A few years ago, I became hot yoga obsessed. In DC it became a Sunday morning tradition. While training for Marine Corp, I often went to yoga class after my Sunday long run with KB at Down Dog Yoga in Georgetown. Rachel's power yoga class always left me feeling stretched and strong. And when Spark Yoga opened around the corner, I became a regular at Cathryn's. Power Yoga Sundays were a ritual. A ritual that was paused when we moved.
Scouting a new yoga studio is hard. There are so many factors that play into it:
- How easy is it to get to? Will traffic be an issue? (It used to be parking, until I moved to a place where parking is never an issue.)
- What types of classes do they offer?
- When are the classes offered?
- What is the environment like?
- How much does it cost?
Amazingly, there are a ton of yoga studios in my area. The hard thing, is that they definitely cater to the older clientele that doesn't necessarily work during the week. So it has taken me some time to figure out which one makes the most sense for me to join for Sunday mornings AND weekday practices.
The Type: Barkan is a style of Hatha Yoga
The Studio: Nice and spacious, even while people are leaving the previous class and new students are filing in it doesn't feel cramped. Separate changing areas for men and women, equipped with showers. The practice room is incredibly spacious. It has that grippy floor that hurts my feet a bit, but I just walked quickly to my mat space.
The People: Candice, the studio manager, greeted me from behind the counter. Let me know that if I decided to buy a package today, that my drop-in would be free, and then made sure I knew what hot yoga was about. This was a Sunday 10:00AM class (on Mother's Day), and it was really a mixed bag of people. There was an older couple to the left of me that I swear were more flexible than I have EVER been in my life. We were joined by a cluster of young mothers, a few beefy looking guys, and a scattering of other women between late-20s and mid-40s. Everyone was friendly enough.
The Flow: The Hot Vinyasa flow is a pretty vigorous class. There weren't as many chattarangas as Power Yoga, but there was this one sequence where Candice had us flip our dog, come back into three-legged dog, do some sort of cross flip out the side leg thing, and then go back into a three-legged flow. My heart rate leaped during that. Candice wasn't very hands-on throughout the class (I always feel bad for the hot yoga teachers that are), but had great cues. She also had an amazing playlist.
The Cost: Drop-in was $20; and they have a series of packages ranging from 10 classes to unlimited monthly packages. (I purchased the 10 class pack right after my drop in and was able to knock off $20 bucks from that cost)
The Verdict: I am going to try a few more classes here, while I continue my search.