Outdoor yoga is pretty commonplace by now in New York, but have you tried yoga on the beach?
Rockaway Beach in Queens has become host to a slew of beach yoga classes, and not by coincidence. The ocean enhances yoga's connection to nature, and the laidback beach community fosters a relaxed, stress-free home for the classes, according to instructors and organizers. Here are a few that have set up shop on the beach:
Open Ocean Sessions combine meditation, yoga practice and surfing in its Saturday classes. An organizer, Kristopher Krajewski, told the New York Times recently that the uneven terrain of the beach helps focus the practice: "I've done yoga in Times Square, and it can be a challenge to find a stillness in the chaos. This is the ocean. It is humbling and easy to interconnect with nature around you." The classes are free, but there's a suggested donation of $10 for charities and you'll have to rent a surfboard if you don't own one.
New York Surf School offers daylong yoga-and-surfing retreats each Saturday in the summer. "We believe that yoga is the perfect complement to surfing," the website states. "Our camp draws our inspiration from beautiful Rockaway Beach and the amazing local vibes." The daylong mini-camp costs $225, which includes a two-hour surfing lesson, board, wetsuit, hot showers at the surf shop, and yoga instruction.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation offers a free yoga class from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Saturday until August 27. "The class will teach one how to relax and open up your body, mind and spirit, feeling rejuvenated and energized through this basic yoga class on our beautiful beach," reads the description on the Parks website. You'll have to bring a mat or large towel or blanket.