This summer has been one in a million. It came around slow, started off with a heat wave, stayed rainy, and dried out fast. Being in full swing, there is more to do outdoors than at any other time of the year. Aside from free concerts, free movies, free plays and many many more, there are also free fitness options. Such as free Yoga!
Now, yoga has always been popular in this city. Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga – you name it!
From Yoga studios specializing in only one type of yoga to daily sessions in gyms circulating through the entire array of types – yes, New York is yoga-obsessed. Not surprisingly you can also find instructors who are motivated enough to teach you yoga classes for free in the summer. Outdoors. If weather permits. So here is a list of a few places you can go to if you don’t feel like paying a full gym membership or if you feel like bonding with like-minded people over your cheapness in choice.
1) Free Yoga in the Park (7- 8 PM, Thursday)
Prospect Park is huge. Therefore, it has more than one spot to go to when it comes to free yoga sessions. I ended up close to the Grand Army Plaza 2 weeks ago. About 50 more people joined me. Initially I was rather repulsed in taking part in this large group, but after one hour I thought it was a pretty sweet deal. The main instructor paces back and forth in the middle while barking her instructions. She was too far away from me so sometimes I didn’t catch what she was saying. However, judging by the moves of the people in front of me, I got the gist. Plus there were about 4 more volunteer helpers who went around and corrected people’s postures. Overall, a great lesson for absolutely nothing.
There are more spots at the 15th Street and Parkside entrance. Feel free to try them out and let me know how it goes. Bringing your own mat and towel is a must here.
2) Give-by-donation Yoga in Coney Island (7-8 PM, Mo-Thursday)
Coney Island hosts a ton of great stuff. Every Monday is movie night. And from Monday to Thursday, you can also do free yoga on the promenade at 21st Street. Supposedly, it’s give-by-donation (so you don’t have to give much if you don’t feel like it). If you don’t have a yoga mat, you can borrow one of theirs (free of charge). I haven’t tried this one out yet but perhaps will do so once I get back from my trip.
3) Bryant Park Yoga (6- 7 PM, Tuesday)
Want to get out of Brooklyn and exercise with skyscrapers in the background? Well, you get that chance at Bryant Park Yoga! Every Tuesday from 6-7 PM. I’ve never been here either, but the site says that it provides yoga mats in case you don’t have any. I’m not sure what the crowd looks like but I could imagine it’s busier than in Brooklyn… Hey, you get what you (don’t) pay for!
For more free yoga throughout the summer, check out this article on TimeOut New York.