Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced yogi in search of a new studio, one of these locations will fit the bill.
By Madeleine Frank
Read an interview with just about any female celebrity known for her physique, from Jennifer Aniston to Gisele, and you’ll likely hear her tout the benefits of frequent yoga practice. But are you still skeptical that balancing in a few postures can really get your body into bathing suit season shape? Not only do the studios below all have loyal followings and well-trained instructors, but they all offer introductory packages and instruction that will allow you to shop around and try them out before committing.
If you like: Luxurious touches and attention to detail as well as an emphasis on giving back
Then go to: Tranquil Space Yoga
Where: Dupont Circle and Arlington
What to expect: This studio takes extra steps to help you carry lessons from yoga into your everyday life. Visually, the studio is simultaneously comforting and energizing. (See here for a virtual tour).
What sets it apart: Where else can you sip on tea and crunch on cookies while mingling with other students after class? Tranquil Space’s gift shop and tea bar offers complimentary tea in the studio as well as many varieties for bulk purchase. These offerings combined with the free Wi-Fi and lounge seating take Tranquil Space from a studio to a hangout. In addition, the studio goes to great lengths to be environmentally friendly and has a foundation dedicated to community service efforts.
Special for beginners: Tranquil Space’s website is extremely helpful for beginners, even offering video guides for new students. The studio also offers a two-hour “Newbie Workshop.” Plus, the emphasis placed on building a healthy lifestyle rather than solely the physical aspect of yoga will keep you coming back.
Cost: For $50, beginners can purchase a pass good for unlimited classes for one month – not a bad deal since a month of unlimited classes is usually more than twice that and a one-class drop-in is $18.
If you like: Yoga practice that will push you to your full capacity with a strong focus on community-building
Then go to: Down Dog Yoga
Where: Georgetown, Bethesda, and Herndon
What to expect: The classes are all forms of heated power Vinyasa flow, which means the room is heated to above 90 degrees and you will sweat uncontrollably.
What sets it apart: Instructors are known for being extremely attentive and dedicated to the practice of yoga. Classes fill up fast, so register online to reserve your spot and be prepared to be packed in tightly. Down Dog also offers “Community Classes” which are taught by instructors in training at a deeply discounted rate – $10 or just $6 with a student ID. The proceeds from these classes are donated to charity.
Special for beginners: As a beginner, your first week of classes at Down Dog is free! They also offer monthly “foundations workshops,” which can help you perfect your alignment and understand how to work around any injuries.
Cost: After the introductory week, single class costs $18, with discounts available for students. You can also purchase a month of unlimited classes for $145. Down Dog also offers a referral program that allows you to earn free classes for bringing friends.
If you like: A wide variety of classes in a warm and welcoming atmosphere
Then go to: Studio Serenity
Where: Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan
What to expect: You’ll find a calm environment in the heart of busy neighborhoods. Instructors are patient and eager to help.
What sets it apart: Studio Serenity offers many varieties of yoga classes, both traditional and less so, including one accompanied by high-energy 70s and 80s music. If you choose to become a student at Studio Serenity, you are rewarded with a free yoga class each time you bring a friend for the first time. You also receive a free class on the week of your birthday.
Special for beginners: As a newcomer you can pay just $10 for ten consecutive days of unlimited classes. The studio also offers a 90 minute “Yoga Essentials” workshop to teach new students the basics of breathing and balancing.
Cost: After the first week, the drop-in rate is $17 per class (with a 15% student discount available). There are also packages available (including a 20 class package for $240) or you can purchase an unlimited month of yoga for $160.