Sports, Fitness & Wellness

Keep Fit: September Is Yoga Month on the East End

We’re over halfway through September, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy what is quickly becoming a treasured East End pastime: outdoor yoga.

“Yoga poses are designed in nature, so being able to practice surrounded by the elements—feeling the wind, feeling the sun—it has a huge impact on the body, as well as the mind,” yoga instructor Jenna Raynell says. Raynell, who teaches outdoor yoga at Wölffer Estate Vineyard and is involved in the inaugural Hamptons YogaFest this coming weekend. Even as the air gets cooler and organized outdoor classes become less frequent, heading outside on a whim is a good way to reap yoga’s benefits. “Beaches are empty and serene this time of year,” she continues. “Grab a mat or a towel and do a couple sun salutations in the sand, practice your handstands, meditate on the crashing waves. It’s amazing!”

Hamptons YogaFest kicks off this weekend (September 18–20), allowing locals and tourists alike to enjoy the powerful benefits of yoga. The three-day festival, held on the grounds of the Hayground School in Bridgehampton, features local and international presenters offering a variety of yoga classes, philosophies and lectures, with live music during the evenings. Classes will be 108 minutes long, as 108 is a sacred number in yoga, reflecting the wholeness of existence.

In addition to the classes, the festival features over 20 vendors in the vendor village, as well as a kids’ village, healing village and a food and beverage bar.

One of the more unique aspects of the festival will be the electric rainbow labyrinth, a meditation space created by Hamptons yoga teacher Hanniel Levenson.

Entry to the grounds starts at $20/day, which includes access to the community village where 30-minute community classes are held. Additional tickets provide access to a wider array of yoga workshops and classes. Participants are asked to bring their own mats. Visit hamptonsyogafest.com for additional details, the full schedule and to purchase tickets.

Also held through September is Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s popular Yoga in the Vines classes and HIIT boot camp. Classes meet at the tasting room in Sagaponack, and then students walk through the vineyard to a secluded spot in the middle of the vines. Practicing outside brings a beautiful sense of serenity, as yogis of all abilities are invited to deepen their practice. Offered on Saturdays, the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) bootcamp is taught by renowned local personal trainer Sander Vanacker. (There will be no classes this weekend, September 19–20, as the instructors will be participating in Hamptons YogaFest.) Visit wolffer.com for the schedule and to sign up.

The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill will also continue with its Sunday Yoga on the Terrace through September. Classes begin at 11 a.m. and are offered in partnership with Ananda Wellness and Yoga Center. Each session is $10/person, or free for members. Classes are bring-your-own-mat. After achieving wellness, enjoy brunch at the on-site Golden Pear Café, or explore the museum’s exhibits. On-view through mid-October is Andreas Gursky: Landscapes and Platform: Tara Donovan. Visit parrishart.org.

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