16 of the Coolest Yoga Photos You'll Ever See
Every summer thousands of people take to the streets of New York City to practice yoga for the Solstice in Times Square. This year’s event on June 20 is expected to draw around 9,000 visitors—and we want you to get in on the fun too! Just tweet a photo of yourself doing yoga in a cool location @shape_magazine with the hashtag #yogaanywhere for the chance to be retweeted or featured in a story. You could snap a picture at a class in your area, share a yoga-inspired shot from your last vacation, or spice up the workday with a Zen break at the office (you wouldn’t be the first person, see slides 8 and 11)—the options are endless. Check out the following photos for inspiration, and then get tweeting!
Street Performance Yoga
and owner of Strala Yoga in New York City, briefly stole the show from the metallic man, but not without tipping him first!
Good Olde Fun
Fellow Strala Yoga instructor and arm-balance extraordinaire Heidi Kristoffer demonstrated dolphin pose, scorpion, and this jaw-dropping (and jaw-squishing) chin balance at Olde Good Things antique shop near Union Square in New York City. Throughout the duration of the shoot, Heidi braved the pouring rain, did yoga in stilettos, and showed there’s no surface on which she cannot balance. Watch the videos here!
Sunset Tree Pose
This picture of Dawn Oliver, President of YOGiiZA, Organic Clothing for Organic People, was taken during sunset at Sailfish Point in Stuart, Florida in May 2010. Several months later the tree pose silhouette was used to create the logo for YOGiiZA. “This photo represents the birth of our new company and reminds us that the possibilities are endless when bringing ‘Yoga Anywhere,’”says Oliver, who is based in Miami Beach.
“Yoga is practiced anywhere and everywhere these days,” says Dawn Oliver, pictured here doing crow pose with friends. “Bringing yoga outside the studio on a paddleboard is the ultimate blissful experience. This is unity, connecting to nature, surrounded by calm water and clear blue skies with birds flying overhead and maybe even a visit from a dolphin or manatee.” Paddleboards aren’t the only vehicles for aquatic yoga—watch Tara Stiles practice yoga in a rowboat here!
Yoga Under the Bridge
This photo of Matt Lombardo and Sasha Dmochowski was shot by Derek Beres, a yoga instructor, writer, and DJ based in Santa Monica, Calif. The pair struck an acroyoga-style pose underneath the Manhattan Bridge as part of a “metaphysical fitness” photo shoot for Beres’ music project EarthRise Soundsystem.
Freelance writer Jessica Cassity is pictured here in triangle pose on the rocks of Jaco, Costa Rica. Cassity, author of
Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You
, is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor and lives in Portland, Oregon.
Talk about a water cooler conversation starter! Strala Yoga instructor Mike Taylor took crow pose to a new level (literally) with the cube-top feat he performed in the SHAPE office. His stealth gravity-defying moves earned him the nickname ‘the yoga ninja’ by the end of our shoot. Check out more of his ‘ninja yoga’ moves in this video!
Yoga in the Land Down Under
Earth Mother Yoga
This gorgeous photo of Tao Porchon-Lynch was taken in Central Park in honor of her Guinness World Record Award for being the world’s oldest yoga instructor. When asked what she loves most about yoga, Porchon-Lynch says, “The power of feeling the oneness of nature with everyone. Reaching inside, but also reaching around the world.” For more reflections from Tao, check out her book
The Yogic Journey of Life
Think Outside the Cube
Here’s one way to break up a mundane workday. Katherine Schneider, a technology recruiter and newly certified yoga instructor from Chicago, Ill., demonstrates headstand in her cubicle at work. Schneider says she loves her job, “but sometimes I just have to bust out a headstand to stay balanced!” It’s not such a crazy idea—inversions increase bloodflow to the brain, which can help increase mental alertness.
Ally Hamilton, pictured here doing king pigeon pose in Venice Beach, Calif., is the co-founder of the yoga studio Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica. Hamilton’s favorite place to practice yoga outside the studio is at the beach. “I have two little kids, and sometimes I head to the beach with them and do my physical practice while they build sandcastles and run around playing. Sometimes they join me, too,” she says.
Yoga at the Source
California-based yoga instructor Ashley Albrand is pictured here doing a handstand on a giant boulder in Hampi, India. “What I love most about yoga is that the practice is a guaranteed way to know the truth of who you are and why you are here on this planet,” says Albrand. You can follow Ashley on Facebook here.
Unwinding in Wine Country
Winemaker and Anusara yoga instructor Nicole Abiouness demonstrates dancer pose in California wine country. This summer Abiouness is leading a series of yoga sessions amidst the vines at Kristine Ashe Vineyards at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole July 13 to 22.
Los Angeles-based yoga instructor Andrea Marcum is pictured here bending over backwards on the beach of Costa Rica where she was teaching at her yoga retreat. “Yoga can take us out of our routine and introduce us to inspiring new places, sounds, tastes, cultures and people,” she says. “As beautiful as this sunset is behind me, nothing is more incredible than watching people get to know each other and their new surroundings as our yoga retreat week goes by.” Marcum is the founder of U Studio Yoga in LA.
Headstand in Poland
Model Kasia Kniola is pictured here doing a headstand in front of Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Poland. She says headstand is the first inversion pose she mastered while at an intensive course at Strala Yoga in New York City.
Dancer in the Desert
After hiking to the top of Camelback Mountain while on vacation in Scottsdale, Ariz., software consultant Kelly McLaughlin showed off her best dancer pose. McLaughlin recently received her yoga teacher certification at Power Yoga Teacher Training in Chicago.