02/02/17 10:18am

February may be the shortest month, but it has a tendency to feel more like the longest page on the calendar. Instead of despairing that your work schedule or bank account won’t allow you to escape somewhere warm to recharge, find some inner sunshine with these three inward retreats, for less than you spend on your morning coffee.

7310557616_1aa99df928_z_0_0Lovingkindness Fridays
If you love the idea of guided meditation, but don’t want to wear yoga pants or feel like you’ve joined a cult, The Interdependence Project may be where you make more space for yourself in New York City. The approach is a secular study of all aspects of Buddhism, mixed with psychology and a deep exploration of meditation as a tool for living better and more fully. In addition to special classes, intensives and series they offer regular weekly sessions like introduction to meditation classes on Sunday afternoons and Metta meditation on Friday evenings, which focuses on exploring the Buddhist concept of “lovingkindness.” Many workshops and classes are also available online, including a series called Transforming White Privilege, if you prefer to dive inward in the privacy of your own home. The suggested donation for most classes is $10-20, and the center is committed to making sure that people of all incomes are welcomed and have access to the community. (more…)

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06/14/16 12:20pm
Commune with the sky at the Brooklyn Grange Photo: Sarah Capua

Commune with the sky at the Brooklyn Grange Photo: Sarah Capua

It’s possible to do yoga, for free, almost every day of the week this summer, as New York City’s parks are transformed into al fresco yoga studios. These classes are all either mellow Vinyasa flow or Hatha yoga–a gentle style that often includes a meditative component, so they’ll be satisfying and safe for all levels of practitioners, even total newbies. Wear comfortable duds, bring water and a mat, and use common sense, if it’s raining, classes will probably be cancelled. Remind yourself that there are green trees and soft grass in the city, and calm pastures in your own mind.

FREE

Mondays: Sunrise Abhaya Yoga in Brooklyn Bridge Park, 7:30am through July 25 Early risers, this one is for you. On Mondays from now through July 25 salute the sun on the lawn at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park while the rest of us are still groggily loading up on coffee and trying to figure out what to wear. Registration for each free class starts at 7am, so get there early if you want to stake out a specific spot.

Wednesdays: Yoga in the Grove, 6:30pm, through August 31 As part of the massive Navy Yard transformation that’s going on right now, a weird little park called the Naval Cemetery Landscape recently opened at the intersection of Kent Avenue and Flushing, along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. It’s not the most beautiful corner of the world, but the park, which was once the site of a cemetery for the Naval Hospital (the remains were relocated to Cypress Hills), is devoted to native plants, and once you step through the gate it really is an oasis, despite the proximity to the BQE. Head to yoga on Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 7:30pm and then follow class with a drink at Rooftop Reds or Kings County Distillery (yes, you can have a cocktail after yoga). Free, with RSVP. (more…)

06/12/15 9:00am

Ah, summer–that beautiful time of year when winter is a distant memory and we all start to wonder just why we live in a humid swamp with 100-degree heatwaves matched by 100-year-old houses where “central air” is an unknown concept. With the weather getting particularly sticky for the first time this week, we figured it was a good moment to start looking at some upcoming chances to get out of Dodge. Fortunately, there are a ton of NYC-area weekend festivals coming up this season–here are three that seem tailor-made for Brooklynites, all easily reached by MetroNorth or bus. (more…)

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08/19/14 10:51am
Salute the sunset every Monday evening atop Brooklyn Grange's rooftop farm in the Navy Yard now through Sept. 29. Photo:  Sarah Capua

Salute the sunset every Monday evening atop Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm in the Navy Yard now through Sept. 29. Photo: Sarah Capua

One of the benefits of this cool summer is that you can exercise outside without the formidable feeling of melting. If your fitness routine could use an infusion of fresh air, now is the time to take advantage of the seasonal workouts in Brooklyn’s great outdoors. Here are six to get you started.

1. Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp
Of all the workouts we’re championing in this post, this one is the most intense. Expect to wake up before the sun to work out areas of your body you might not have even realized were there. The 60-minute outdoor classes also take place in Central Park and Prospect Park and promise a full-body workout for $20 a session. This is an intense exercise option to be sure, but think about it this way: at least you’ll be taking in a beautiful view while you feel the burn.

2. Rooftop Yoga in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
We realize there’s really nothing that can’t be done on a rooftop these days, but of all the bird’s-eye-view activities available, rooftop yoga is one of our favorites. Every Monday, the urban farmers from Brooklyn Grange open up their farm at Brooklyn Navy Yard for an hour-long asana practice with Sarah Schumann of Prospect Heights’ Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center. Classes start at 6:30pm. It’s our personal experience that uplift is a lot easier when you’re already a few stories off the ground, plus watching the sunset while you flow is a great antidote for a case of the Mondays. Classes cost $15 and run through Sept. 29. (more…)

05/27/14 1:30pm
Fri May 30, 2014
Get ready to glow and flow at Brooklyn Zumba Fitness' new Glow in the Dark Yoga Party on Friday nights in Fort Greene Park. Photo: BZF

Get ready to glow and flow at Brooklyn Zumba Fitness’ new Glow in the Dark Yoga Party on Friday nights in Fort Greene Park. Photo: Jennifer Brecheisen Photography

Every Friday night for the foreseeable future, Brooklyn Zumba Fitness is throwing Glow in the Dark Yoga Parties behind the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park. For $10, yogis will get glow-in-the-dark bracelets and work through a sequence of asanas set to hip-hop music. It’s a nontraditional workout to be sure, but sounds like enough fun to replace your regular Friday night bar routine without missing a beat. Be in the park by 7:30pm and prepared to do some Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) in the dark.

03/18/14 11:17am
Sat March 22, 2014
Photo via 39forks.com

Downward-facing dog meets Dungeons and Dragons during this Saturday morning yoga session in Crown Heights. Photo: 39forks.com

You certainly aren’t alone if Dungeons & Dragons and athleticism have never been linked in your mind, but maybe it’s time they should be. Since early this year, Scott Wayne Indiana, an artist and part-time dungeon master, and Sarah Dahnke, a yoga instructor, have been working together to bring the classic nerdy fantasy game out of the basement and into the chakra studio with a new class called D&D Yoga. Indiana guides the class through a narrative about swordfighting, forests, goblins, and all the other stuff you’d imagine would be involved, while Dahnke leads you through newly developed poses like “flipping the switch” and “dice rolling.” Fresh off a few sessions at SXSW, the class will be returning to the LaunchPad this Saturday at 11am for the price of a $5 suggested donation. Keep in mind that people are always looking for fun ways to change up their workout routines, so you’ll have to arrive early if you want to be one of the 18-20 “players” to get in on the game.

03/05/14 11:00am

askhollyhow-logo (1)Dear Holly,

I own a yoga studio here in Brooklyn.  We’ve been open for just under two years now, and we’ve been profitable for about a year.  Business continues to grow steadily, and I’m starting to think about what my next move should be.  I’m just having a hard time understanding when is the right time to grow.  I’m feeling very excited and enthusiastic about taking the next step, but I want to act responsibly.    

Can you give me any advice on how to make that decision? I’d hate to dive into my next project at the wrong time and sabotage everything I’ve worked so hard to build.  

(more…)

01/03/14 9:05am

It’s January 3rd. Do you know where you’re going to get in shape yet? If not, here are three great places and people who will help you become healthy and fit in the new year.

Brooklyn CrossFit

Brooklyn CrossFit: Columbia Street and South Williamsburg, free intro class at either location

The biggest fitness trend of 2013, high intensity interval training, is showing no signs of fading, and Brooklyn CrossFit has this style of workout down pat. The owners of the successful Brooklyn CrossFit: Columbia Street have expanded their empire to a new, larger location on the Williamsburg waterfront called Brooklyn CrossFit: South Williamsburg. Inside this nearly 2,000-square-foot space, you can work out with a personal trainer or take group or foundations classes limited to just 12 “athletes,” their very positive term for members who practice a high intensity, yet scalable fitness regimen that includes Olympic weightlifting, endurance, gymnastics, and calisthenics. (Think exercises like squats, pull-ups with gymnastic rings, and rowing, all tailored to your experience level.) The friendly workout environment at both Brooklyn CrossFit locations is designed to keep you motivated, as you learn a new “Workout of the Day” with coaches who foster community among your fellow athletes and overall health and fitness. Classes are available at multiple package levels and discounts are available for civil servants, military personnel, couples and athletes who purchase an extended time package; you can even test out Brooklyn CrossFit with a free intro class. Check out the site to learn more about the CrossFit method, see sample exercises and Instagram photos, and to sign up for classes today.
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09/11/13 9:30am

Beastenetics2-490x634Brooklyn is home to lots of yoga studios and lots of bars, but as far as I know, just one yoga studio-bar combo–The Cobra Club in Bushwick. On Thursday evenings they take a break from downward facing dog and offer Beastanetics from 7:30 to 8:30–trust me, this is a match made in heaven. Beastanetics is a high intensity workout that takes your fitness level from couch potato to super energized in a few short weeks. But it’s also really goofy and fun–this is a class where you’re likely to share some giggles with the person doing squat jumps next to you. You do four sets each of six different exercises–jumps, skips, sprints and the occasional burpee–then upper body and core conditioning and stretches. Happy hour lasts until 9pm, so after you’ve sweated it out, drink up ($4 drafts, $2 off well drinks) with your new beast buddies. –AG

09/06/13 12:00pm

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This Sunday, Flavorpill is hosting a day of activity and wellness that should entice even the downward dog averse. Make your way to gorgeous Brooklyn Bridge Park, enjoy a totally free yoga class led by the amazing Seane Corn and DJ’d by DJ Drez. (If you *are* into yoga, you know what a big deal she is–if you’re not, this is like getting a guitar lesson from Jimmy Page.) The afternoon of healthy delights also includes a lesson in tai chi, and an African dance class led by Djoniba Mouflet, founder of the Djoniba Dance Center, and accompanied by live drumming. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the park, or refuel with some complimentary high-energy snacks courtesy of Flavorpill. The first 1,000 guests will even score a free yoga mat, so try to arrive early. Oh, and by “early” we mean before the 2pm start time. See? You can even sleep in! Free with RSVP!

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