The other day I was sitting down for a drink with someone and within the first ten minutes they said to me “let me guess, you do yoga.” I don’t get it. Do I dress like a hippy? Is it because my nose is pierced? Please tell me it’s not people’s way of letting me know I need to shower. Or maybe everyone is just psychic because yes indeed, I do dabble in yoga occasionally. Dabble being the correct word because, as a traveler, it can be quite difficult to invest yourself in a studio. You may only be in Reykjavik for a few days and therefore can’t afford to pay for a monthly pass somewhere. However, I still believe there is no better way to wake up than with some morning sun salutations, so I’ve compiled a list of the best places to find free yoga in the city. That’s right, FREE. You now have no excuse to stop your yoga regime while visiting Reykjavik.
Every Sunday, Loft Hostel offers a free yoga class for all levels of yogis. They advise that you bring your own mat, but for those of us who don’t travel with our mats (let’s be real, there was no way that was fitting in my backpack) they have a few spare mats available. One of the perks of this class is after you’ve sweated out all your alcohol demons from the night before, you can grab a coffee or slice of cake from their café and chill out on the balcony overlooking the main street. They also have a selection of Icelandic beers for those who like maintaining a constant buzz on vacation. Loft Hostel is centrally located, right on the main street, so this is an easy class to get to for anyone staying in the city center.
Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/LoftHostel/events/
This yoga studio, located a short walk from Hallgrimskirkja Church, offers a variety of different yoga classes in a cute little studio. Its central location also makes it easy to get to from majority of hotels and guesthouses in the city. Classes are free for first time visitors, so take a look at the schedule and pick a date and time that works for you. The studio offers a wide range, from vinyasa to asthanga (you’ll understand that if you’re a fellow yogi). Don’t worry about the language barrier either; most instructors can speak English as well as Icelandic and will teach the class in English if you request it.
Check it out here: http://www.101yoga.is
Natha Yogacenter is run by a couple who have been studying and teaching yoga since 1992. They offer a variety of classes on yoga, tantra, and sexuality. Yes, you read that correctly. This is no ordinary yoga studio. Every other Sunday, Natha Yogacenter offers a free open house at 6pm. The focus varies biweekly, from meditation to a workshop or a lecture. The couple that runs Natha wants these open houses to be a community gathering for likeminded individuals, so I see it as an amazing opportunity to meet fellow spiritual seekers during your travels. The center also offers a variety of other free events, all of which you can find on the events tab of their Facebook. You’ll commonly find introduction courses for free, such as tantra for women or sacred sexuality. (Dad, stop reading now). I’m not exactly sure what it means to harness my sexual power to find happiness and fulfillment, but I’m also not opposed to finding out.
Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/NathaYogaCenterReykjavik/events/
ODDSON is a super hip hostel that you won’t want to miss while you’re out here visiting, and serendipitously they’ve made it their New Years Resolution to offer more free yoga classes! Can I get an ommmmmmm for that. Check out ODDSONN’s Facebook page to find out the exact time of the classes, but generally they’re happening on weekend evenings. Again, they’ll provide you with a mat if you need one. ODDSON also has a full bar and café, so you can indulge in delicious treats after your class and enjoy the seaside views.
Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/OddssonReykjavik/events/
Every Wednesday at 7:20pm you can find a meditation class at this dance studio, located right next to Kex Hostel downtown. The class isn’t conventional yoga, but involves some light movement and is equally as grounding. Most importantly, it is always free for first-time visitors. They have extra yoga mats on hand, but suggest that you bring your own journal and writing utensil. The meditation is all in English and perfect for winding down after a crazy day of travel. I met the woman who leads the meditation at a café downtown and she is exactly what you’d expect from a yogi—warmhearted, gentle, and passionate about sharing her practice. She’s originally from the United States, so I was instantly drawn to her story and secretly hoping I’d also fall in love with an Icelandic man and never have to leave this beautiful place. I don’t think a meditation class can guarantee this for me, but I know we could all use some calming “me time” amongst the adventure of Icelandic life.
Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ModernDayMeditationIceland/events/
A great resource for finding other free yoga opportunities around Reykjavik is the group “FREE YOGA REYKJAVIK” on Facebook. Anyone can post about free events around the city, including the location, date and time.
This post is a part of a series of posts where Sarah, our 23-year-old Coloradan blog-helping-elf, shares her findings during her 5-week stay in Reykjavík. Before Sarah joined us here in Reykjavík she spent a year in New Zealand where she got a taste for the sweet life of travel. After Reykjavík she’s headed south again to spend a year in Australia.
Read more of Sarah Takes on Iceland here.