It’s possible to salute the sun for free almost every day this summer, as New York City’s parks and public spaces are transformed into outdoor 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.
We’ve also found all the free canoe and kayak paddles, outdoor dance classes and group runs you can join, too. Wear comfortable duds, bring water and a mat or your dancing shoes—the city is your gym for the summer.
Mondays: Sunrise Abhaya Yoga in Brooklyn Bridge Park, 7:30am June through July 30 Early risers, this one is for you. On Mondays from now through July 30, 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.
Tuesdays and Thursdays: Bryant Park, Tuesdays 10am to 11am, Thursdays 6pm to 7pm, June through September If you work near Bryant Park this could be a great stop on your way home, or an excuse to take an early lunch. Fill out a frequent yogi card and you could get discounts on classes and events at Manduka.com. Mats are provided, which is extra convenient.
Wednesdays: Mindful Pints at Coney Island Brewery, June 13, 27 at 7pm $5 at Coney Island Brewery on Wednesday nights in June will get you a pint and a free yoga class on the beach. Seems like a perfect excuse to head to the beach after work on a Wednesday.
Wednesdays: Metrotech Commons, June through August, 5:30pm, Metrotech Commons Treat yourself to some zen Wednesday evenings and make hump day just a little more bearable this summer with communal yoga time.
Thursdays: Prospect Park Yoga, 7pm, June through August 30. 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, Sunset Yoga with Jess Allen, Industry City Courtyard 3/4, 237 36th Street, 7-8:30pm, June through September. Banish workweek stress every Friday evening with a free sunset yoga class at Industry City starting at 7pm. Mats are available on a limited basis, and the entire affair is set to a live DJ’d soundtrack. Afterward, explore all the food, shopping and drinks with our guide to Industry City.
Saturdays, Lululemon Summer of Yoga, LIC Landing, 10am-11am, June 9 through August 25 Start your summer-ey Saturdays with a few sun salutations at LIC Landing. It’s near the 7 train and several local buses, and the view is amazing. Bring a mat, slap on some sunscreen and stretch it all out. Be sure to arrive early to sign in and don’t forget to RSVP online.
Saturdays and Sundays at Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, Saturdays 9:30am and 11 am; Sundays 10am through September 13. Ride your bike to Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City on a weekend morning and reward yourself with an hour of yoga and then head to Takumen for lunch.
Sundays, 50 Kent Pop-Up Park, Williamsburg, 10am-11am, through August. Take an all levels vinyasa class let by Hosh Yoga in this waterfront pop-up park that will one day be part of Bushwick Inlet Park. Be sure to RSVP on Facebook beforehand.
Free one-hour bike rentals on Governors Island, every morning 10am to noon, May 24 through September 28. If you want to start your day with a bike ride without the commitment of owning one in New York, come to Governor’s Island. You’ll have to take the ferry from lower Manhattan to get to the island, but from 10am to noon on a weekend getting on is free. Get there early to get on the line and spend a few hours leisurely cruising along scenic views.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Thursdays 5:45pm-6:45pm and Saturdays 10am-3pm, Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, Brooklyn Bridge Park piers 1 and 2, Downtown Brooklyn; May 31st to September. Soak in some sun, work your arms, and take in amazing views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the skyline from a kayak. Be sure to line up early, there’s only a limited amount of boats for everyone; rides are 20 minutes long.
Select Saturdays, noon-4pm, Public Paddles at the North Brooklyn Boat Club, Greenpoint, June through September. The membership-driven North Brooklyn Boat Club invites the public aboard its 25-foot canoes on select Saturdays in summer, where its certified trip leaders bring beginners out onto Newtown Creek and often into the East River. It’s best to arrive early to guarantee your seat. The next dates are June 16, July 14 and 28, August 18 and Sept. 8.
Zumba and other dance classes
Everyday, Brooklyn Bridge Park Waterfront Workouts, June to September, Join other fitness enthusiasts and feel the burn while breaking a sweat outdoors. Brooklyn Bridge Park hosts a variety of waterfront workouts like zumba, piyo, Broadway dance, retro dance, hip hop aerobics and more. Click on the link above to see times and locations in the park.
Tuesdays, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 6:45pm, year-round As part of its city-wide Open Run program, New York Road Runners organizes a weekly three-mile evening run starting from the south side of Fornino on Pier 6. You can bring your jogging stroller or your dog along for the ride, too.
Saturdays, Canarsie Park, year-round, 9-10am A brisk early three-mile morning run is the healthy way to start a weekend. Run for Life has partnered with several NYC public parks including Canarsie Park to hold weekly community running events. If you usually avoid running, give it a try with friends and community members. This is open to all levels but be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early to warm up.