As you guys know, I spent nearly every Wednesday night this summer with friends in Dupont Circle enjoying Lululemon’s free outdoor yoga class series. Now that that has ended and the cooler weather has moved in, we decided to keep the tradition of healthy friend dates (yoga + a cheap/healthy dinner) going, instead exploring some of the many awesome yoga studios in the Dupont area of DC.
Last week, my friend Karen and I decided to hit up Yoga District for their 5:30 p.m. “Yogalates” (yoga + pilates) class.
I’d never been to Yoga District before, and found the studio to be friendly and unpretentious. You also can’t beat the price – their classes are almost all $11, or simply donation based. Yoga in DC for $11?! That’s a steal. And it’s not just the classes at weird/unpopular times that are that cheap, either – all of them are, even at peak hours. Pretty sweet.
The Yogalates class was fun – back in the day when I belonged to Gold’s Gym, I used to go to a “PiYo” class there all the time that was similar. Basically, they start with pilates to work out your abs, hips, etc, and then end with nice stretchy yoga. It was a pretty easy class cardio-wise – we weren’t really sweating – but it had a nice, simple flow and we left feeling refreshed and toned. I loved all the hip work, too – great for running cross-training!
After the class, Karen and I hit up Sweetgreen and enjoyed our salads al fresco while people watching in Dupont Circle.
If you like people watching, hang out in Dupont Circle at night. It’s really entertaining. :)
For last night’s yoga adventure, my friends Karen, Sarah, Chrissy, and I decided to hit up The Studio DC for their 6:15 p.m. hot vinyasa flow. I’ve been to Studio DC before and really liked it, but hadn’t been back in quite awhile. I was excited to return!
The hot vinyasa flow classes are generally heated to around 95 or 100 degrees – cue the skimpy clothing. I received this Reebok tank earlier this year as part of my partnership with them and love it – so cute with the back cut out! (The sports bra is part of the shirt.) It’s technically in their dance line of clothes but I love it for hot yoga. :) I want to buy it in more colors, but I’m waiting for them to add more in my size on the website! (FYI: order a size down)
Normally the hot vinyasa class on Wednesday nights is taught by Shauna, who I know because she used to sometimes do a short yoga for runner’s session after our Lululemon run club last summer, but last night her yoga for runners partner Johanna was subbing for her. It was great to see her!
As for the class? It was one of the best classes I’ve been to in a LONG time – as much as I loved the free outdoor yoga this summer, being in a calming studio environment where there aren’t ambulances and honks every second and people taking photos of your butt was pretty amazing. The heat felt great and not oppressive, the class was challenging and fun, and Johanna was a great and inspiring teacher. All 4 of us finished and said: “Wow. That was amazing.”
Last night really reminded me why I love yoga so much. Yoga has taught me to calm down and be present. It has taught me the power of positivity. It has taught me that I don’t always have to work to be better or faster or stronger – I just have to focus on my breath. It has taught me to remember to be kind, both to myself and to others. And above all, it has taught me to always make time to take care of myself. I’ve said this before, but try to think about exercise as a gift – something you are doing for yourself that no one can take from you – an opportunity, not an obligation. Johanna turned down the lights in the studio for the last 5 minutes of class, and I remember feeling so relaxed and grateful that I had given myself that hour and 15 minutes to just slow down and breathe. No phones, no computer, just me and the mat.
The classes at Studio DC aren’t cheap – a drop in was $17 – but it’s safe to say we’ll be back. Thanks for the awesome class, Johanna!
Feeling rejuvenated (and very sweaty), the girls and I headed to nearby Teaism for a post-workout dinner.
I had the grilled Carolina trout with sea salt, Indian spiced greens &
lentils, Moroccan carrot salad & raita, a yogurt sauce. It was SO good – I practically licked my plate clean.
Can’t wait for next Wednesday night! I love this healthy tradition my friends and I have started. :)
What have you done lately to treat yourself kindly?
Do you have “healthy friend dates”, too? As you guys know, I also love running friend dates! (Speaking of – I’m going to try to do a short run tomorrow and see how my foot feels, and will decide what to do about my weekend long run from there. Stay tuned!)