Free Yoga Classes in 9 NYC Parks This Summer

In warm weather, New York City commits an amazing act of generosity: the city trots out its best professional yoga instructors, sends them to beautiful parks, and invites the public for group yoga classes that are free to participants. These classes provide a win-win for both the dedicated practitioner and the newbie who doesn’t know a downward dog from a tree pose. All levels are welcome to enjoy the refreshing summer air and the free instruction one time only, or every day of the week. Read on to learn about 9 stellar (or should we say solar) summer yoga series throughout the city, many of which last through September!  

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Bryant Park

yoga bryant park

Jane Kratochvil Photography

This crazy-popular yoga series has begun its 17th year at Midtown’s ultimate oasis: Bryant Park. On Tuesday mornings at 10 am and Thursday evenings at 6 pm, come enjoy a lively, hourlong flow with hundreds of other yogis on the lawn. Come half an hour early to grab a mat for your practice, or bring your own. Registration via Mind Body Online is recommended. Find a full list of participating instructors at the link below. Series lasts from May 30 to August 29. Sixth Ave. btw. W. 40th and 42nd Sts.,

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Washington Square Park

Perfect your warrior 1 beneath the arch at Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park. Taught by Sacred Sounds Yoga instructors, these free classes will be held every Wednesday and Thursday morning at 8:30-9:30am. The classes will last from June 6 to September 19. Who knows? You may get your headstand by Labor Day! BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat). Garibaldi Plaza: Enter at Washington Square East and walk toward the central fountain, 212-396-5873,

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Riverside Park

Sail away with yoga on the Hudson River! There are two recurring classes both located in Riverside Park, to check out at the Summer on the Hudson calendar. Come Wednesday evenings for Salute to the Sun, a hatha class (i.e. basic yoga that draws from a variety of yoga types). Hollis teaches this class from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm on the Plaza at 66th Street. The series begins June 5 and ends September 25. Thursdays, work out your chaturangas at 6:30pm on the lawn at 74th Street. This Yoga Flow class is taught by Nina Semczuk and is offered from May 23 to October 31. BYOM for both classes. If you’re looking for more fitness classes, dance, or pilates, check out Summer on the Hudson’s other free classes at the link below. Plaza at 66th Street: West of West Side Highway at W. 66th St.; Lawn at 74th St: Off Riverside Dr. and W. 74th St.,

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Battery Park

Come for free classes under the watchful eye of Lady Liberty every Sunday and Wednesday at Battery Park! Flow through your vinyasa as Tejal leads you through this one-hour class. Sundays, classes will be held at 11:30am. Wednesdays, come for 6:30pm yoga. Both classes offer an optional aromatherapy component (read: soothing essential oils!). Before you arrive, please register at EventBrite (link below). This BYOM series lasts through September 29. Woodlawn Lawn: just west of SeaGlass Carousel, 212-344-3491,

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photo: Etienne Frossard

It's pretty surreal to practice a sun salutation as the sun rises over Brooklyn Bridge. Get ready to live it at the Sunrise: Abhaya Yoga series this summer at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Come Mondays at 7:30 am to stretch and strengthen (bonus, there are a limited number of mats for use!). Registration will begin at 7 am prior to each class, during which all participants must sign a mandatory waiver. This series starts June 3 and ends August 26; it is held on the lawns at Pier 6. If you prefer dusk to dawn, sign up for Sunset Yoga on Wednesday evenings. This class, held on Pier 3, will be taught by instructors from the Dodge YMCA in nearby Brooklyn Heights. Sunset Yoga will begin 7pm every Wednesday from June 12 to August 14. For both classes, there are a limited number of mats for use, and all participants must sign a waiver prior to class.  Pier 6: Enter at the corner of Atlantic Ave. and Bridge Park Dr.; Empire Fulton Ferry: off the northwest corner of Main and Plymouth Sts.,

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Socrates Sculpture Park

Yoga in a sculpture garden with a waterfront view? Sounds too good to be true! Come Saturdays and Sundays to Long Island City, Queens, for free vinyasa yoga (i.e. lots of sun salutations) this summer. On Saturdays, Jennifer Batson will teach at 9:30am, and Morgan Miller is up at 11am. Sundays, come at 10am to flow with instructor Yojaida Estrella. Classes last an hour and are held May 18 to September 15. BYOM. 32-01 Vernon Blvd.,

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Prospect Park

yoga free parks nyc

You’re in good company at Prospect Park’s free yoga series in Brooklyn, a land filled with yoga studios. Bend + Bloom Yoga, a Park Slope studio, and New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital bring you a class full of dragonfly and triangle poses in beautiful Long Meadow every Thursday this summer. Classes last an hour and are held at 7 pm. The series started up June 6 and will run until August 29. Be sure to RSVP here. You can also check out Healing Hatha Yoga, Fridays at noon in Prospect Park’s Audubon Center. BYOM for both. Long Meadow: Enter at Grand Army Plaza and walk south, or enter at 3rd Street and walk east, 718-965-8951,; Audubon Center: 101 East Dr., 718-965-8951,

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Randall’s Island

Something of a hidden gem, Randall’s Island is an athlete’s paradise of 480 acres, just across the East River from Harlem. Accessible by car and footbridge, the island hosts soccer, tennis, and track events, as well as yoga in the warm months. Each Tuesday and Thursday evening, come enjoy a free class with a teacher from Sweet Water Dance and Yoga. Tuesday classes will be held at Sunken Meadow Picnic Area, and Thursday classes at East River Picnic Area. These classes occur 6:30-7:30 pm, weekly until September 13. BYOM! Sunken Meadow: 43 Sunken Meadow Loop; East River Picnic Area: across from Field 81 on the river-side of East River Ln., 212-830-7722,

Free Yoga Outdoors in NYC: Wagner Park

Another free class in the Battery, come to Sunset Yoga in Wagner Park after work or a day of sightseeing. In clear view of the Statue of Liberty in one direction and The Museum of Jewish Heritage on the other, Wagner Park is the perfect place to unwind while the sun goes down over the Hudson. This event, organized by Battery Park City Parks, occurs Wednesday evenings, 6-7pm. Series concludes July 24. BYOM. Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, 212-267-9700,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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