Salute the Sun

Today is the official first day of summer, and in New York summertime means everything worth doing is happening outdoors – concerts, food festivals, Shakespeare in the Park, and yoga. According to a recent article in The New York Times , the outdoor yoga movement in New York is in its growth phase, with an increasing number of free and paid outdoor yoga classes being offered in every borough, from parks to rooftops. Aside from some drawbacks like the mixture of sunscreen and sweat, many New York yogis are opting for fresh air and greenery over air conditioners and boxed rooms. I wonder if this holds true when temperatures soar to the upper 90s.

Here in Seattle it’s not as consistently sunny or warm during the summer as in New York, but on those remarkable days when it’s a comfortable 70 degrees, you can most definitely find me stretching, bending, and twisting in my neighborhood park. The Seattle Asian Art Museum is located inside the park, and there’s a spot right in front of the museum with unobstructed views of the Space Needle and mountains beyond that I like to do my stretches. I’m not the most graceful looking yoga poser, but the museum goers always smile and seem amused.

So I stand there literally saluting the sun, because when you live in Seattle you feel a deep appreciation for it. And even if you’ve never tried yoga or you can’t afford to pay for regular yoga classes, just doing some simple stretches and walking outdoors will invigorate you, mind and body.

If you live in Seattle, Seattle Center Productions is offering free outdoor yoga classes. Also, check this schedule of free outdoor yoga classes Wanderlust is offering to a few cities. Read a few tips on How to Take an Outdoor Yoga Class.

Photo Credits:  Top photo by Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times, OUTSTRETCHED A Yo Yoga class at a building on 59th Street in Manhattan. Second photo from the Bryant Park Blog via Well + Good NYC.

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