Free Yoga On The Library Lawn

yoga on the libary lawn

Over the years, I’ve read about many free yoga classes at public libraries in Massachusetts and in other states as well. This morning, I was finally able to attend a free yoga class right here in Quincy, outside on the lawn at Thomas Crane Public Library. This class was the first in a series of community classes taking place each Wednesday morning in September on the library lawn.

It’s hard taking pictures and enjoy the relaxing vibe, but I managed to snap a few.

There was a nice breeze — and lots of bees. Four or five bees hovered over blades of grass in front of me. A few ants made their way onto my mat too, but no stings or bites!

I was beneath a large tree, so there was some shade and bright sun streaming through the branches. There was a mostly clear blue sky with a few wispy clouds floating by. Even though the class was in the morning, it was warm and a tiny bit humid. Perfect weather and a reminder that summer is still here.

There was a good turnout and new arrivals kept showing up through most of the class. We were mostly an older crowd, but there was young woman who arrived towards the end with the cutest little girl. They both got on their mats and dove right into their practice.

From conversation I heard, a few people said this was their first yoga class. Our teacher, Rhiannon Skolnick of Humble Roots Yoga, was enthusiastic and has a gentle soothing way about her.

This might have been my first yoga class since the pandemic started. Possibly the second, but the first this summer. Because I’m vaccinated now and there was a lot of space to spread out on the library lawn, I felt comfortable not wearing a mask. Hopefully the weather will cooperate next week for another wonderful class.

Free Yoga Boston: Summer 2021

The 9th Annual listing of free yoga classes for Greater Boston and beyond is here!

Getting from the summer of 2019 to now encompasses so much. There’s grief for people lost during the pandemic. But there’s also triumph. We survived.

Virtual classes were the norm for the past year and a half, so this summer list focuses on live in-person outdoor yoga classes. Finally! Classes listed are free or donation based.

Click on the links for more details and to be sure there is class. Sometimes registration is required and also double check in case of bad weather, because classes may be cancelled. Bring your own mat, props, water and anything else you might need.

Make sure to check the Free Yoga Boston Facebook Group in addition to the Free Yoga Boston Facebook page. The group is private, but you can request to join. Members share information and there are additional classes and events listed.

As always, this list is a work in progress that will have changes and updates. Please let me know if you have any questions, corrections and/or tips! Enjoy!

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MONDAY

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 27 (No class September 6)
(Vinyasa Yoga, Lopresti Park, 33 Sumner St., East Boston)
6pm – 7pm

Seaport Sweat: Through October
(Mindful Warrior Yoga, Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave., Boston)
6:30pm – 7:15pm

Flow Yoga On The Greenway: Through September 27
(Rose Kennedy Greenway Parcel 16-Rowes Wharf Lawn, Atlantic Ave. & India St.,Boston)
6:30pm – 7:15pm

TUESDAY

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 28
(Ashtanga Yoga, Adams Park, 4225 Washington St., Roslindale)
6pm -7pm

WEDNESDAY

Blue Sky Kripalu Yoga: Through the summer
(The Green at Partners Village Store, 865 Main Rd., Westport, MA)
8:30am – 9:30am

Community Yoga Class: Through October
(Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street, Quincy)
9:30am – 10:30am

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 29
(Chair Yoga, Symphony Park, 39 Edgerly Rd., Boston)
10am – 11am

NamaStay Flowing: Through the summer
(Revere Beach, Revere)
6pm – 7:30pm

HarborFit: Sunset Yoga at Piers Park: Through September 15
(East Boston Piers Park, 95 Marginal St., Boston)
7:30pm – 8:30pm

THURSDAY

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 30
(Virtual Chair Yoga)
11am -12pm

Seaport Sweat: Through October
(Yoga Sculpt, Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave., Boston)
5:30pm – 6:15pm

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 30
(Yoga, Brighton Common, 30 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton )
6pm – 7pm

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 30
(Yoga @ The Frog Pond, Boston Common, 38 Beacon St., Boston )
6pm – 7pm

Yoga & Movement: Classes may be every other week
(Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston )
6pm – 7pm

Outdoor Yoga: Every other week
(Magoun Park, Medford)
6pm – 7pm

FRIDAY

Seaport Sweat: Through October
(Vinyasa Flow, Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave., Boston)
12pm – 12:45pm

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through October 1
(Fusion Fit (HIIT & Yoga), Doherty Playground, 349 Bunker Hill St., Charlestown)
6pm – 7pm

SATURDAY

Blue Sky Kripalu Yoga: Through the summer
(The Green at Partners Village Store, 865 Main Rd., Westport, MA)
8:30am – 9:30am

Yoga @ 3rd Ave Burlington: Through September 25
(3rd Ave Burlington, Third Ave., Burlington, MA)
8:30am – 9:30am

Franklin Park Yoga: Through October 2
(School Master Hill, Franklin Park, Dorchester)
9:15am – 10:30am

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through October 2
(Restorative Yoga, Marcella Playground, 260 Highland St., Roxbury)
10am -11am

SUNDAY

NamaStay Flowing: Through the summer
(Revere Beach, Revere)
9:30am – 10:30am

Outdoor Yoga:
(Magoun Park, Medford)
10am – 11am

Yoga  @ Jamaica Pond: Through September 26
(Pinebank Promontory, Perkins Street and Jamaicaway, Boston)
11am – 12pm

Lotus Community Outdoor Yoga:
(Magnolia Park, Arlington)
12pm – 1pm

NEY Outside Community Yoga:
(Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Atlantic Ave., North End)
5pm – 6pm

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 26
(Virtual Yoga)
7pm – 8pm

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Free Yoga Boston (October 2020 – May 2021)

home yoga practice

For now, virtual classes are still the norm, so it’s still a good time to continue working on a home yoga practice and include meditation.

So let’s light some candles and roll out our mats. Classes listed are free or donation based. Please donate if you can! Also, since people can take online classes from anywhere, the times listed here are Eastern Time.

Make sure to check the Free Yoga Boston Facebook Group in addition to the Free Yoga Boston Facebook page. The group is private, but you can request to join. Members share information and there are additional classes and events listed.

Some classes here are found on Eventbrite and Meetup, so you can look for classes there as well. As always, this list is a work in progress and will be updated. From what I can tell, the classes listed below are ongoing for the time being.

Classes for Boston Community Yoga (BCY) are included and may vary somewhat week to week. DM them on Instagram to sign up and look at their weekly schedule.

If you know of other classes that are missing or have corrections, let me know!

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MONDAY

BCY – Monday Motivational Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
5:30pm – 6:30pm (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

Dan Rodman Meditation and Spirituality (Ongoing) Virtual
6:30pm – 7:30pm

Online Zoom Yoga (Ongoing) Virtual
8pm – 9:15pm

Meditation Group (Ongoing) Virtual
9pm – 9:30pm

TUESDAY

BCY – All Levels Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
6pm – 7pm (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

BCY – Beginner Vinyasa Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
7pm – 8pm (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

 

WEDNESDAY

BCY – Morning Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
7am – 8am (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

Yoga for Busy Legal Professionals (Ongoing) Virtual
2pm – 2:20pm

BCY – Vinyasa Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
6pm – 7pm (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

Laughter Yoga on Zoom (Ongoing) Virtual
7:30pm – 8:10pm

Zoom Yoga, Wednesday Release! (Ongoing) Virtual
8pm – 9:15pm

THURSDAY

Chair Yoga with Ivor (Weekly through 4/29/21) Virtual
11am – 12pm

Older Adults’ Chair Yoga (4/22/21, 6/24/21) Virtual
2pm – 3pm

BCY – Vinyasa Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
5:30pm – 6:30pm (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

FRIDAY

Yogi Dimps Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
12pm – 12:30pm (DM for IG Live classes)

BCY – Friday Morning Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
6:30am – 7:30am (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

Friday Unwind: Gentle Yoga (Ongoing) Virtual
4pm – 5pm

SATURDAY

BCY – Power Vinyasa (Ongoing) Virtual
8am – 9am (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

Self Care Saturday All Levels Yoga (Ongoing) Virtual
9am – 10am

Online Guided Meditation (Ongoing) Virtual
9:45pm – 11pm

BCY – Weekend Warrior Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
11am – 12pm (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

SUNDAY

Online Guided Meditation (Ongoing) Virtual
9:45am – 11am

Afro Flow Yoga (Ongoing) Virtual
1:30pm – 2:30pm

Yoga and Mindfulness (Ongoing) Virtual
2pm – 3pm

BCY – Yoga for the Sunday Scaries (Ongoing) Virtual
6:30pm – 7:30pm (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

BCY – Restorative Flow (Ongoing) Virtual
7:30pm – 8:30pm (Time may vary. Check weekly schedule and DM to sign up.)

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Free Yoga Boston: Summer 2020

free yoga

This summer is like no other. So this 8th Annual listing of free yoga classes is unique for sure. Updates may occur more often than usual, because none of us really has any idea how different things will be a month from now. The pandemic continues and the virus makes the rules.

Right now, classes are a mix of virtual and outdoor classes. In person classes have size limits, social distancing, and may require face masks. Whether virtual or outdoors, both types of yoga classes usually require registration in advance.

Click the links to confirm dates, requirements and check for weather cancellations. Most instructors accept donations, so please donate if you can.

Make sure to check the Free Yoga Boston Facebook Group in addition to the Free Yoga Boston Facebook page. The group is private, but you can request to join. Members share information and there are additional classes and events listed.

Many of the free classes that I find are on Eventbrite and Eventful, so give them a look. There are classes on Meetup that I generally do not include in my listings, but NamaStay Sober has many free online classes that are open to everyone. Also check out Third Space Chi Yoga, Home Yoga for Beginners and donation based classes in Dedham, Yoga for the Spine.

If you know other classes that are missing, let me know!

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MONDAY

#YogaLemonade (Ongoing) Virtual
5:15pm – 6:15pm

Seaport Sweat – Flow (July 13 – September 28) Virtual
6:30pm – 7:30pm

TUESDAY

Yoga In The Park (July 7 – August 27)
(Cushman Park, Green Street, Fairhaven, MA)
8:30am – 9:30am

Yoga and Mindfulness (July 7 – July 28)  Mixed Virtual & Outdoors
(Newburyport Public Library, 94 State Street, Newburyport, MA )
2pm – 3pm

Weekly Meditation (July 14 – August 25) Virtual
7pm – 8pm

WEDNESDAY

Mindful Minis – For children ages 6-12 (July 22, July 29, August 5) Virtual
2pm – 3pm

Complimentary Yoga (Ongoing) – Virtual & Possibly Live
(The Yoga Room at SP, 12 Salem Street, Lynnfield, MA)
6pm – 7pm

Seaport Sweat – Vinyasa Yoga (July 15 – September 30) Virtual
6:30pm – 7:30pm

THURSDAY

Boston Parks Fitness Chair Yoga (July 16 – October 1) Virtual
11am – 12pm

Lunchtime Flow (July 16 – July 30)
(The Rose Kennedy Greenway, Wharf District Park, Boston, MA)
1pm – 2pm

FRIDAY

Seaport Sweat – Align n’ Flow (July 10 – October 2) Virtual
12pm – 1pm

Friday Unwind: Gentle Yoga (July 10 – August 28) Virtual
4pm – 5pm

SATURDAY

Yoga In The Park (July 11 – August 29)
(Schoolmaster Hill (Franklin Park), 1 Circuit Drive, Boston, MA)
9am – 10:15pm

SUNDAY

Yoga At Jamaica Pond (July 19 – September 6)
(Pinebank Promontory, Perkins Street and Jamaicaway, Boston, MA)
11am – 12pm

Boston Parks Fitness Restorative Yoga (July 12 – September 27)
(Marcella Playground, 260 Highland Street, Roxbury, MA)
1pm – 2pm

Afro Flow Yoga (July 12 – August 30) Virtual
1:30pm – 2:30pm

Boston Parks Fitness Live Yoga (July 12 – September 27) Virtual
6pm – 7pm

Starting a Home Yoga Practice

home yoga

Most of us in the United States are home now in some sort of self-quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19. If we go out, we are practicing social distancing. All of this in order to flatten the curve and not overwhelm the health system.

Right now, things are quite dire in New York and cases of coronavirus illness and related deaths are growing all over the country. It’s one of the scariest times that many of us have ever experienced.

Most brick and mortar businesses are currently closed. Yoga studios have gone virtual in order to continue teaching students. Following along with online yoga classes is a great way to continue your yoga practice. During this uncertain moment in time, we especially need to find ways to practice self-care.

Yoga has been shown to help fight stress, so if you’ve never practiced before, this is a great time to try. If you normally attend yoga classes, continuing your practice at home may be helpful. If you haven’t been active at all recently, before starting a new exercise regimen, take due care and you may want to consult a doctor.

So once you decide to start a home yoga practice, how do you actually do it? I emailed and spoke with six Boston area yoga instructors to give us some tips. Hopefully you can takeaway a few of these suggestions and put them to good use!

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Ali Singer, Founder: Yoga Hub  (Boston, MA)

Make sure you’re doing something that you want to do. That it’s not a chore.

Pick a time of day that you can commit to so you won’t skip it.

Do the exact same postures or sequences every time. It gives you a framework for measurement. Otherwise you have no means of measuring yourself on a day to day basis. This way you can see how you change. Ashtanga yoga is the same series of poses over and over. Some people stay on this same series their whole life.

You can use a mirror to see that you’re stacking your joints correctly, but it can become a distraction if you’re looking for validation. It’s better to use video, so you can see if you are where you think you are in space.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Connect with yoga teachers that you may follow online. If you notice something on their social media feed and have a question, reach out and comment.

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For more yoga pointers from Ali, check out her free online course, which will be happening soon and will be updated here.

Ginette Mayas Samwel (Framingham, MA)

Clear space, clear mind. You need to project clarity in your thoughts, actions and space. It doesn’t have to be a big space at all, just clear.

Margie Kirstein, Founder: Yoga For The Spine (Dedham, MA)

I think people still need personal attention when starting a home yoga practice. One recommendation is to reach out to the studio where they were practicing to find out what style of yoga they were doing, if they want to keep doing that style. They could ask for suggestions if they want to try something different.

Also consider asking a yoga teacher to make up a sequence for them, taking into account their preferences. I sent my students a Yoga for the Spine home sequence that would be familiar and not too challenging. I also included links to yoga pose dictionaries.

Yogic Way of Life Yoga Asanas

Pocket Yoga Poses

Yoga Journal Pose Finder

Finally, if they can have a yoga buddy, that’s so helpful.

Malaika Bonafide of Ms. Bonafide Creations & Yoga with Malaika (Cambridge, MA)

Some of the tools I find helpful in my home practice are yoga blocks, which offer support. Think of the blocks as an extension of your reach. They can be used in downward facing dog under your hands or feet to bring the ground closer to you.

I also use a yoga strap, but an old tie will do the trick as well. You can use the tie in a seated forward fold as an extension of your hands as you reach for your feet/foot. Lasso the strap around your feet/foot pulling you closer.

Two face cloths or hand towels are helpful for padding under your knees if you tend to have knee pain or discomfort in your knees.

Be sure to listen to your body and know that everyday is different. And most importantly that yoga is a practice and most helpful if you practice as often as possible.

If you’re able to dedicate a space in your home to your practice, that’s awesome. If not, make sure that whatever space you do end up using for that moment is clean and free of clutter and work related items.

Turn off or silence distractions. Really dedicate this time to your self and your practice.

Meghan “Meg” Gaucher, Founder: Sweet Squeeze Events (Boston, MA)

There IS a home practice for everyone. Routine is important. The time you get on your mat matters. It will set you up for a good behavior to find your mat.

The space you set up is important. Find a quiet place where you can roll out your mat. Nothing fancy — just quiet and big enough to move up, down and around on your mat.

Susan Lovett, Founder: Hands To Heart Center (Boston, MA)

Don’t feel as if you have to do a daily 75-minute yoga class.

Maybe you’ll find 30 minutes or 20 or even 10 to move your body and breathe intentionally. Even a few minutes a day makes a difference, especially if you’re currently doing a lot of sitting or lying down. Sometimes, you’ll find that, once you start, you have more energy than you initially thought and you’ll want to keep going. Or not, Just do what you can.

Forget about setting up a perfect home yoga studio.

If you can clear a place on the floor and stand on something that’s not slippery, you’re good to go. It’s also a possibility to do some chair yoga. So, instead of stressing about having an immaculate, lovely setting,  just get started. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not bumping into any furniture – or anyone else’s body – but if you have some room to move, you’ll be fine.

Find an online teacher who’s a good fit for you.

There’s so much free, online yoga right now that you’ll have a lot of choices. If you start with one teacher and don’t feel inspired, you can choose someone else. You might not find your perfect match, but you’re likely to find someone whose voice and teaching style are appealing to you. I like Yoga with Adrienne and she has free online classes!

You can be your own teacher.

You might start seated with some breathing and grounding. Then, you could choose any ways to move your body that are useful and/or interesting to you. Don’t worry if you’re not doing “classical yoga poses” or seamless sequences. The essence of yoga is breath, movement and stillness, focused attention and deep rest. Be curious about what sensations you may feel in your body. Know that it doesn’t matter what your yoga looks like and focus, instead, on what you’re able to notice.

Don’t judge yourself.

In a home practice, you may feel less self-conscious than you might in a studio. Take advantage of making any sounds that would feel right to you. Give yourself permission to be goofy awkward, messy. Wear your most comfortable pajamas, if that’s your mood. It’s YOUR yoga, do what works for you.