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…)

08/20/13 9:05am
yoga rooftop

Salute the sunset every Tuesday evening atop Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm in the Navy Yard at a new outdoor yoga class. Photo: Sarah Capua

If you need a little extra incentive to hit the gym on a random Monday or Wednesday night, how about doing your workout in the middle of a garden overlooking the Manhattan skyline at sunset? Whoever thought of having weekly yoga and pilates classes at the Brooklyn Grange’s urban rooftop farm at the Navy Yard is a genius in our book. Midweek stretching and relaxation on a herb-scented patio with an awesome view sounds like the ideal way to wind down and put whatever happened at the office far behind you. The classes, which start at 6:30pm, are for all levels, though you are required to bring your own mat, water and photo ID. You’ll need to sign up and buy a $15 ticket in advance in order to get into the facility, but attendees are encouraged to show up a little early to check out the farm.

04/19/13 12:02pm
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Yoga To The People opened its first studio (above) in the East Village, but it was its newest location in Williamsburg that sparked a lawsuit from Bikram Yoga, its closest competitor. Photo: YTTP

Om is not right in the world of hot yoga today. For an industry born of spirituality, there’s an awful lot of bad karma floating around–fallout from a lawsuit between two hot-yoga studios in North Brooklyn that’s leaving yogis divided in their practices.

The situation stems from hot-yoga heavyweight Bikram Yoga slapping its closest competition, Yoga To The People (the two have studios just blocks from one another in Williamsburg), with a copyright infringement lawsuit in 2011 because YTTP’s classes included the same 26 poses and two breathing exercises that Bikram Choudhury, the founder and creator of Bikram Yoga, crafted for his company decades ago. At $8 per class, YTTP’s offering cost less than half the $20-$25 price per class Bikram charges to spend 90 minutes in a heated room sweating through your chakras.

Bikram yoga is an offshoot of traditional Hatha yoga. Every Bikram class consists of the same 26 asanas performed in the same order each time, accompanied by two Pranayama breathing exercises meant to stoke your inner energy and fire. They are mainly standing poses and performed in a room heated to 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s an intense workout experience that’s found serious devotees due to its challenging nature and the health benefits practitioners believe it provides.
(more…)

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