Until Sunday, I had never been to Naples Botanical Garden for anything other than parties. (I know, shameful.) It was the promise of yoga in a lovely-sounding spot called the Caribbean Garden, beneath palm trees and a much-needed dose of vitamin D after too much time in the office lately, that finally drew me there. It wasn’t the most challenging class I’d ever taken, but a gentle flow practice in an amazing lakefront setting was just right for a Sunday morning.
Every Sunday through April, Greenmonkey (formerly Bala Vinyasa Yoga) hosts a Yoga in the Garden class at 10 a.m. for $20 for Garden non-members ($10 for members). That also includes the cost of admission, so after class, you can take a stroll through the various gardens, hang out in a hammock or stop for a bite (or mimosas) at the newly opened Fogg Café, which boasts a garden-to-table-inspired menu that features a selection of veggies grown right on the premises.
Yoga in the Garden is just one option for taking your yoga practice outside of the studio. Here are a few other out-of-the-ordinary yoga classes in Southwest Florida to try:
Float & Flow Paddleboard Yoga
This 75-minute paddleboard yoga class (Saturdays from 8:30-9:45 a.m.) begins with a paddleboarding warm up and mini-stroke clinic for new paddlers. The class is $35 if you need to rent a board; $15 if you bring your own. Register (it’s required!) by texting Wellfit Institute owner Jill Wheeler at (239) 595-3199. Text before class, too, to confirm weather or cancellations.
Yoga on the Lawn
About once a month, the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Estero hosts free Saturday morning Yoga on the Lawn classes. The practice is appropriate for all levels, and registration is not required; just bring a yoga mat and water. (Follow the hotel on Facebook for notifications about upcoming sessions.)
A must-try for Southwest Floridians, yoga instructor Lauren Romero frequently leads morning or sunset yoga practices on beaches around town, including Lowdermilk Park and 18th Avenue South in Naples. A donation of $5 to $10 is well worth the clear mind you’ll leave with. (Follow Lauren on Facebook for updates on dates and locations for donation yoga classes.)
lululemon’s Waterside Shops location occasionally offers free yoga classes in store or on the over-water walkway outside. (Check their Facebook page for dates.)