From yogis on a budget to eco-conscious practitioners, Washington has the studio to suit your needs.
By Dorie Chevlen
From its beginnings in ancient India, yoga has undergone countless adaptations and reinterpretations. And DC has kept up with the trends. With so many studios and options—heated vs. unheated, vinyasa vs. hatha, meditation vs. workout, ahhhh!—it can be hard to choose what’s right for you. Here are some tips for finding the studio of your dreams in the District.
BEST FOR: THE YOGI ON A BUDGET
It’s tough to get your ommm on when you’re staring down the final dollars in your bank account; between buying a mat, LuLus, and finally the class itself…let’s face it, yoga is pricey. Luckily, there’s Yoga District to keep you from down-dogging into debt. With drop-in classes as low as $11 (one of the cheapest in the city) they really do make yoga accessible to all. Plus, their large variety of classes (meditative, dharma, and power flows, among others), different intensity levels and multiple locations means it’s even easier to find the right class for you.
Leading legend: This year City Paper’s local yogis voted Yoga District the best studio in the capital—an honor they’ve now received 3 years in a row.
(Seven locations across DC)
BEST FOR: THE FITNESS YOGI
With a mantra of “Live your power,” it’s no surprise that this studio chain focuses primarily on intense, workout-driven classes. Though they incorporate some classic yoga poses, the addition of free weights, core work, a pop-heavy playlist, and a thermostat cranked all the way up leaves you more sweat-soaked than serene. If you’ve ever thought “Yoga isn’t a real workout,” this is the studio to prove you wrong.
Insider tip: Bring a towel and water bottle—trust us, you’ll need them.
(Locations throughout DC, Arlington, and Bethesda)
BEST FOR: YOGI MAMAS (and SOON-TO-BE MAMAS)
Getting on your mat can be hard enough on a good day; throw in an attention-demanding toddler and you can just about kiss your namaste goodbye. Tranquil Space gets that. With a series of “Baby and Me” and “Tots and Toddlers” classes, the studio makes it possible for you to practice with your child. They also offer a great prenatal yoga series, to help you prepare for motherhood—both on and off the mat.
Treat yourself: Tranquil Space’s lobby is also home to an adorable boutique and tea bar—the perfect stop for a sweet treat or adorable new accessory on your way home from class.
(3528 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA and 1632 17th St NW Washington, DC)
BEST FOR: THE ECO-CONSCIOUS YOGI
Flow Yoga Center
Flow Yoga looks like other studios—shiny hardwood floors, pretty lamps, colorful drapes—but it certainly isn’t built like them. Rather, every aspect of the Logan Circle spot is carefully designed to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. From low-flow toilets and fluorescent bulbs to recycled doors and sustainably sourced flooring, the studio has thought of everything (rightfully earning it the DC Mayor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and a feature in Yoga Journal on how to run an eco-friendly studio). Even the classes themselves (inherently green already) have been thoughtfully improved, with cork (rather than chemical-based foam) blocks, recycled-fiber blankets, and non-toxic mat cleaner.
Work it: Flow Yoga also offers remote-workers (or screenwriters who are over the Starbucks scene) the opportunity to plug in and type away in their upper studio during their morning–afternoon “Work Flow.”
(1450 P St NW Washington, DC)
BEST FOR: THE YOGA NEWBIE
There’s probably nothing scarier than walking into your first-ever yoga class. Everyone’s doing handstands and backbends (and you still don’t know the difference between a crow, a cat, and a crane pose!) It’s scary enough to discourage you from starting at all. Yoga NoMa makes that learning curve less sharp: In addition to their range of other classes, they offer a bi-weekly “Yoga Foundations” class to help get you from worrying-one to warrior one painlessly.
On the house: Unlike most studios, Yoga NoMa let’s you borrow mats for free—ideal for the beginner who hasn’t gotten around to buying one yet and the yoga veteran who doesn’t want to lug it around all day.
(1200 1st Street NE, Washington DC)
BEST FOR: THE SPIRITUAL YOGI
Be Here Now Yoga
Be Here Now Yoga (BHNY) offers many of the same classes as other studios (dharma, vinyasa, etc.) but what sets it apart is its holistic approach. Every month BHNY invites students to join in for a Kirtan (an ancient call-and-response chant performed in traditional Indian bhakti practice), and they offer several other spiritual-focused programs, such as a series in energetic well-being and reiki healing sessions.
Take it outside: BHNY has a beautiful studio space, but if you’re more in the mood for some natural ambience, it also offers outdoor donation-based classes in Lincoln Park, so you can soak in the sun (salutations).
(411 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003)