[This is for summer 2016, we’ve updated in a new post for free yoga summer 2017, as well.]
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.
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.
Thursdays: Prospect Park Yoga, Thursdays, 7pm, through August 25 Establish a Thursday evening routine with yoga in the Long Meadow in Prospect Park now through the end of August. It’s free, but you do need to RSVP before your first class so you can acknowledge a waiver, which you can do here, as well as check out the list of instructors for the summer.
Fridays: BRIC’s House Gallery, Fort Greene 1-2pm July 8-August 12 If you work in Fort Greene or Downtown Brooklyn make this yoga class from Bend and Bloom instructors, accompanied by live music, your Friday afternoon namaste before the weekend.
Saturdays and Sundays: Socrates Scuplture Park, Long Island City, Saturdays 9:30am and 11 am; Sundays 11am through September 25 Ride your bike across the new protected bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge to Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City on a weekend morning and reward yourself with an hour of gentle Kripalu yoga–a Hatha style class that incorporates meditation and breathing techniques, along with poses.
Wednesdays and Sundays: Good Yoga, Wednesdays, 6:30pm at the N. 5th Pier; Sundays in Transmitter Park 7pm, through September 4 Brooklyn-based yoga studio Good Yoga hosts two free weekly classes all summer long. Wednesday nights head to N. 5th Pier on the Williamsburg waterfront and Sunday evenings in Transmitter Park in Greenpoint. Just look for the Good Yoga instructor wearing a red t-shirt.
These classes aren’t free, but they promise to be unlike any class you’d take at a normal studio.
The Art of Yoga with Chloe Kernaghan and Krissy Jones, founders of Sky Ting Yoga, Saturday, June 25, 9:30am $20 Head to the Brooklyn Museum for a class accompanied by a string quartet that will also serve as the backdrop for a sound meditation at the conclusion of the morning flow. Your $20 ticket also gets you into the museum for the day.
Yoga at the Brooklyn Grange with Sarah Schumann of Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center, Mondays, 6:30pm, $17 If you’ve never been to the Brooklyn Grange in the Navy Yard it’s really one of the most spectacular views in Brooklyn. If you’re seeking some way of feeling more alive and connected, well, practicing yoga up there is going to be pretty mindblowing. There are only 30 spots each week, so make sure to register in advance.