PG: It’s time to play outside

Renee Massa of Green Tree and T.J. Heromin of Mount Washington enjoy yoga at sunset with MoWa Yoga on the Monongahela Incline's overlook, instructed by yogi Amanda Rubio, left, in sunglasses.

It’s time to play outside with activities offered throughout Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette   JUL 8, 2017


Summer weather leaves no excuse to shirk on your workout. Tired of the daily treadmill-weights rotation in the stuffy gym?More and more Pittsburgh organizations have scheduled dances, Spinning classes, yoga, unusual bike events and more in the city’s parks, plazas and overlooks this summer so you can get some exercise with fresh air and often a view.
Here’s a sampling:

Say Namaste

Harland MacTaggart, 7, of the North Side, races down a path on the South Side. He has been unicycling for only a few months, to great success.

Amelia Nierenberg


Find outdoor yoga series in various locations around the city. Organized by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Market Square’s free classes are held Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m.
Mount Washington takes yoga to the overlook Wednesdays at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. for a suggested $10 donation — reservations recommended. The class is headed by yogi Amanda Rubio, who also teaches at One Point Yoga.

One Point Yoga will be bringing its classes outdoors to Frick Park on Fridays from 6-7 p.m. for a suggested donation of $5-$10. The Frick Pittsburgh in Point Breeze will be offering free one-hour yoga classes starting at 9 a.m. on July 15, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16. Participants can order a brunch package from the Frick Cafe to enjoy after class. Yoga Flow will be offering $5 classes overlooking the river at Aspinwall Riverfront Park Sundays at 11 a.m.

“Mats on the Mon” by BYS Yoga occurs Saturdays 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Landing at Station Square; the $5 class comes with a bonus view of the Monongahela. On Sundays, also 10:30-11:30, BYS Yoga takes a class outdoors to Grandview Park on Mount Washington for the same price.

For those willing to travel a little farther, Blackberry Meadows Farm in Natrona Heights will be hosting Sunset on the Farm yoga classes with Alyssa Dore at Adoré Infinite Wellness on Wednesday evenings through August for $10. The class starts at 5:30 p.m. With a colorful sky in the background, achieving Zen will be no problem at all. Simmons Farm in McMurray will also be hosting yoga classes Saturdays this July and August starting at 9:30 a.m. The class is $10, and participants can add in flower picking for an additional $10.

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale will host the relaxing workout at various times throughout the summer by the Lotus Pond. The $17 class fee for non-members includes admission to the garden for the entire day to ensure continued relaxation.

Bring the kids to free family yoga classes held on July 9 and Aug. 13 at 9 a.m. on the lawn of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland. Let’s Move Pittsburgh and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh organize the classes.

Mix it up with a floating yoga class by Northeast Paddleboard Co. Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga — SUP, for short. For $35 per class, SUP takes participants out on the water, either at a pool or a local waterfront.

The largest gathering is likely to be One WHIRL Yoga Fest on July 22 in Point State Park, Downtown — a day of classes, workshops and exhibit booths. Admission is $35 in advance or $40 at the door.

Stay calm with tai chi

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden will offer outdoor tai chi on July 29, Aug. 26 and Sept. 30. The soothing location is perfect for the ancient Chinese art that strives for oneness with nature.

Standing Crane brings tai chi to Aspinwall Riverfront Park on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. The first class costs $5. Participants can then choose between a multi-class package or $15 per class.

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will be hosting free classes for the calming martial art on Sundays starting at 10 a.m. at Schenley Plaza in Oakland and 1 p.m. at the Frick Environmental Center in Squirrel Hill.

Pedal up a sweat

Skip the dark interior of an indoor class for Spinning with a view. A special event Sunday by Club Cycle is bringing stationary bikes to the Mount Washington Overlook for a fitness class that costs $35 per person. (As of Friday there were a few spots left.)

If you’re looking to bare more on your bike, consider the Underwear Bike Ride. The tradition returns to Pittsburgh on July 27 and Aug. 31 on the corner of Butler and 46th streets in Lawrenceville at 8:30 p.m.

Dance to the rhythm

Citiparks brings line dancing with an R&B inspired twist to Pittsburgh parks at select dates this summer. The next chance comes on July 9 from 3-5 p.m. at the West End Overlook. For a full schedule, go to:

Infuse your moves with a French twist 3 to 6 p.m. July 15 in Schenley Park to honor Bastille Day in an event hosted by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Live music by Pardon My French will accompany the dance lessons.

Visit Market Square for free dancing lessons organized by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership  and USA Dance Pittsburgh. They span a variety of styles and occur on Friday evenings in August starting at 5 p.m. For a more intense workout come to Market Square on Mondays in July for bopping fitness classes to fast-paced dance music. Work out during your lunch break with Pilates-yoga, high intensity interval training, PoundFit or Kickboxing class at noon and return in the evening for a fast-paced HIIT session at either 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. The event is also organized by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, with class instructors from PNC YMCA.

Work off the booze

Summer weather not enough to encourage you to exercise? Fleet Feet Sportsis offering the perfect motivation: beer.

You heard that right. Fleet Feet Sports will be motivating runners with libations on scheduled dates throughout the summer: July 13 is next with a run starting at 6:30 p.m. at Franktuary in Lawrenceville.

Looking for a more regular boozey workout? Join the Pittsburgh Hash House Harriers, a drinking group with a running problem. Runners are the “Hashers,” and they jog along a secret route marked by “hares” that leads to a spot with beer (in addition to water and snacks). Full schedule at

For those who prefer double the relaxation without the stress of running, Beer Belly Yoga might be an appealing choice in the East End. A brewery and a yoga studio in one, Beer Belly Yoga’s next event will be held on July 30 at 10 a.m. The $25 event will begin with a 45-minute yoga class followed by a tour of the brewery and a cool glass of your choice of brew.

Paddle the three rivers

As a city of three rivers, Pittsburgh might be best to explore on the water. Kayaking has the added benefit of a great workout. Kayak Pittsburgh offers locations on the North Shore and at North Park and Aspinwall Riverfront Park. Solo kayaks are $19 per hour on weekends, $16 on weekdays. In Millvale, try Tres Rios Sports. The business offers kayaks powered by foot pedals, like a bike, rather than traditional rowing, at $26 per hour.

Warm up for your kayak trip with a run during the Turf-n-Surf Fun Run with Fleet Fleet Sports on July 23 at 8 a.m. Take a loop around North Park; the suggested route is 5 miles, but participants can adjust the length to suit their comfort level. After the jog, rent a kayak or a stand-up paddle board from Venture Outdoors at a discounted rate.

Climb to new heights

Pittsburgh’s neighboring greenspace offers the perfect terrain for rock climbing. New to the sport? Check out Ohiopyle for in-depth instruction from Wilderness Voyageurs, an outdoors company that is prepared to help climbers of any skill level. Rates are steep, so put together a group to split the price tag.

After a bouldering expedition, cool off in a swimming hole or take a short nature walk.

Run to a special event

Show off your running skills at the Pirate’s stadium for Runners Night organized by Fleet Feet Sports on July 18. Arrive early to check out “runners central” with several local running groups, watch a game starting at 7:15 p.m. against Milwaukee and run the bases after the Pirates victory (hopefully). Admission for the entire night starts at $18. Register at

OpenStreetsPGH, organized by BikePGH, has its final showing of the summer, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 30. Streets will be closed off to automobile traffic from Lawrenceville to Market Square — the perfect opportunity for a run, walk or bike ride. There will also be free fitness classes, including yoga, HIIT, Spinning, Zumba and Pilates, at three spots along the route — Market Square, the Strip District and Lawrenceville.

Catherine Cray: