It’s that time of year again: DC Yoga Week (9th time around). It stretches from Monday, April 28 to Sunday, May 4. The crowning event will be Yoga on the Mall, Saturday, May 3, 10:00 am–12 noon. It’s a big, public display of yoga, led by some of the best teachers in the Washington Metropolitan Region, as well as master teachers such as Shiva Rea.
The Washington, DC area just got a new yoga studio directory: DC Area Yoga. It looks that it has been operating since the start of the year, according to its blog. It also covers wellness and apparel. More power to them.
The operators seem to have a relationship with a Philadelphia directory and a Chicago one. But if they want to feel intimated, just check out the other Chicago directory and print magazine: illumine. It has more than 200 studios listed, feature articles, commentary and a newsletter.
Some big names are coming to the DC area in the first three months of 2011. For more details (schedule, costs, requirements), go to the website of the hosting yoga studio. I don’t mean to downplay other workshops and events that are taking place during the first quarter, but when high-profile instructors pass through the DC area, it’s worthwhile to spotlight them. You will notice that March 10-14 is shaping up to be week-long overdose of quality yoga. I will update this list as more information becomes available.
StudioDC Yoga Center: The Pursuit of Happy Hips: Theory and Vinyasa (3 hours) and Superflow Surf Yoga : A transformative + unique movement practice (2 Hours) with Eoin Finn, Saturday, January 22
Although I was not planning to mention events beyond March, I wanted to highlight two events: StudioDC Yoga Center – Forrest Yoga Master Classes with Ana Forest, May 18-19 and Willow Street Yoga – Yoga of Fulfillment: Yoga & the Path of Destiny with Rod Stryker, April 9-13, which is an yoga immersion course.
Now that Yoga Month has come and gone, we can get on with our regular practice. Shiva Rea is coming back to the DC area in October 9-10 at Flow Yoga. This will be one of the largest mega-classes this year because Flow will probably hold the event in an outside site to pack as many yogis, shoulder to shoulder, into a limited space. Sign up early (if you still can) and go early.
I will be looking forward to the Brian Kest workshop at Thrive Yoga on October 23-25. A leading advocate of Ashtanga yoga on the West Coast, he has been a symbolic bennchmark for me. When I started out doing yoga five years ago, I used to watch the free yoga workouts on my cable service. For a while, it was one of Brian Kest’s videos. But they were so demanding for me that I could never get beyond the opening sequence before pooping out. The cable service rotated the video to other yoga instructors so I never got a chance to catch up with Kest’s pace. Of course, it took me a couple of years to just make it through a full vinyasa session.
Now I think I can handle it. That’s pretty amazing considering that I turned 60 last week. And I look at the coming decade of my life as even more challenging and fulfilling than previous ones because I am a more whole and healthy as a person.
Continuing with Donavan Wilson’s comments on yoga classes in the DC area, he recounts three recent experiences: in a well-established studio, in a small studio operating out of loaned facilities (typical of how many studios get started), and in a store.
“Support Your Center: A Workshop on Core Strength” with Sheree Mullen, March 2008
This was my first class at Willow Street Yoga Center and it lived up to its reputation. Ms. Mullen offered an unorthodox and fun workshop that focused on postures that target the core. Sheree’s approach was to try postures in a different way. A few participants fell on the floor in an effort to keep up. No one was injured. The participants ranged from beginner (one male student’s first yoga class) to advanced students. Students encouraged Mullen to offer a second workshop in the future.
Gerri Smith, Calm Unity Yoga, December 2007.
Geri Smith manages Calm Unity Yoga (no website), which offers classes a few days in the week. The “studio” is a carriage house located next to the Art Barns in the Kentlands, Gaithersburg. Calm Unity offers blankets, blocks, straps and mats for individuals. I participated in Hatha class (Saturday from 11:30 to 12:45). It was small (6 or 7 people), which provided an opportunity for the instructor to give students more one-on-one guidance. The class challenged me and it was a rewarding experience.
Lululemon Athletica in Bethesda, June 29, 2008
I went to a Sunday class at the Bethesda Lululemon Athletic, a high-end store that sells Yoga-inspired athletic apparel. It provides a free Yoga class that starts at 6. Laura Greene, who teaches at the Sacred Space Yoga in Rockville, is a wonderful instructor with a thick English accent. I enjoyed the class SO MUCH. Each week Lululemon will provide a different instructor. Lululemon’s staff wants to provide a class every day! I hope they succeed.
May 12-18 is Yoga Week in Washington, DC at 14 yoga studios. Special events are being organized at all the participating studios. At my DC studio, Flow Yoga Center, they are offering reduced price ($5) sessions and free classes and workshops. Although the week is meant to reach out to people who have not tried yoga before, that does not mean a non-novice could not take advantage of special pricing. The week is a great way to explore other studios, styles, teachers and intensity at little expense. This is the second time that DC Yoga Week is held.
I am taking a workshop at Spiral Flight Yoga (no longer exists) in Georgetown on March 19. Amy Weintraub will be leading her Life Force Yoga To Beat The Blues. This is the first time that I’ve seen her offer a seminar or workshop in the DC area.
I have never been to Spiral Flight Yoga. It is just not conveniently located for me. It does have a strong schedule of classes, workshops and services, especially on alternative healing therapies, like acupuncture and reiki.
Next month, Baron Baptiste will be holding one of his Personal Revolution Workshops in Washington, DC. It will be held at George Washington University on Saturday, January 21, 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM and cost $175. The event is sponsored by Downdog Yoga.
According to the promo material, the workshop is suitable for “beginners and all levels” but I would suspect that a novice would be overwhelmed by an all-day affair, plus the physical demands required by a Baptiste-inspired yoga practice.
Thrive Yoga is a big Baptiste shop, though not officially affilated. Susan Bowen is finishing up her training certification. I am not sure if I will be going because I don’t have the discretionary funds.