Finding Inner Peace for Free

Picture a bunch of families sitting together in a bright white gazebo in the morning sun. They sing together, dance a little and take hearty breaths as their postures zero in on perfection.

Yes, maybe there’s a little giggling, too. Yoga has that effect on people sometimes — especially youngsters.

This is Yoga in the Park. It’s part of a unique set of classes by local yoga studios aimed at promoting city parks, encouraging family activities and staying fit. Plus, it’s free. 

Family yoga happens every third Sunday of the month. The Little Yoga House offers the family yoga class downtown at the historic Wooldridge Square Park, 900 Guadalupe St., at 9:30 a.m. (11 a.m. during cooler months).

“It’s a great way for parents and children to connect,” said Abby Nagler, co-owner of The Little Yoga HouseAnd it can help kids bond with parents as both strike unfamiliar stances and focus on the subtle art of thoughtful breathing.“Kids can see their parents maybe not in the most flattering light,” Nagler said. “It can be a little humbling.”

The 45-minute, beginner-level classes are intended as a family activity, making it an ideal introduction to yoga for parents and kids. Classes often involve singing, dancing and partner moves, in addition to some traditional yoga positions. Remember to bring a mat or something comfortable to move around on. “It’s very playful,” Nagler said. “It’s a great way to start your day with your kids and family.”

The Capital of Yoga?

Austin has a robust yoga scene, including a citywide Free Yoga Day on Labor Day.

During April, May, September and October, Yoga Yoga, another local studio, offers free Hatha yoga classes Wednesdays, from noon to 1 p.m., at Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe St. And CorePower Yoga provides free classes on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. during April, May, September and October.

Austin is the Music Capital of the World. Could yoga capital be next?

“I think yoga has just grown up all over the states,” Nagler said. “And Austin has just really taken
to it.”