What's Going On With Outdoor Yoga Classes in San Diego? - LaJolla.com

What’s Going On With Outdoor Yoga Classes in San Diego?

There’s a controversy surrounding outdoor yoga classes in San Diego, and their future may be in jeopardy in America’s Finest City.

Given the beautiful nature scenery and the year-round mild temperatures, San Diego is an ideal place to exercise outdoors. A long-standing local tradition has been free yoga classes, often held at public parks or beaches.

However, San Diego officials recently began cracking down on vendors at local parks or other public areas, including in La Jolla. Although the focus of the crackdown have been unauthorized street vendors, outdoor yoga classes in San Diego have been caught in the crossfire.

Although most outdoor yoga classes are free, they are still considered “commercial activities” because yoga teachers often accept donations and the classes themselves are advertised. As such, city officials are now requiring yoga teachers to obtain permits before they teach an outdoor class at popular spots like Sunset Cliffs.

Local yoga instructors have been organizing protests to the law. For example, Instagram account Sunset Cliffs Yoga notes that the city is cracking down on all beachside yoga classes — not just those that accept donations.

As an additional sticking point, city officials said that they are only issuing yoga instruction permits for Mission Bay and Balboa Park, and not just beachfront parks.

According to NBC San Diego, there is reportedly a lawsuit in the works. An attorney representing some local yoga instructors called the crackdown “unconstitutional” and said that it is a violation of the First Amendment to prohibit people from teaching or practicing yoga at public parks.

For their part, city officials say the new rules are meant to “ensure the public spaces remain safe and accessible.”

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