Health & Wellness

Welcome Mat

A husband-and-wife team brings free yoga to Baltimore.

When LA Finfinger and her husband, Paul Wetzel, both certified yoga teachers, moved to Baltimore in January 2015, they decided they wanted to figure out a way to offer studio-level yoga classes for free—and in a nontraditional environment.

Last July, Free Baltimore Yoga (FBY) was born. To date, it offers three classes per week, each in a different setting. Tuesdays are at Patterson Park Youth Sports and Education Center, Wednesdays are at Pixilated Photo Booth’s headquarters in Southwest Baltimore, and Thursdays are at the Parks & People Foundation’s building in Druid Hill Park.

The idea is to bring the practice to those who typically don’t do yoga. And Finfinger encourages novice and skilled yogis alike to attend her classes. “Just show up. You don’t even have to have a yoga mat,” she says. “We have yoga mats. So just take the first step. Don’t be afraid, because we all are.”

FBY is hoping to grow and offer even more classes in the coming months. Finfinger’s goal is to inspire class attendees to become teachers themselves. “The endgame would be training people and then putting them back into the community to teach,” she says.

She would love to add more nights to FBY’s schedule, as well as new locations and different types of yoga, while still keeping it free and fun. “For it to grow, I want it to be something that supports the community, and for that, it has to be people in the community helping and teaching.”