Out of the Studio & Into the City

A cozy yoga studio is solace during winters harsh months and provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. But with summer at our doorstep, the sun is shining longer and longer and the temperatures are rising and rising. So why not take advantage of the change of season and move your yoga practice outside? After all, all you need is a mat and a little inspiration!

Some of my most heart-warming and soul-stimulating yoga memories happened far away from a yoga studio. The connection with the elements adds another level to a class that isn’t so easily accessible while practicing with a roof over your head. There is something very powerful about practicing sun salutations while the literal sun warms you up and energizes your flow. Or to feel the cool shimmer of the full moon against your skin while you settle into your final shavasana. Luckily, Barcelona is booming with numerous options that move your practice out of a four-walled studio and into the vibrant city we love.

Here is my list of classes in Barcelona that encourage you to shake up your normal yoga routine with a fresh, summertime vibe.

Paddleboard Yoga

If the sea is your happy place, then stand up paddleboarding yoga (lets call is “SUP yoga” for the sake of my fingers!) is for you. It combines traditional yoga postures with an added element of challenge and fun because the normal ground you practice on is now a board moving and flowing in the water. Don’t worry if you have never tried SUP before, the boards are generally very large and thick so they are easy to balance on and feel comfortable. Many poses such as Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog) or Balasana (child´s pose) wont feel too different on a SUP than on land. But as the class progresses you might find that asanas you usually don’t exert much effort in now require a lot more attention and coordination. You will never look at Bakasana (crow pose) the same again until you try it on a paddleboard. And if you fall in, no worries, just get back on and try again! I almost find myself to be more confident while practicing on a SUP because I know the water wont hurt as much as hitting a wooden floor. There are a few different companies in Barceloneta that offer classes for both beginners and experts alike. Check out Pilates SUP Beach or SUP Yoga Catalunya for class schedules and prices. So put on that bikini and Namaste while floating away…

Beach Yoga

If being in the water doesn’t exactly float your boat, then you can enjoy the beauty and relaxation of the beach while keeping two feet firmly on the ground. Yoga at the beach brings a salty edge to your asana practice and an undeniable sense of peace while looking out at the horizon. There are a few classes offered in different locations along the Barcelona coast. The groups Beach Yoga and  Yoga on the Beach Barceloneta have a list of upcoming classes or if you’re an early riser you can try a sunrise beach class with Maca followed by fresh fruit (contact her here for dates and times).

Full Moon Yoga

This monthly gathering takes place on a rooftop in the center of it all, the El Ravel neighborhood. This one-and-a-half-hour class begins as the moon rises over the city landscape and is accompanied by live music. The theme usually coincides with the energy of a full moon, more soft and introspective. There is a limit on the number of yogis that can attend in order to make it a more intimate vibe so be sure to reserve your spot in advance. Contact Yoga Weeks Barcelona (www.yogaweeks.com) to check when the next session will be.

Yoga in the Park

Despite the vast amounts of concrete in Barcelona, there are still many nooks and crannies of green space throughout the city. Parks such as Parc Ciutadella and the hillside of Montjuic provide a little escape to nature while still staying within city limits. Every Wednesday at 19:15 in Gracia, Enjoyce Yoga & Massage (www.facebook.com/enjoyceyogaandmassage) leads a donation-based Hatha class at the Jardi del Silenci. And Yoga con Lau (www.facebook.com/YogaConLau) offers Hatha Vinyasa classes every Saturday at 12:00 at the Jardines del Teatre Grec in Montjuic.

I hope this gives you a little boost to seize the summer and take your practice into the open air. And be sure to check out the Barcelona Yoga Conference (www.barcelonayogaconference.cat) from July 4-8 to experience even more ways to inspire your practice, on and off the mat.

“May the long time Sun shine upon you, all the love surround you, and the pure light within you guide your way on…” -Kundalini blessing

Namaste, sweet souls

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