Crash Course: This one hour vinyasa flow class is classic and comfortable. The no-frills studio is homey and feels like you are practicing in the bright and airy living room of someone’s Dupont apartment. Students at this class were of all ages and abilities. The atmosphere was non competitive – a refreshing change from some other DC studios. Gregory Stewart was a hands on instructor and provided clear instructions with variations. The vinyasa flow class is offered heated and unheated at various times each day; click here for the full schedule.[line]
[left]where? The Studio DC at 1710 Connecticut Ave. NW, red line/Dupont Circle
bring? mat and water, yoga props provided
perks? changing room, mat rental ($2), towel rental ($2), coconut water ($2)
sweat score? 5 out of 10[/left]
[right]wear? any yoga clothes you feel comfortable in; students wore sweats, spandex, and everything in between
how much? I paid $10 for this lunch hour class, regular drop in rate is $17[/right]
The Studio DC has two locations: Dupont and Adams Morgan. Both offer no-frills heated and non-heated power and vinyasa flow yoga classes for all levels. Their website explains:
We take pride in our exceptionally warm and welcoming teachers and faculty. Our staff is sincerely committed to serving you in a loving and supportive atmosphere. Lastly, we make yoga accessible to Washingtonians by keeping our prices as affordable as possible while drawing on the best teachers locally and internationally. Choosing from over 80 yoga classes each week really does offer something for everybody!
The studio is up a flight of stairs from street level, on the first floor of a row-house-turned-office-space. It opens when the instructor arrives – so don’t worry if you get there early and the door is locked. I didn’t know this and spent a few awkward moments pulling on the door, knocking, trying the door knob again…and then slowly walking away before someone thought I was trying to break in. Just hang out in the hallway.
New students need to fill out the usual form (how’d you hear about us? why do you take yoga? emergency contact in case you get too blissed out?), so try to arrive a few minutes early if you’ve never been to The Studio DC. Rental mats and towels are available for $2 each. The “changing room” at the Dupont location is a drape hanging from the ceiling. Not the most private accommodations, but if you’re coming from work and need a quick change, it does the trick.
The studio itself is bright and airy, with large windows at both ends. There are cubbies for bags, backpacks, and shoes. Blocks and blankets are in wooden cabinet drawers at the front of the studio, below the instructor stage. Straps are in a wicker basket in the cubbies. Also provided: mat cleaner and paper towels to spray down your mat after class.
I chose to go to the Friday noon class – maybe not the most indicative of what the studio atmosphere is like for every session, but I thought it’d be interesting to see how the lunchtime yogis do their thing. There were only a few other folks there and the room seemed empty. I can only imagine the energy levels skyrocketing when the narrow studio is packed wall to wall with down dogs.
The one hour flow went smoothly. We started with a few warm up moves and then paused to set an intention. Note: this particular class/instructor began and ended with chanting three ohms. I find it useful to know this going in. Not because I am against it, but I am easily reduced to a giggle fit and think it’s helpful to know when biting a lip may be necessary.
After that – we went right into the sun salutation series. There were a number of points where the instructor would provide demonstration on the stage if needed, but it didn’t disrupt the class. End-of-class savasana lasted about 4 minutes.
In the words of The Studio DC: Vinyasa Flow – Linking poses and breathing together in a seamless and continuous movement, Vinyasa Flow classes are integrating fluid sequences and offer a creative practice. These classes are intermediate and offer a medium pace practice with modifications for individual needs. Open to practitioners of many levels of experience, these classes will safely strengthen and stretch you in fun and exciting ways.
Full disclosure: I have practiced yoga with Gergory Stewart before and knew what kind of class I was getting into. He offers calming, well-paced, hands-on Baptiste-style vinyasa classes that I find to be well worth my time and money. They are consistent and I appreciate knowing what I am getting. So I was really excited to find his name on the schedule at The Studio DC.
His bio from The Studio DC website:
Gregory is not shy about providing hands-on assistance with alignment, variations, or helping you to take your pose just beyond your comfort zone. I appreciate that kind of thoughtful challenge – I think it shows the instructor is fully aware of his/her students and in check with what their practice needs. If you’re not into it, just say so, no harm no foul. Sometimes you just want to be in your own space.
After reading his bio and understanding what a large role music plays in Gregory’s life, I now understand why we were treated to a flute solo during savasana. Again – a lip biting moment for those of us with a strong giggle reflex. In all honesty, it was beautifully done and offered a nice mid-afternoon musical intermission. I am not sure if he does this for every class, but it was a fun bonus!
Click here for a full list of Gregory’s classes each week.