Things to Do

International Day of Yoga: 8 Free Classes Around DC

Salute the sun on the National Mall on June 21—or find some calm by the Anacostia.

Photograph by daveynin/Flickr.

In 2015, United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga—proof that the discipline has stretched and twisted from its roots in ancient India into the world’s hearts over the past couple centuries. Whether you’ve never stepped on a mat or are an accomplished yogi, Wednesday is the perfect opportunity to discover new yoga studios around the city while celebrating the mindful tradition. Here are eight free classes to check out:

For monumental yoga

Leave the office a tad early for some downward dog on the National Mall with Sky Campus Happiness, an organization that brings yoga, mediation, and other mindful services to university campuses. Instructors Hitesh Monga and Kelsi Lynde will lead the yoga and breath work class outside the Museum of Natural History (10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW) at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Reserve a spot here.


For starting a new routine

This outdoor class at the Boro in Tysons Corner (8350 Broad Street Tysons) is a recurring one, hosted by Honest Soul Yoga, that happens to coincide with the International Day of Yoga. Hosted every other Wednesday at 6 PM from May to September, Honest Soul’s instructors Em and Julia will lead you through a flow of classic power yoga poses that are friendly to all levels. Bring a mat and sign up here.


For yoga by the water

Enjoy an hour of calm by the Anacostia River at this outdoor class, hosted on the sundeck at the Yards  (355 Water Street, SE) at 7:30 AM on Wednesday. Yoga and meditation instructor Carlyn Nordeman of Calm with Carlyn, will lead you through the morning’s poses. Afterward, refresh yourself with complimentary pressed juice from Toastique. Bring a mat and reserve a spot here.


For early risers

Rise with sun and head to the India International School in Chantilly (433 Brookfield Corporate Drive, Chantilly) for a 90-minute yoga class that will incorporate meditation and ancient wisdom into its sequences. The event, which is hosted by The Art of Living Foundation, begins bright and early at 7:30 AM. Bring a mat and sign up here.


For hungry yogis

Roll out your mat with the Embassy of India on Wednesday at 8 a.m. for a free class—and best of all, breakfast—at the Art of Living Foundation’s center (2401 15th Street NW) across the street from Meridian Hill park. Before the meal, the instructor will lead you through the morning’s poses, followed by pranayama (a type of breath work) and meditation. Sign up for the free event here.


For trying a new studio

Join YogaSix—which will soon open a studio in Alexandria—for an outdoor pop-up class at Carlyle Crossing in Alexandria (2495 Mandeville Lane, Alexandria) at 6 PM on Wednesday. The studio is known for its “sensory yoga” classes that can include color changing lights, heat, and sound. Sign up here and bring a mat.


For an energetic sequence

Strike a warrior pose with George Mason University, which is hosting an open-to-the-public class outside on the Plaza at Mason Square (3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington) at 6 PM on Wednesday. A tad different from other yoga classes, this one incorporates energetic movements throughout its posture sequences that are designed to elicit a feeling of fluid motion. Bring a mat and reserve a spot here.


For those who are too busy

Have a packed schedule and no time to leave the office? You can still squeeze in a moment of calm during your lunch hour with this free 30-minute breath work class hosted by Soul Dimension studio over Zoom. Yoga instructor Sylvie Horvart will guide you through breathing exercises that can help reduce stress and increase mental clarity. Sign up for the virtual class here.

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor