Locals enjoy yoga at sunset in Pacific Beach’s Palisades Park

Participants in a PB Sunset Yoga class.
(Heather Pugh)

Classes offered Monday to Friday year round on a donation basis


If there’s one thing that is indisputable about Pacific Beach, it’s that it has great weather. This quality makes it hard for some to rationalize a gym membership or exercising indoors when it’s sunny and beautiful outside.

PB Sunset Yoga at Palisades Park takes the workout outdoors, combining yoga flows with the relaxing sounds of waves and gentle ocean breezes. While in tree pose, one can peer over the bluff and watch surfers, or gaze up at the blue sky during bridge pose.

Seeing as how the location is public, it is normal that there are distractions. Occasionally, a noisy helicopter will fly overhead, or someone on a bike with a loud speaker will disrupt the peacefulness by blasting music.

Want to join?

PB Sunset Yoga

Where: Palisades Park, 4960 Ocean Blvd., Pacific Beach

When: currently 6-7 p.m. (times change based on sunset time) Mondays through Fridays

Cost: Donation

Details: Follow on Instagram @pbsunsetyoga to see a list of instructors per day.

Other times, however, the distraction is welcome; an excited dog will amble through the group, stopping for pets and attention from the dog-lovers in the class.

The donation-based yoga classes at Palisades Park, 4960 Ocean Blvd., started through Bird Rock Yoga Studio. When the studio closed during the pandemic in 2020, individual instructors grouped together to keep the classes going. The classes were rebranded as PB Sunset Yoga and are offered Monday to Friday, year-round.

True to name, the timing of the classes change throughout the year, ensuring that participants get to experience the sunset while relaxing in savasana.

“We go with the sunset,” said Heather Pugh, who teaches class on Mondays and Tuesdays. Pugh has been teaching outdoor classes in Pacific Beach since 2018 and said she loves being able to do so.

“You really can’t beat that view for a yoga class and the opportunity to connect to the healing energy of the ocean as you flow,” Pugh said.

A drone was used to take this photo of Heather Pugh’s PB Sunset Yoga class in Palisades Park.
(Courtesy of Heather Pugh)

The classes follow a vinyasa style flow, and each teacher has a different style. Classes are generally geared towards beginner and intermediate levels, with the teacher often offering modifications to decrease the difficulty of the pose, or progressions to advance it.

Pugh said the classes emphasize movement and breath, and being a “balance between stillness and strength.”

There are certainly participants that attend classes regularly, but there are also newcomers each week.

Leya Ledvin took her first class on a Tuesday in May and said she enjoyed it. Ledvin said she learned about the classes simply from walking by and seeing people doing yoga.

“I love the view, it’s really relaxing,” said Rebecca Beals, who has attended multiple times. “(Classes) are difficult, yet easy at the same time.”

The instructors have some leeway with their classes since they are not tied to a yoga studio, which allows them to get creative. Kody Marie, who teaches on Thursdays, had a live DJ supplying music in one of her recent classes.

The scene is always different, with surfers, energetic dogs and their owners and picnickers waiting to watch the sunset in the area. But one can still count on PB Sunset Yoga for a relaxing, yet strengthening yoga flow.

Participants in a PB Sunset Yoga class.
(Heather Pugh)

Classes often begin with some breathing exercises to feel grounded and tune out the noise from the park. After warming up with some unique flows and strength work, classes always end with participants on their backs in savasana, with eyes either closed or gazing up at the sky.

“It’s an honor to be able to offer these to our community,” Pugh said.

It’s clear the community appreciates it as well, with many people showing up to class even when it’s a bit windy or overcast.

Yoga is largely about linking breath to movement, while feeling free and flexible in the process. Participants in PB Sunset Yoga are able to move on their mats on a bluff overlooking the ocean, breathe in the cool, salty air and either enjoy or tune out whatever distractions are going on around them.

Ultimately, these classes are about strengthening one’s body and mind, but also about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously. When an exuberant puppy runs over to your mat, causing you to fall out of dancer’s pose, it’s a great reminder to have patience and just enjoy the process.