On Saturday, August 6, New York City yogis of all stripes are invited to board the Governor’s Island Ferry for a day of free outdoor yoga classes on an island better known for its military history. (Could there be a better cleansing?)
The idea for an island takeover by yogis was Dana Flynn’s, the founder of Laughing Lotus, who shared her longing for a “true New York City yoga event that would bring together the entire community” with the folks at Lululemon, who then bankrolled it.
Lululemon, which has succeeded in getting massive numbers of New Yorkers to its free summer yoga classes in Bryant Park and Prospect Park, saw it as a way salute New York yoga in a big, cannonball-firing way this summer.
Escape to Yoga Island will host 13 classes over the day taught by top New York City yoga teachers, and draw an estimated (hopeful) 2,000–3,000 urban yogis looking to feel the breeze off the water while they practice.
Got to be there? To make sure you get the very most out of the free day-long yoga event, we put together this must-have guide to Yoga Island. Email it to yourself or your friends, so you’ll have it handy day-of:
DETAILS OF THE DAY
Classes kick off at 10 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. There are 13 classes—a mix of main stage 60-minute classes and 90-minute intensives. Count on live music during classes or yogi DJs, like Derek Beres and Dana Slamp. Runners—there’s something for you: Join coach Terence Gerchberg for some laps around the island at 10:30. At 4:30, a half-hour long kirtan class ends the day.
Bring sunscreen—plus a small towel to mop up your sweat, and maybe a hat. A few tents and trees along Colonel’s Row will provide temporary refuge, but for most of the day, you will be literally saluting the sun. Also, bring your yoga mat. That lightweight Manduka you got at Solstice in Times Square will work perfectly.
Healthy drinks for sale (and sampling) will abound: Vita Coco Coconut Water, BluePrintCleanse, Beyond Kombucha, plus Soft Serve Fruit Co. However, you can’t live on juice alone (or can you?), and currently the food options for this day-long event seem slim. You’re going to burn through a lot of calories, so pack a picnic—or at least a couple protein bars—and water.
There are five 60-minute classes on the main stage taught by yoga bigwigs, like Flynn and Dharma Mittra, and seven 90-minute intensives that focus on yoga styles from Breakti and Ki Power Vinyasa to Acro Yoga. Lululemon ambassadors, like Jen Guarnieri, Anya Porter, Matt Giordano, and Mary Aranas, figure heavily on the class schedule. Try to plan your day so that you can check out a few 60-minute classes and try at least one 90-minute intensive. A piece of advice: Don’t take four classes, because when do you ever do that? And do you really want to spend your Saturday afternoon with an IV-drip in the island’s MASH unit?
Free ferries leave from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn every 10–15 minutes starting at 10:00 a.m., and the ride is a speedy 5 minutes. Lululemon staff will be checking you in right at the dock when you arrive on Governor’s Island. Just don’t fall asleep during Savasana—the last ferry leaves the island at 7:00 p.m.
Lower Manhattan Ferry: Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St., right next to the Staten Island Ferry. View map.
Brooklyn Ferry: Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, located at the foot of Atlantic Ave., corner of Columbia St. View map.
For further information and updates, RSVP on the Escape to Yoga Island Facebook page. Tell them Well+Good sent you! —Lisa Elaine Held
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