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7 unique yoga classes you can take in Tampa Bay

Here are a few of the area’s less-standard offerings.
 
Hot yoga instructor Alexis Holland, left, poses in Warrior I alongside yogis at The Body Electric Yoga Company in St. Petersburg in 2019.
Hot yoga instructor Alexis Holland, left, poses in Warrior I alongside yogis at The Body Electric Yoga Company in St. Petersburg in 2019. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times (2019) ]
Published July 31, 2023|Updated Aug. 18, 2023

We’re in the thick of summer, and it’s usually at this point that fatigue sets in. Record-setting heat keeps making the rounds. School is back in session. Your vacations may have already passed. And do the days feel really long to anyone else?

In times like these, combating stress and anxiety is key. Luckily, there is a swath of places in Tampa Bay where you can unwind and let your mind and body relax — like our many yoga studios and classes.

Some of these classes, though, aren’t your standard ones in a dimly lit studio with essential oils diffusing. Here are a few of the area’s more unique ways to practice your downward dog.

Animal yoga

It’s been a while since goat yoga swept cities as the newest fitness craze, but the concept of letting creatures roam around while you work the mat still remains. Note: Some variations may come with more poop than others.

At Sunshine Kitty Catfe in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay’s first cat cafe, friendly felines are the guests of honor during kitty yoga sessions. These hour-long classes typically take place at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and cost $35. Anyone over the age of 12 can attend. The best part? Fifteen minutes are tacked on for participants to play with the cats. Visit the cafe’s website to register for the next one.

1669 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Mats not provided. Registration required. sunshinekittycatfe.com.

Along Indian Shores Beach sits Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, a rehabilitation facility for injured or sick native birds. From 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on the third Sunday of every month, a yoga class is held in its observation tower, which overlooks the sea. You can catch views of the area’s birds while nailing your tree pose and then tour the sanctuary afterward. The class costs $20 and all proceeds support the sanctuary’s mission.

18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores. Mats provided. Registration required. seasideseabirdsanctuary.org.

Water yoga

Participants stretch during aqua yoga classes at St. Pete Beach Family Aquatic Center.
Participants stretch during aqua yoga classes at St. Pete Beach Family Aquatic Center. [ Courtesy/Christa Fairbrother ]

In the summer, there are few ways to get relief from Florida’s blistering, humid heat, but a tried-and-true method is to get in the water. At the St. Pete Beach Family Aquatic Center, an aqua yoga class is offered every Thursday at 11 a.m. Along with the obvious benefit of keeping cool, doing yoga in the water can help with reducing pain and improving range of motion. Being around or in water is also proven to lower stress. The class costs $10 and is open to people of all levels of experience.

7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. Registration required. spbrec.com.

Participants practice aqua yoga at St. Pete Beach Family Aquatic Center.
Participants practice aqua yoga at St. Pete Beach Family Aquatic Center. [ Courtesy/Christa Fairbrother ]
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Dark Wave yoga

If the sounds of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Cure and Cocteau Twins don’t immediately ring “Namaste” to you, they may after a class at Tampa’s Lucky Cat Yoga studio. On Mondays at 7:15 p.m. and Thursdays at 7 p.m., an intermediate-level (though anyone can join) vinyasa yoga class is held in a darkened room. The studio calls it Dark Wave Yoga because the music played during the classes ranges from post-punk to new wave to goth. A single class costs $20, and class packages at varying prices are also offered.

2740 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Mats not provided. Registration required. luckycatyoga.com.

Naked yoga

Got nothing to wear to a class? No problem. The Body Electric Yoga Company in St. Pete hosts naked yoga classes and workshops for men and women. Every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., a one-hour nude yoga class for men, described as “a liberating flow with some deep stretching,” is held in a candlelit room at the studio. One class is $20, and multi-class packages are available.

The options for women aren’t as regular, as only a few are offered throughout the year, with the next one taking place in October. In this $44 workshop, clothing is optional and the goal is for women to practice “radical self-love” and develop a deeper connection with their bodies. The session runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Both men’s and women’s sessions have limited class sizes.

3015 Seventh St. N, St. Petersburg. Mats not provided. Registration required. thebodyelectricyoga.com.

Nightclub yoga

You might be tempted by the dance floor at Dunedin’s Blur Nightclub to bust a move during glow yoga sessions. With the disco ball and glow sticks providing the main light source, the class melds the energy of a night out with a traditional vinyasa class. The cost for the class starts at $15 and increases depending on if you’d like to purchase glow-in-the-dark body paint or neon tank tops. Only yogis 18 and up can attend, and the next session is on Aug. 17 from 7 to 8 p.m.

325 Main St., Dunedin. Mats not provided. Registration required. tinyurl.com/3zj5xhax.

Laughter yoga

Giggles abound in laughter yoga classes at various Hillsborough County senior centers. Older adults go through poses while seated and let out a series of “hee-hee”s and “ha-ha”s throughout the session. The sounds combined with guided deep breathing techniques help release tension in the body and elevate moods through the release of endorphins. The classes are free, and anyone 50 and up can join. For more information on the days and times of the sessions, contact Hillsborough County Aging Services.

Registration required. HCFLGov.net/Aging.