Six more weeks of winter, as declared by our trusty rodent friend over in Punxsutawney, PA, can’t stop Philadelphians from getting in their weekly dose of relaxation. For some, it’s a sightseeing bike ride along the Schuylkill River, for others, a jog up the “Rocky” steps. The most in-demand activity by far, however, is yoga—and in Philly there is no shortage of amazing places to stretch out and get some much needed stress relief.
In this city, the early bird does get the worm—or in this case, the mimosas and French toast. Every Sunday at 9:30 am, an hour-long Vinyasa class is held on the Moshulu (401 South Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, 215.923.2500) a 4-masted ship floating in the Delaware River, and for only $5. Separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of city life by hopping aboard, taking in the stellar views of the river while you hold your Warrior pose, and then retreat below deck to dine for the delicious $25 brunch buffet.
Philadelphia has notoriously unreliable weather, so taking a reprieve from the cold conditions by stepping into one of the amazing yoga studios is a must. For those inevitable 10-degree days in March and April, head to Priya Hot Yoga (1828 Callowhill St., Philadelphia, 267.519.0767) where free classes are offered every Saturday on a first-come, first-served basis through April 25. In the classrooms kept at a balmy 95 degrees, it’s easy to relax, block out your fellow yogis and pretend you’re doing the downward dog off a coast of Aruba.
Another option for chilly spring days are the Dhyana yoga sessions held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, 215.763.8100) every Wednesday night through May 27. The classes are held in various galleries throughout the museum, so you might find yourself doing a half moon pose next to a famous European sculpture or a rare Ink Screen crafted several centuries ago. Let your stress fall off your shoulders as you meditate among some of the most treasured artifacts around—if these precious goods can survive for decades upon decades, you can survive through your busy, potentially stress-inducing week of travel!
If a museum or a tranquil ship deck is not relaxing enough for you, Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia, 215.228.8200) has your perfect solution--yoga in the cemetery, a truly once-in-a-lifetime yoga experience and for only $20. The Hatha class taught by Emily Golomb stresses alignment, strength and balance. The historical home of Philadelphia's most famous deceased big wigs, The Laurel Hill cemetery is one place in Philly where you might be doing sun salutations next to a celebrity, however gone they may be. All levels of experience are welcome at this BYOM (bring your own mat) event. Check out their website for dates May through September.
One of the most distinct yoga ventures to pop up in Philly is adequately named—Pop Up Yoga Philly has no official studio, but they work hard to spread yoga classes, and their positive take-aways, to communities and iconic locations throughout the city. Previous indoor venues include the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, where yogis practiced their poses on the largest walkable map of Philadelphia, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Future pop-ups include a Yin Yoga and Poetry Night at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in March. Keep an eye on their website for future Pop Up events!
As for outdoor spots, no corner or crevice of Philadelphia is safe from a potential yoga pop-up. From the beautiful mosaic-filled Magic Gardens of South Street to the center of Love Park or Franklin Square, Pop-Up Yoga Philly embraces this city’s growing green space and provides both locals and out-of-towners the opportunity to relax, take in the views and the people, and fall in love with Philadelphia all over again.