Crash Course: extendYoga is located in northern Bethesda, a little off the beaten path from the hustle and bustle of the city’s downtown area. The studio offers heated and non-heated yoga classes for all levels. I crashed the Saturday morning hot power flow class, which according to the extendYoga website, focuses on linking conscious breath with a vigorous and mindful flow. For a full list of classes, click here.[line] [left]where: 12106 Wilkins Ave., North Bethesda
bring: mat, mat towel, towel, water
perks: free parking, mat/towel rental, $5 friday classes, new students receive two weeks for $20
sweat score: 8 out of 10 [/left][right]wear: clothes suited for working out in the heat
cost: drop in rate is $18*[/right] [line]
extendYoga is a bit farther outside the DC area than I regularly go for my crashes, but it was worth it to find this little gem of a studio. It is not metro accessible and a bit tucked away – if you look in the middle of that “Parklawn” sign off the side of the road you’ll see a blue lotus. That’s where you should turn in.
There is plenty of free parking outside, which is a huge plus for this city girl. If I have to drive to a crash, I typically circle around the neighborhood for a good 15 minutes before finding a spot. It was so nice to not have to worry about it this time – particularly at 9 a.m. on a Saturday!
Step into extendYoga and you’ll be instantly transported to a schwanky city yoga studio, except with much more space! It is beautiful inside, with shiny wood floors, bright windows, and spotless studios. The front desk area also has a lounge space and yoga-centric merchandise to browse.
You all know how much I love the little details studios include to make guests feel at home. At extend, they have a bar area with cold lemon water, hot tea, cookies, and crackers. What a great spot to grab a treat before or after class!
I love that the owners framed their first yoga mats and used them as art in the studio. What a great idea!
The changing area, two bathrooms, and the heated studio are located the back of the building. Everything is very clean and bright – my favorite combination.
This room is a combination coat room, shoe storage area, and changing space. I love the yoga wall decals – aren’t they fun? It can get a little bit crowded, but I had no issues finding a spot to lay my belongings without feeling jostled or rushed. Those curtains section off a little area where you can change into your yoga clothes. If that’s not enough privacy, head to one of the two bathrooms.
This photo isn’t the best quality, but I wanted to test out the panorama function on my camera to give you a full glimpse at the hot yoga studio. You can see how bright and airy it is – it’s almost impossible to think this gleaming room can reach up to 101 degrees. Sizzle! Not pictured to the right is an area with blocks, straps, bolsters, and mat cleaning supplies.
This is the non-heated studio, located in the middle of extend’s floor plan. It’s just as spacious but has no windows. You wouldn’t know it though; the bright hanging lights and high ceilings give the entire place a very open feel.
The hour-long heated power yoga class I crashed was…in a word…hot. I have been taking hot power yoga classes for about eight years, but the scorching temperatures in this class were above and beyond anything I had experienced before. Well, except for in a Birkam class. How hot, you ask? The temperature hovered around 101. It didn’t help that I happened to be right in the path of one of the heating fans, but judging from the sweat dripping from everyone around me, it was hot no matter where you put your mat. I mention this because some people like heated yoga, and some people like hot yoga. You decide if this kind of heat is for you. (Note: extendYoga also offers plenty of non-heated options…so check out their schedule to see what works best for your needs.)
Allison taught a very accessible, flowing class. The pace was slower than I am used to for a power yoga class: this is great if you want a gentler, more available hot yoga option, but not ideal if you are looking for a butt-kicking, extremely athletic practice. She used creative pose combinations, had very helpful cuing, and walked around the room to make adjustments. For an hour-long class, we worked just about every major sequence and I left feeling like everything had received a very good stretch. And the very best perk? That little rock you see in the photo above. During vinyasa, Allison passed around these smooth stones – which had been refrigerated in lavender water – to place on our foreheads. So simple, but it made for such a wonderful treat after the hot and sweaty class.
Because I’m always looking for heathy ways to refuel after my crashes, I popped into MOM’s Organic Market to grab a fresh juice and grain bowl. It is located about five minutes from the studio, has plenty of parking, and even has a few charging stations for those of you with electric cars. I had never been to a MOM’s before and was very impressed with the quality and extent of their products. Think Whole Foods meets Yes! meets local farmers market.
There is a little spot inside the store called Naked Lunch where you can purchase fresh salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, home made kombucha, and juices. Everything is organic and made to order. I went with a carrot, beet, cucumber, ginger juice and the Moler Bowl, which had a combination of farro, quinoa and barley with all sorts of delicious veggies mixed in. The entire thing is served warm and was absolutely, ridiculously delicious. I can’t recommend it enough. If you are near the Rockville MOM’s and looking for a quick and healthy meal…this is the spot for you.
What’s your favorite spot for a healthy post-workout meal?[line]
*extendYoga generously waived my drop in fee. This post is not an endorsement and all opinions are my own.