As Houston heats up, maybe you want to take your workout routine to new places, both indoor and out. You might also be questioning whether your budget will let you explore new classes and studios. Luckily you can accomplish both with a plethora of free indoor and outdoor exercise options hosted by some of the best venues and gyms throughout Houston.
Every Sunday through June you can join Houston’s first pay-what-you-can yoga studio, Black Swan Yoga at Raven Tower. The bayou-side location makes for the perfect backdrop for the weekly hour-long 10 a.m. session on the patio. Don’t be surprised if you are greeted with live music, too—come for the one-of-a-kind yoga experience and stick around for drink specials to continue your Sunday Funday.
Every Sunday at 11 a.m., the Lululemon store in Highland Village offers a free yoga class from a different local studio—mats are even provided if you don't have your own. The Galleria location sponsors classes every Saturday inside the Westin Galleria, while the CityCentre Lululemon hosts a running club every Monday evening at 5:30 p.m. Athleta stores around Houston also offer regular classes—try PiYo almost every Sunday in Rice Village and Saturday collaborations with studios like Groove Bounce and Orangetheory in Town & Country. You might be distracted by your future yoga gear on nearby hangers, but at least you earned it, right?
Studio Open House
Early birds can take advantage of F3 Cross Training's free workout of the day (or “WOD”) on various Saturdays each month at 8 a.m. Classes focus on building endurance, strength and mobility at both the Heights and EaDo locations, with occasional free workouts at the nearby 8th Wonder Brewery.
If your workouts are feeling stale, there is a surprising variety of exercise classes held at Discovery Green including Zumba, yoga, meditation, parkour and even “circus arts” classes that are fun to try with a friend or the entire family. Hermann Park is getting in the action, too, hosting tai chi classes at 9 a.m. in Lake Plaza on Saturday mornings in March. Or head to Menil Park for Tai Chi by the Rothko Chapel reflecting pool at 5 p.m. every Thursday and yoga on the plaza Saturdays at 9 a.m. (both have a suggested donation of $10).
There's probably no more picturesque spot for a lotus-pose than the gardens of Rienzi, the gorgeous estate that's now part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. That's the site of the next pop-up on April 24 from Breakfast Club Yoga, an all-volunteer organization that brings an array of free yoga classes to stunning spaces—previous locations include Asia Society Texas and Hermann Park.
Folks in the suburbs don't have to go far for an array of free classes. Kings Harbor in Kingwood hosts Move + Shake Zumba every other Monday at 6:30 p.m. and offers free Yoga Fridays from Life Time Fitness Kingwood at 6 p.m. on the third week of every month. Downtowners can head to GreenStreet for a free boot camp class at 6:30 a.m. every Wednesday—that's what we call getting-over-the-hump day, plus participants get $1 off their next salad or entree at Salata, making it even easier to keep making those healthy choices.