Yoga classes: by-donation and free yoga in Los Angeles
Free (and almost free) yoga classes in Los Angeles and beyond: From beachside asanas to Downtown downward dogs.
Photograph: Bradley Roberge
From the designer duds to the specialty mats to the classes that can top out at $25 apiece, taking yoga can feel more like a bank breaker than a body bender. Here are ten quality yoga classes that are either free or donation-based (with low-to-no pressure to pitch in the full amount) so that you can stretch your limbs instead of your wallet.
One of LA’s most well-known yoga personalities, Kest has turned his two (1410 2nd St and 522 Santa Monica Blvd) by-donation Santa Monica studios into a powerhouse yoga community, with classes that regularly draw more than a hundred students (show up early!). No matter how large the class, the charismatic Kest draws everyone together, creating a collective sense of focus and intention that keeps students from all over town coming back. If you’re aiming for yoga posterity, hit the 4pm Saturday class at the 2nd Street studio—most are filmed for Power Yoga’s online channel.
• Suggested donation: $15
• Check website for class times
- Santa Monica
Get a side of Downtown history with your downward dog at Yoga Circle, which has been holding by-donation classes in the Old Bank District since 1999. The studio is located in the same building as Pete’s Café & Bar, one of the pioneers of the latest wave of Downtown renaissance. It’s also right next to the wildly popular Bäco Mercat, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to indulge after you cleanse in class. Another plus? The giant gong that's rung at the end of nearly every class, closing out your day’s practice with a harmonic hush.
• Suggested donation: $16
• Class times are subject to change, so check the website before you head over.
The best way to combine yoga and a trip to Malibu? By-donation Sunday morning yoga at Gladstone's, right on the PCH. Though it’s held in a private room in the restaurant, this is a Vinyasa Flow class that’s accessible to beginners, making it an equal draw for visitors who want a double dose of LA lifestyle and yoga girls who want to earn their brunch-time Bloody Mary. The restaurant, of course, encourages you to stay for breakfast (not free!) afterwards.
• By donation
• Classes are every Sunday at 9am
A warm, nonjudgmental operation (with locations in Studio City and West Hollywood), City Yoga’s free classes only happen a couple of times a month, but they’re excellent for those who are new or returning to the practice. Occasionally, there are free acupressure or meditation classes offered in lieu of the community yoga sessions. Dates and times vary so check the website for details.
• Classes announced a month in advance online
- Studio City and West Hollywood
In a city of actor-model-waiters, Brad Keimach is an unusual multi-hyphenate: conductor-lecturer-yogi. This Julliard-trained conductor (he’s appeared at Carnegie Hall) teaches free yoga on the beach in Santa Monica every Saturday and Sunday, plus a special sunset class. His 90-minute class can attract up to 50 students a session, and he leads them through a slow and steady flow that may involve moving off the mats and into the waves.
• Minimum donation: $10
• Sat-Sun at 10:30am-12pm; sunset yoga, sunset yoga varies (check online each week for start time, as the sunset changes).
- Santa Monica Beach