Yoga has long been used to help its practitioners find inner peace and balance in life. It can also, unfortunately, get pretty pricey.
Some Valley studios are helping residents ease into the yogic lifestyle without emptying their wallets by offering free classes. Many of these sessions are intended to encourage and inform people who are new to the practice. So if the art of bowing and bending your way to bliss seems intimidating, go ahead try one of these classes. If you've already achieved yogic mastery and are looking for some refreshers or gentle flows, these could also be beneficial. Just remember: deep, cleansing breaths.
Typically, studios suggest arriving at least 10 minutes early to a session, removing shoes before entering the studio, and not wearing strong smelling perfume.
Though they're famous for their pants, Lululemon offers more than stylish workout gear. Stores around the Valley host weekly yoga sessions that are open to the public and free of charge. In the Scottsdale Quarter location, yogis of all levels can gather each Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. If you live in the Biltmore area, meetups are also on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Lululemon's Chandler location also offers weekly sessions from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sundays. All lessons are taught by local yoga instructors and are intended for all levels of practice.
Community Yoga Project at Civic Space Park
Yogis of all levels can do yoga in the park on Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Your own mat is required, but there is no previous experience necessary. Instructors will lead attendants through an Ashtanga yoga set, which is often referred to as "power yoga." Basically, you will be constantly flowing through various poses while working with your breathing. This style can get pretty sweaty and, when combined with the Arizona sun, requires a good amount of water and a towel. If weather looks rough, Community Yoga moves into the YMCA.
Humble Monkey Yoga
Humble Monkey Yoga, located at 3305 E. Greenway Road in Phoenix, offers many different styles of yoga, two of which are free every week. The last Saturday of each month, the studio holds a restorative yoga class at 11:30 a.m. Attendants should plan for a slow flow, meaning they will hold poses for longer amounts of time and use blocks, blankets, and other props to help deepen poses and offer support. There is also a free 9:30 a.m. community class that is open to the public. Donations are encouraged, but not required, for both these classes.
Spirit of Yoga
Students teach fellow students at Tempe's Spirit of Yoga at 1420 E. Southern Ave. Classes labeled "YYT" on the schedule are taught by student earning their hours to become a yoga instructors. These are open to the public and free, but require a completed feedback form at the end of a session. Classes vary in style and experience levels, and are supervised by a certified teacher.
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Each Friday, Urban Yoga in Downtown Phoenix offers a free flow class that is open to yogis of all levels. From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., participants will learn fundamental poses and work on mindful breathing. Modifications and variations are also taught to help cater to all different levels of practice.
Every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Sutra Midtown offers a free vinyasa class at their downtown studio. Vinyasa flow emphasizes the cohesion of movement and breath, which should help increase relaxation and decrease stress when done regularly. Sutra Sunday lasts an hour and 15 minutes and is aimed at every level of skill. Sutra does hold it's vinyasa class in a slightly heated studio, so be sure to pack enough water.
Sadhana is a form of yoga that requires dedication, 4:30 a.m. dedication. Historically, this particular practice should take place in the two and half hours before the sun rises as it allows a person to find ground and set mindful intentions for the day. If you're feeling up for the challenge, you can visit Anahata Yoga at 10565 N 114th Street in Scottsdale every Saturday. The pre-sunrise session lasts for two hours and incorporates meditation and slow, deliberate movement.
Sun Up Saturday by Floo-id Yoga
Floo-id Yoga in Scottsdale is offering a summer special where anyone may attend a free, 60-minute class. Each Saturday until October, classes will be held at the Well & Being Spa from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Instructors are all teachers at Floo-id Yoga, where warn yoga is a staple of each 60-minute class.