hall’s glass pyramid. Hosted by Believe in CLE, they keep the DJ spinning, food trucks slinging, and beer flowing well into the evening. Fitt tip: For yogis who want to rock, the Hall salutes you with a $5 admission.
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