What's that in the sky? It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...downward dog?
All across the country yoga enthusiasts are taking their yoga poses to the next level with the latest fitness trend: Rooftop Yoga.
With summer just around the corner, there is no reason to confine your Prana (y'know, your life force) to the four sweat-stained walls of a dank yoga studio. Elevate your yoga practice with a rooftop yoga class and soak in the warm spring weather. Rooftop yoga classes can now be found in cities all across the U.S. like Los Angeles, New York, Kansas City and Houston. Even Fresno, California has people climbing up their fire escapes to do their Revolved Triangle poses at the wide-open sky. Of course, outdoor yoga has a special connection to California, specifically Los Angeles. With its enviable climate and scant precipitation, L.A. has long been home to plenty of outdoor fitness activities, and rooftop yoga has definitely caught on.
As fit, health-conscious people have migrated into denser cities over the past decade, they have taken their healthy habits with them. Urban bicycling is at an all-time high, with demand resulting in hundreds of miles of new urban bike lanes. Another feature of the revitalization of many inner cities is rooftop culture, and as a result, rooftop yoga.
Exhale Spa at the Loews Hollywood Hotel
holds its yoga class on the helicopter pad of the building, 20 stories above the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here, participants can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Los Angeles basin, taking in everything from the Hollywood sign and the downtown skyline to the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Yoga outdoors means extra vitamins. Exposure to sunlight can stimulate the synthesis of Vitamin D in skin, which promotes optimal muscle function and healthy bone density: two critical items for any athlete, especially a practitioner of yoga. For maximum wellness impact, nothing beats a sun salutation in the actual sun- even better if that sun salute is 25 stories off the ground.
Can changing your surroundings give an extra boost to your workout? Will trading a dark and crowded gym for open air above the noise and smog of the city help you reach that elusive Handstand Scorpion? Wellness coach and celebrity trainer David Kirsch says “yes.” According to Kirsch, changing your workout environment can confuse muscles for better results by avoiding routine. Also, beautiful surroundings can motivate you to work out harder and longer
Falling. Obviously, falling off a roof during yoga class would not be an ideal way to close out your sweat session. Definitely avoid this. However, the odds of this happening are greatly reduced if your poses are done properly, and you stay on your mat!
Pro Tip: Rooftop yoga is enjoyed best NOT in the rain, and definitely not when there’s even a hint of a chance of lightning.
Sky's the limit
Does your city have rooftop yoga classes? If not, you can start one. SpotYoga in New York City got started when co-founder Mike Lundberg ran into trouble getting permits to start an exercise class in one of the city’s parks. Now SpotYoga classes grace the roofs of The Meatpacking District, The Bowery, and Hell’s Kitchen. A rooftop is a beautifully obvious solution to the problem of limited space endemic to exercise culture in the big city.
And it doesn’t stop at yoga; circuit training and spin have also made their way upstairs into the big blue sky. A rooftop workout offers a unique combination of fresh air, beautiful vistas, and privacy- three things that aren’t always so easy to find in the big city