Yoga is everywhere these days and Pittsburgh does yoga en masse, not just in the yoga studio. We do it on bridges, in parks, on overlooks, at the bar, on the baseball outfield, and in our town square. Some classes are free, such as the popular Yoga in the Square, where nearly 300 yogis gather in Market Square every Sunday morning. Other classes are the cost of a drop-in yoga class or donation only, such as the various yoga classes held on grassy patches in the city’s parks.
As the yoga community—both students and teachers—expands here in Pittsburgh, there’s no question we are discovering some cool and unique places to practice. Take the Beer + Yoga Blowout in Rankin at Carrie Furnace, a big yoga class in an impressive abandoned iron mill site—followed by a cold pint from The Brew Gentlemen.
Or Sun Down Warm Up, a yoga class last year that celebrated the winter solstice—outside of course—in Schenley Plaza, with a portion of proceeds going to Project Bundle Up.
It’s with good reason that a few local businesses are carving out time and space to support local yoga studios and local yoga teachers. We’ve found four under- the-radar spots worth trying where you can roll out your mat one day a week in a rather unconventional space.
WIGLE WHISKEY’S MIND BODY + SPIRITS
Last year, Wigle Whiskey expanded from their distillery in The Strip District to a second location, the seasonal Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden [https://www.wiglewhiskey.com/barrelhouse]. All summer long both locations are open to the public for tours and tastings, but it’s the Barrelhouse that brings in the bands, the games and the yoga.
Sunday Fundays kick off Mind + Body + Spirits—the Wigle Whiskey Yoga Series. Wigle has invited yoga teachers from various studios and locations throughout the city to teach an hourlong class on Sunday mornings. The classes offer a mix of disciplines, all depending on the teacher of the week, such as power, vinyasa flow, a practice that is more meditative, or a flow that syncs up to your favorite tunes.
Regardless of who is teaching what, the cement patio in the open-air garden is a serene little escape on the Northside. After you roll up your mat (BYOM), find a spot at one of the picnic tables with fellow yogis and await your treat. Each class comes with a complimentary “summery cocktail” and a sample of one of Wigle’s famed spirits.
Where: Wigle Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden (1055 Spring Garden Ave.)
When: Sundays 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Rate: anyone can sign up for $12.
What to expect: the smell of fresh ingredients, sunshine, good tunes and a spot at the picnic table
HOTEL MONACO’S MOONLIGHT MONDAYS
Along with a hip and eclectic decor, delicious cuisine and dog-friendly nature, Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco aims to provide their guests with a well-rounded fitness experience. Expect to find a neatly rolled up yoga mat for use either in the gym or in your room—or now a yoga class on the rooftop terrace on Monday evenings. Dubbed Moonlight Mondays, the class is held in partnership with downtown-based studio Bend Yoga, and offers everyone, not just hotel guests, a session under the bistro lights—and soon to be moonlight as the days grow shorter. Each week a different teacher from the studio leads a vinyasa flow suitable for all levels. After the savasana, hydrate with a glass of hotel’s berry-infused H20.
Where: 9th-floor Terrace of Hotel Monaco (620 William Penn Place)
When: Mondays 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Rate: hotel guests practice for free; others can sign up for $15 here.
What to expect: fresh air, starry lights, a breeze and the surprisingly calm buzz of the city below.
ARNOLD’S TEA’S TEA YOGA
Earlier this year, Steel Town native Verna Arnold realized her dream of opening a food service establishment with Arnold’s Tea on East Ohio Street on the Northside. The tea shop has an impressive selection of classic and signature hot and cold teas, along with a menu of feel-good sandwiches.
With two spacious rooms bathed in natural light, reclaimed wood, and modern minimalist couches, tables and chairs, it’s the kind of space that begs for yoga class. The writing on the sandwich board often touts Saturday morning’s Tea Yoga, a gentle yoga class, where the students are asked to bring their own mats—and optional blocks, straps and blankets which are “very useful in gentle yoga.” The hourlong class welcomes all levels, including newbies. After class, warm up or cool down with the day’s featured tea, which is on Arnold’s. No one will turn their nose up at you if you order a cup of joe with your PB&J.