For my first New Year's Day in Austin, I signed up for a 5 am yoga and meditation workshop to kick start my year. (I was in crisis. Don’t ask.) When then I got to the studio the next morning, I realized that what I’d mistakenly thought was a Vinyasa 101 class was actually a candlelit Kundalini workshop with a heavy — and I mean heavy — focus on chanting.
Since then, I've learned the difference between yoga styles. All of which is to say, whether you’re hoping to start the new year deep in thought at a meditation retreat or deep in a pose on your mat, I’m here to help you avoid my mistake. No need to be intimidated or scared, budding yogis. There’s a New Year’s class for everyone, regardless of where you are in your practice. Here are the best ones to start off your 2018 with a bang (or at least a peaceful namaste).
New Year’s Eve Practice and New Year’s Day Yoga Celebration at Wanderlust Yoga
Downtown studio Wanderlust Yoga is offering two different New Year's classes this year. First up is the New Year’s Eve Practice: Grace and Ganesha Vinyasa with Shanti. This 90-minute, all-levels Vinyasa class is focused on releasing tension, movement, and letting go. Then there’s the New Year’s Day Yoga Celebration with Gustavo + DJ Girlfriend, a dynamic and dance-y flow.
When: The New Year’s Eve practice is on December 31 from noon to 1:30 pm. The New Year’s Day class is on January 1 from 4-5:15 pm.
Cost: Both classes are $30 for non-members, $24 for True North Members.
What to expect: While both classes are suited for yogis of all levels, come prepared for a pretty serious workout.
2nd Annual NYE Bash at Black Swan Yoga
Black Swan Yoga Anderson is hosting their second annual NYE Bash with Patsy Springer & Brett Haginas, a two-hour practice accompanied by live music provided by DJ Cut-a-Rug.
When: December 31 from 10 am-noon.
Cost: $30 and you can RSVP on Facebook here.
What to expect: This class is geared towards students of all levels (with the exception of total beginners). You can expect two hours of sweaty poses and plenty of positive affirmations to get you through the dregs of 2017.
Alternative New Year’s Eve Celebration at Kadampa Meditation Center
Kadampa Meditation Center, located just three blocks from the Capitol, teaches Kadampa Buddhist philosophies and meditation techniques to students. Their Alternative New Year’s Eve Celebration is set to be equal parts celebratory (with hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages) and contemplative (an hour-long meditation practice focused on compassion).
When: December 31, from 7:30-9:30 pm.
Cost: $15 or register online here.
What to expect: Everybody’s welcome, regardless of whether you’re just starting out in your practice or you’re a seasoned, levitating pro. Think minimal stretching and maximum communal meditation time.
108 Sun Salutations at Eastside Yoga
Eastside Yoga is hosting a special New Year’s Day 108 Sun Salutations practice this year, co-led by four awesome ESY instructors. This is exactly what it sounds like: a Vinyasa practice comprised of 108 salutations, designed to help students shed the old and bring in the new (and gain some serious bicep muscles in the process).
When: January 1, 10 am
Cost: By donation
What to expect: Though modifications will be given, this will be a fairly intensive class. (Plus, keep in mind that Eastside’s classes are popular and space is limited; plan to arrive a few minutes early.)
Quiet Mind, Open Heart: New Year’s Day Retreat for Women at Still Waters Retreat Center
This year, the Still Waters Retreat Center (a lovely space situated on 67 acres in the Hill Country) is hosting the Quiet Mind, Open Heart retreat for women, an all-day program consisting off meditation, gentle yoga, self-reflection, and community.
When: January 1, 10 am to 4 pm
What to expect: A lot of quiet time, nourishing exercise, and the kind of self-care we all need after 2017.
New Year’s Day Chakra Dance at Sukha Yoga
The South Lamar yoga and meditation center Sukha Yoga offers unique, playful flow classes that are focused on heart centering, body empowerment, and the mind-body connection. Their 90-minute New Year’s Day Chakra Dance promises to “awaken the body’s energy centers through guided and intuitive movement accompanied by fun and funky grooves”.
When: January 1 from 4-5 pm.
Cost: $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
What to expect: This one’s for the movers and shakers out there! If you like your yoga with a side of intuitive dance and dynamic movement, this class is for you.