You must have your morning yoga, but who wants to be in a sweaty studio when the sun is shining and the birds are singing? Answer: Nobody. That’s why Linda Lalita Winnick, co-owner of Woodstock Yoga Center and founder of Shakti Yoga Studios in Woodstock, Saugerties, and Kingston, first introduced the joys of poolside classes about 12 years ago.
“I love teaching outside. I’ve taught in exotic locations around the world and the Catskills is equivocally gorgeous,” she says. “You get to directly experience the beauty of the environment.”
When the weather turns warm, Shakti disciples relish their outings to the Enchanted Manor of Woodstock, a Zen bed and breakfast complete with pond and waterfall, where Winnick conducts invigorating sessions beside the calming in-ground saltwater pool. Some students prefer performing their downward dogs directly in the embrace of the sun’s rays; others seek out the ample shade of the deck.
Breathing in fresh air and a post-Savasana dip in the water are among the perks of practicing outdoor yoga, Winnick points out, but the ultimate goal is to surround those trapped indoors working all week with “the feel and smell of summer and the happiness the sunshine brings.” 845-679-0706; www.shaktiyogawoodstock.com
The Body Art Studio Blooming Grove
Michelle Dawson, yogi and henna artist, teaches her classes — Black Dirt, focusing on breathing, is the signature yoga style — at a revamped 200-year-old Sears barn. Adventurous practitioners who would like to experiment with the soft, swirling fabrics of aerial yoga should hightail it to the outdoor deck. 845-662-5604; www.thebodyartstudio.com
Life in Balance Yoga and Wellness Center Fishkill
Twice a month (May through August), alfresco Vinyasa is unfurled against mountain views at Sarah Taylor Park. If, however, a spontaneous downpour ruins the allure of the grass, sanctuary is found in the onsite pavilion. 845-765-8700; www.fishkillyoga.com
Mohonk Preserve New Paltz
On Tuesday evenings, (June through September) Jacqui Nash, co-owner of the Yoga House in Kingston, leads an all-level yoga class overlooking the Catskill Mountains from the preserve’s Slingerland Pavilion. 845-255-0919; www.mohonkpreserve.org
Mount Gulian Historic Site Beacon
The 18th-century Dutch manor house makes for an idyllic backdrop any day, but come summer, yoga instructor Maryann Fasano — who doubles as the grounds’ master gardener — officially takes her open-level classes to the front lawn. 845-831-8172; www.mountgulian.org
Storm King Adventure Tours Cornwall-on-Hudson
Among the guided hikes organized by this itinerary-maker is a peaceful one that combines yoga, walking meditation, and enlightening tips for practicing mindfulness. 845-534-7800; www.stormkingadventuretours.com