Best Free Exercise Class (2006)

Yoga in the Park

In a city where the cost of a gym membership can surpass the cost of a monthly car payment, it can be difficult to believe that a free exercise class could actually be better than one of those pricey South Beach celebrity workouts. But Yoga in the Park has them all beat for three exquisite reasons: First of all, location. The class takes place on an elevated stage between the lapping ocean at Bayfront Park and the tall downtown buildings, which makes for a unique contrast of inspiring imagery during the invigorating Ashtanga session. The class takes place every Monday evening between 6:00 and 7:15, so add the soothing effect of the sun setting overhead and the gigantic, cool-looking fountain that faces the pavilion, and it suddenly becomes apparent that no high-end yoga studio in town could match this place for sheer ambiance, regardless of how well polished its wooden floors might be. Second, the instructor. He's a hottie named Augustin, and he's got ridiculously toned arms and a penchant for flowing white linen pants. Augustin's voice is soothing, and he takes the time to help newbies achieve the perfect position. His class zings along at a stimulating pace and then stretches out into a profound relaxation period, when he talks the students through a cool-down visualization exercise. At the end of the class, everyone gathers around like fans at a rock concert to personally thank him for the healing experience. And finally, it's free. All you need to do is bring a yoga mat, water, and a towel, and sign a waiver. Need we say more?


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