Yoga Journal's latest "Yoga in America" study (2012), shows  20.4 million Americans practice yoga, compared to 15.8 million from the previous 2008 study, an increase of 29 percent. (Photo courtesy of Ric Rowan/ Ascent Xmedia GmbH)
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Namaste! 9 ways to celebrate World Yoga Day and National Yoga Month this September

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CINCINNATI - Breathe in. Breathe out. September 5 is World Yoga Day. It’s a day to help inspire, calm, tone and strengthen. If you're not familiar with yoga, this might be the time to open your mind to a new form of fitness that’s captivating millions.

As part of our #9Fitness initiative, we are dedicated to sharing fun ways to get healthy, stay on track and maybe even meet a few new friends in the process. So, we’ve put together 9 ways you can celebrate World Yoga Day AND National Yoga Month.

1. Yoga on the Green. How do friends, fresh air and yoga sound? Each Tuesday at 6 p.m., Washington Park turns into a sea of yoga mats as yoga fans enjoy their practice in the park.

2. Namaste at Nine. Start your weekend off at lululemon athletica in Hyde Park Square. Every Saturday at 9 a.m., the store hosts a complimentary yoga session. Bring your own mat or borrow one of theirs!

3. Free Yoga at KAZE. Moksha Yoga is holding a week of free yoga classes at KAZE in Over-the-Rhine on September 9, 11 and 13 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Bring your friends and your mat to KAZE’s outdoor patio and enjoy a workout set to an urban backdrop. Find more information on Facebook.

4. Yoga at the Mason Community Center. To celebrate World Yoga Day on September 5, Hatha Yoga classes at the Mason Community Center are free! Classes are at 9:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and all levels of experience are welcome. Get more information about the classes here.

5. Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown. If you can’t make it to any classes on World Yoga Day, or would simply prefer to practice in the privacy of your home, Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD might be for you. It consists of two levels (beginner and more advanced) and highlights modified moves that will ease you into the practice, help you burn fat and lose weight.

6. Full Body Fitness & Yoga’s Grand Re-opening. Full Body Fitness & Yoga in Florence, Ky. celebrate their grand re-opening with free classes on September 14! Grab a friend and try Hot Vinyasa Flow, Slow Flow Yoga or fun workouts like Zumba and Barre. Plus, enjoy free healthy snacks and great sales while you’re there!

7. 21 days to a better you. Research has shown it takes 21 days to create a habit. Why not make that habit a body-sculpting, life-changing, refreshing and healthy one? Yoga Alive, with locations in Rookwood, Kenwood and Clifton, kicks off their 21-day challenge on September 9 with a variety of classes – from yoga to spinning to barre – that will get you on the right track. View their schedule here.

8. Set the “tune” for your workout. Get musically inspired to celebrate World Yoga Day and National Yoga Month by downloading a free song from the Yoga Revolution CD.

9. A time for yoga on September 30. Millions of people are participating in this worldwide event. Join them on  at 7 p.m. to meditate and practice yoga in your community. Practice alone, practice with a friend or at a class (find one near you using this interactive map); whatever you decide, you can feel good that you’re wrapping up another great National Yoga Month and doing something awesome for your mental and physical health.

Let's talk all things yoga - how are YOU planning on celebrating? Connect with me on Twitter @jennyfromthebak and let me know!

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