Memorial Day weekend is over, which means you officially have permission to switch into summer mode—in terms of your wardrobe (white!), food and beverage choices (grilled anything with a side of rosé!), and even your yoga practice.
As in, it’s time to ditch the walls and hardwood floors of your studio in favor of performing your poses outdoors, under the deep blue sky, with a sweet summer breeze blowing.
This summer, New York is getting even more bendy and centered than usual, with yoga teachers leading sun salutations on rooftops, in parks, and on piers all over the five boroughs.
Here are the 10 most incredible classes to put on your must-do list now (organized by borough, but in no particular order), all of which come with top teachers, amazing views, and the opportunity to let the stressful city actually have a hand in calming you.
And as if the once-in-a-lifetime experience isn’t enough, many of them are free, too. Just note that dates, times, and teachers change, and classes are often dependent on weather, so you’ll want to check the website before heading to a class.
We’ll see you on a mat in the grass. —Lisa Elaine Held
1. Serene Social Rooftop Yoga at The James Hotel. The women’s wellness network is back with its popular series that offers a Thursday morning poolside practice with sweeping views of downtown Manhattan. $25, www.serenesocial.com
2. Bryant Park Yoga presented by Athleta. If you want to be surrounded by serious yoga energy, head to Bryant Park, where annual classes have drawn up to a 1,000 people. Classes, at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays all summer long, are taught by a rotating line-up of the city’s best teachers, like Lyons Den founder Bethany Lyons and Exhale’s Stefanie Eris. Free, www.bryantpark.org
3. Battery Park Sunset Yoga. Brooklyn yoga teacher Tejal Patel leads vinyasa classes on Wednesday evenings, right near the harbor in Battery Park, so you can emulate Lady Liberty in tree pose. $5, www.tejalrpatel.com
4. The Yoga Trail in Central Park. International instructor Silvia Neri leads (almost) daily sessions in Sheep’s Meadow, where you’ll likely spot other groups lunging and kickboxing their way through the warm months. $15, www.theyogatrail.com
6. SyncStudio Poolside yoga at McCarren Hotel & Pool. Sync instructors teach daily morning classes next to the pool at the trendy McCarren Hotel. And if you don’t have to head to work after, you can purchase discounted day passes to move from your mat to a sunny lounge chair. $18, www.syncstudio.net
7. Laughing Lotus’ BK Runs to Yoga. This brand-new Saturday morning series for yogi-runners includes a group run across the Williamsburg Bridge, cold-pressed juice at Summers, and a stretch-out session at Laughing Lotus Brooklyn, AKA, quite possibly the perfect morning. $22, nyc.laughinglotus.com
8. Fresh Air Yoga in Prospect Park. Lululemon sponsors Thursday evening classes on Long Meadow with teachers from local Brooklyn studios like Bend & Bloom, Prana Power Yoga, and Tangerine Hot Yoga. Free, www.bendandbloom.com
9. Yoga in the Park with The Yoga Room. The favorite Queens studio hosts weekly classes in both Astoria Park and Gantry Plaza Park, both with gorgeous skyline views. Free, www.facebook.com
10. Sunset Rooftop Yoga & Happy Hour at the Z Hotel. Salute the sunset from 14 stories above Long Island City, overlooking the Queensboro Bridge and Midtown Manhattan, with stellar instructor Dina Ivas. Class includes lounging with a cocktail and light bites afterward. $35, www.yogawithdina.com
(Photos: Z Hotel Yoga, Bryant Park Yoga by Angelito Jusay, The Yoga Trail, Laughing Lotus)