This is not the first time that I’ve heard of theft in DC-area yoga studios, but Amy Dara gives a first-hand account of confronting a team of purse thieves while teaching a class:
Maybe you’ve heard the chatter in the Washington, D.C. yoga community: there are two young women stealing wallets from students’ bags during yoga classes at D.C. Metro Area studios. They’ve struck in Tenleytown, Bethesda, and Kensington. They entered the studio while I was teaching.
When students are on the mat, they are especially vulnerable because their focus is on their practice, not their personal belongings that may be stashed outside the room, in the hallway, in shelves or the dressing room. Studio operators may not turn up their alertness until the first incident happens; they trust their clients, too. Because most studios have limited space, it’s not always feasible to allow non-yoga items to clutter up the floor.
When I used to go to yoga in downtown DC after work, I arrived with my work paraphernalia, including a laptop. Now, I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving my wallet, smartphone and non-essential items in my car when I go into the yoga studio, not because of fear of theft, but a desire to lighten my load physically and mentally when prepping for class. Of course, that’s not possible for people who don’t drive to class.