Hundreds attend free yoga sessions at Sunnylands Center and Gardens

Pristine Villarreal

Welcome to Sunnylands Center and Gardens.

This is a local landmark where world leaders have come together to discuss diplomacy.

Now, this area, often called “Playground of the Presidents”, is becoming a popular spot for practicing yoga.

“We have hundreds of people, in peak season up to 400 people that come out and join us for an hour of yoga,” said Michaeleen Gallagher, director of Sunnylands Center and Gardens.

Gallagher says this free yoga program started about a decade ago to honor the founding family of Sunnylands, the Annenbergs.

“Part of their legacy was education, public education,” she said. “So, a lot of the programming we do here is an homage to Walter and Leonore Annenberg and what they did. It’s part of the trust document.”

When the first Sunnylands stretching sessions started years ago, only a few people showed up.

Now, every Friday at 10 a.m. from November through April, hundreds make these sacred grounds their outdoor yoga studio.

Instructors guide the flow with attendees calling these practices beneficial for the mind, body and soul.

“We think the Annenbergs would just be so pleased that we’re welcome to come and exercise here on this great lawn and do yoga,” said one attendee.

If this yoga isn’t for you, Sunnylands offers other options from birdwatching to Tai chi.

For more information on other events, visit their

This story was written and reported by Kai Beech. 

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