Yoga studios part of urban renewal

Washigton Post Breathing New Rhythm Into Tired Streets:

“The city does not count its yoga studios, but an informal survey turned up 25. The oldest are clustered around affluent Georgetown, Tenleytown, Cleveland Park and Dupont Circle — with six on Wisconsin Avenue alone — while the newest have set up shop on steadily gentrifying U Street, Logan Circle and beyond. The most recent arrival is Yoga House, which opened on Georgia Avenue in the Petworth neighborhood in October. “

Debra Perlson-Mishalove of Flow Yoga Center

Debra Perlson-Mishalove greets yogis and yoginis with a smile at Flow Yoga Center.

My downtown DC yoga studio, Flow Yoga, will be expanding its facilities over the next few months. It’s taking over the second floor in the townhouse that it shares with a liquor store on P Street. I went back to class after a two-month absence due to my daughter’s illness and the class was packed on both occasions, four rows of seven mats. That means no long-winged arms in Warrior III or when bowing from Tadasana. Of course, there are classes when attendance is lighter. but the limited change facilities and clogged common areas during evening classes are really holding back the business. Debra, the owner, started out two years ago and was doing well in her second year. Of course, expansion means that Debra is going to have to deal with building permits and trades, a test for any yogi’s composure.

The Post article talks about yoga being a sign of gentrification (not necessarily a wholly great thing) and that the neighborhood is seen as safe when a woman to go to class carrying her mat rolled up under her arm. Out in the “burbs,” the classes at Thrive Yoga tend to have more mature clients, moms with kids and professional women. The big selling point is child care during class hours. The packed classes tend to be on the weekends in the morning. Rockville is definitely not a yuppie hotspot.