Summer may be officially over, but that doesn't mean the Bay Area will experience bad weather anytime soon. Indeed, almost like clockwork, the Bay Area experiences its best weather this time of year, with clear blue skies and the absence of the notorious summer fog. Instead of taking classes indoors, why not take advantage of this great weather and enjoy a yoga class in a park, within the redwoods or on the beach? Here is a look at five of the best outdoor yoga classes in the Bay Area.
W. MacArthur St.
Sonoma, CA 95476
Founded by the incredibly talented Sally Mitchell, Body Flows offers an array of services, including yoga classes, massage therapy, ChiRunning and corporate wellness. While yoga classes led by Ms. Mitchell are primarily held at en-er-gy fitness studio in historic downtown Sonoma, her corporate sessions can be held in a local park or "on a rooftop." Additionally, she offers day and weekend yoga and wellness retreats throughout the year, including an upcoming Sonoma Day Retreat featuring a morning outdoor yoga session, hiking through Bartholomew State Park and a private group wine tasting at Bartholomew Winery. Scottish born and Oxford educated, Sally Mitchell holds a number of prominent fitness certifications including licensed massage therapist, NSCA personal trainer, USA Triathlon coach, ChiRunning and ChiWalking instructor and certified teacher for Iron Yoga, which combines yoga poses with weight training. Equally as impressive is her career as an elite runner and world-class triathlete.
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
Founded by Eric Kipp in San Francisco in 2009, Hiking Yoga is clearly one of the most popular and successful yoga businesses in the Bay Area. In fact, Hiking Yoga has expanded to several cities nationwide, including New York City, Fort Lauderdale, Portland and Austin, in addition to Bay Area locations in Berkeley and Los Gatos. Hiking Yoga combines cardiovascular training by hiking through scenic portions of a given city with power and flexibility through yoga moves along the way. Eric Kipp's burgeoning business also offers Hiking Yoga training for certified teachers, business coaching and private events.
Off the Grid Picnic in the Presidio (credit: Randy Yagi)
Off The Grid Yoga
Presidio of San Francisco
Main Post Lawn
San Francisco, CA
Reinvigorating power yoga classes led by talented instructors from The Pad Studios are held each Sunday at the Off the Grid Picnic in the Presidio. The one-hour classes are conducted on the Main Post Lawn across from the Walt Disney Family Museum. After the outdoor yoga session, participants can enjoy live music, a beer or two and gourmet street food from several acclaimed vendors, in addition to fresh produce from local farmers. Classes are donation-based and advanced registration for future events can be made online.
The Bay Model, Sausalito (credit: Randy Yagi)
Sausalito, CA 94965
The name says it all, as this marquee local business combines yoga with stand up paddleboards (SUP). Founded by owner and instructor Leigh Claxton, a founding member of the Professional Stand Up Paddle Association, OnBoardSUP Yoga holds several morning and afternoon classes which run 75 minutes long, and the current schedule runs through January 2016. An introductory course for first-timers is offered, which incorporates basic SUP paddling techniques, followed by core exercises while paddling. OnBoardSUP certification training is also available as well as occasional evening classes and yoga retreats such as this year's excursion to the Sea of Cortez, Baja Sur. Participants meet the Bay Model in Sausalito, with classes held directly below at Sea Trek Kayak and SUP, overlooking Richardson Bay.
San Francisco, CA 94107
With soaring housing prices in San Francisco, it's a comforting to know that some local instructors offer free outdoor yoga classes. One of the most acclaimed yoga instructors offering free outdoor classes in the city is Tony Eason, a master of Iyengar Yoga, a unique system developed by B.K.S. Iyengar in the 1970s. Tony Eason is a multi-talented individual who earned a recent Best of Bay Yoga Instructor award and started free yoga classes at the Sports Basement in 2008 that are now offered at all store locations. The most recent free outdoor event he led was at Ocean Beach earlier this month, and people interested in any upcoming events can check his blog or his Facebook page.
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he received a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com
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