How awesome is this photo? It was taken sometime in the 1890s and shows Washingtonians cooling off in the Tidal Basin from the famously muggy DC summer. I particularly love the life guard and his umbrella just hanging out under the looming Washington Monument. Or, let’s be honest, that one lady killing it in the badminton game. You go girl!
The honest truth is I don’t have a post teed up and ready to go for you all today. With the last minute decision to have a wisdom tooth extracted last week, my fit crashes and healthy cooking came to a screeching halt as I recuperated on the couch. I’ve been focusing on getting the sleep I need and taking it easy – not the perfect recipe for exciting blog posts. I am crashing Georgetown Pilates today and running the Rock ‘N Roll half marathon this weekend, so I hope to be back in full force next week with exciting recaps and crash reports.
Until then, happy Thursday and I hope you enjoyed this photo of your bygone counterparts fit crashing in the Potomac!
On the beautiful, warm, spring tease that was Sunday, I joined the folks at Sweetgreen at a tasting event to debut their March salad and soup specials. This event was wonderful on many levels, and here is why.
Thick slices of chewy, crusty brown bread schmeared with ripe avocado and topped with chia seeds. Need I say more?
The mushroom-cumin puree soup special. While I’m not one for spice, this was surprisingly good. I’ve never in my life ordered soup at Sweetgreen, so this was a first…and I’m glad I got kicked out of my routine to try something new.
The March salad. Feast your eyes on mixed greens, sweet potatoes, blue cheese, caramelized onions, candied pecans, and bacon (which I may or may not have gently scraped to the side). While this wasn’t a salad that screamed “spring is in the air!” to me, it was delicious, so seasons be damned. But the real reason I was excited to try it? Because I always go into the store with the intention of ordering something new, only to choke when I reach the front of the line and end up asking for same thing over and over again (aka: I’d like a Santorini grain bowl please). The yummy March salad was just the jolt I needed to break the Santorini cycle.
I loved spending the evening sharing ideas, swapping stories, and sipping wine with lots of health and fitness related folks, including Anne, Heather, and Christy. I can’t believe we didn’t get a gratuitous group shot of the bloggers…but to be honest we were having too much fun stuffing our faces and catching up to strike a pose this time around. Lesson learned. But truly, a thanks goes out to Sweetgreen for hosting such a fun group of people! Made mixing and mingling easy for this introvert : )
And…drumroll please…reason five:
What, like you didn’t see this coming? The cup ‘o Sweetflow was the perfect ending to an awesome meal. I topped mine with almonds, stewed apples, strawberries, and chocolate chips. Needless to say, I went home and promptly retired into a food coma. Success!
Do you get stuck in a menu rut, too?
Crash Course: The Hatha/Iyengar Inspired class on Sunday afternoons is a level two playground for students who want an expressive, inquisitive, no-holds-barred deep dive into their practice. Be prepared for just as much mental stretching as physical – you’ll be asked to move the lower inner left back of your kneecap away from the outer upper right back of your kneecap at the same time. Figure that one out while still tying to keep your balance and you’ll have an idea of what to expect. It’s a wonderful academic approach to yoga and a breath of fresh air from the more ubiquitous vinyasa approach. Hatha places greater emphasis on longer held poses and the Iyengar bit means you’ll be using blocks, straps, blankets, and even the wall as you move through the class. Check out the Georgetown Yoga site for a full schedule of classes.
where: 2603 P Street NW
perks: free mat rental, filtered water, small class sizes
sweat score: 4 out of 10
wear: anything you like
instructor: Kristen Krash
cost: drop in rate is $17 and $10 for students*
Georgetown Yoga is one of the most recent additions to the DC yoga family. It sits half way between the hubbub of Georgetown and Dupont, just across the street from Rose Park. The easiest way to get there sans car is to bike or walk from the Dupont metro. There are no close-by bikeshare stations, so I left mine at the Dupont metro corral and hoofed it about 10 – 15 minutes to the studio.
Eli – one of the owners – me outside with an iPad. There is no sign in desk or reception area in the studio, so the check-in process is done entirely via mobile device. When you walk in you’ll see why. The studio is a one room wonder. No merchandise table, no computer desk, no changing rooms. A modest, bright, clean space dedicated solely to the task at hand and a stark contrast to every other yoga studio I’ve visited. I loved the simplicity of it.
There is a small back room to store your belongings and to collect props. You’ll also find a bathroom, filtered water stand, and yoga mats to borrow.
That’s the full tour! Class sizes are intentionally kept small to maintain the relaxed atmosphere. Eli explained that he really prefers students to have a few inches of space to work with before they run into their neighbor’s mat. There’s just nothing zen about having someone’s foot in your face, he said…and I have to agree. From the wide open studio room and the lack of extraneous clutter to the space between the mats, the entire philosophy behind Georgetown Yoga goes something like this:
We try to keep it simple. It’s not about how much you sweat, how far you can twist yourself, or if you chant ‘om.’ It’s about great yoga. And great yoga teachers.
Can I get an amen? Another refreshing detail I noticed was in the students themselves. At least today, there was no hint of “keeping up with the Joneses” in terms of gear, clothing, or accessories. All too often yoga studios feel a bit like runways as opposed to centers of wellness and exercise. Today the rule was: wear whatever you want, laugh when you fall over, and just enjoy the simplicity of being yourself in the moment.
Now, let’s get down to the business of the class. When I first signed up, Eli reminded me this was a level two class. “Oh that’s okay,” I chimed. “I’ve never tried this type of practice but I’ve been practicing for years. Everything should be fine.” Famous. last. words.
Yoga has a funny way of pulling the mat from under your feet and reminding you of the humility you so desperately deserve.
I followed along with the instructor at the start of class as she rolled a blanket into a tight ball. This is interesting – never seen this trick before. “And then,” Kristen said calmly, “lay on top of it so it presses firmly into the pit of your stomach. And breathe.” Three minutes into this class and I’m already toast. There I lay, suffering through a self-inflicted and persistent punch in the gut, wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. This was not like anything I had ever done in all my years of practice. This was uncomfortable, strange, and made me want to run out the door. As if a sign from the great yogini from above, I glanced over and caught a glimpse of the message on my block.
Real funny, block. How is one supposed to keep calm and practice on with a ball of blanket pushing and squishing her innards in every abnormal direction. But you know what? A few moments later we were out of the pose and I was reminded of the entire purpose of yoga: to be in the present moment, because nothing is certain and nothing lasts. The ah-ha moment was worth every second of that uncomfortable blanket pose. Now, I’m not saying the rest of class became any easier. There were moving handstands, partner camel poses against a wall, a series of standing and seated splits, and a few other moves that brought me to my edge and back again time and again.
Despite my see-sawing emotions of panic and relief about being in over my head, I was so deeply concentrated on every tiny micro-movement Kristen was cuing that I didn’t have much time to think about how improbable the pose seemed. She teaches an enormously academic and thought-provoking class. I will never, ever look at down dog the same way again. There were times when I had to really stop and think, “now, what ten things am I supposed to be doing in this pose?” But it was a much-needed jolt from any anticipation I had to turn on autopilot and flow through the poses. She demanded we be fully present, fully engaged, and fully aligned. And, as she warned at the beginning of class, I definitely left feeling like a piece of pulled-out taffy.
If you are looking for a no-frills, simple, non-competitive atmosphere to practice in, I’d check this tiny space out. And if the Hatha/Iyengar level two craziness seems a bit extreme for your taste, they offer a variety of other styles so just check the schedule to find something that works with what you need.
Have you had any humbling yoga moments?
* Georgetown Yoga generously waived my drop in fee for this class. This review and all opinions are my own.
Happy Monday, crashers! Don’t you just love the start of a new week? Full of possibility, all sorts of options, a freshly made “to-do” list. And sometimes you get lucky with sunrises like this to greet you when you head out the door.
I’m kicking this week off with a new column: The Crash Report Roundup. Why? Because there are so many fun and informative local bloggers out there crashing fitness classes week after week, and I want to create a space to highlight their reviews. DC Fit Crasher is all about bringing you the skinny on what makes DC sweat – it would be crazy not to share input from a few sweaty friends of mine. I hope this column introduces you to new fitness fanatics, piques your interest in a class, or gives you a second opinion about that new studio down the street.
I’d love your feedback or ideas about how to make this column as useful as possible – so if you’ve got a tweak you’d like to see, send it my way!
Wicked Healthy Washingtonian tried out the brand-spankin’ new Peloton Cycling in Columbia Heights
The studio itself was so different than any other spin studio I’ve been in…Peloton is definitely more of a “cycling studio” that makes you feel more like you’re actually outside riding your bike as opposed to being very well aware of the fact that you’re in a gym of some sort.
and traveled up to Bethesda for her first class at ZenGo
Now for my review of the actual class… holy crap. A little too much for my liking but it was definitely fun. While the instructor was nice, I just don’t really like people grunting, yelling, and screaming at me.
Melody at Will Run for Margaritas gives the run down of the classes offered at Revolve spin studio in Clarendon, which just happens to be across the street from her apartment (lucky duck!):
Designed for fitness enthusiasts seeking a fun and challenging full-body workout, Revolve classes exist for one reason: to make you SWEAT!
The Workout Wonks also spun their wheels at Peloton cycling studio
The icing on the fitness cake, however, was when we clipped out of our bikes and picked up the resistance bands. Holy. Moly.”
and tapped into their wild side at Equinox Animal Flow
If you’re looking for a new and innovative way to test your muscles, then clearly getting on all fours is the way to do it.
Colleen at Heart & Sole crashed a DC Capitol Striders seminar at Lululemon with the running coaches from Run Farther, Faster called “Successful Race Execution”
Their info on fueling was great…They also gave some good advice on in-race nutrition including the invaluable – don’t ever mix Gu with Gatorade!
Melissa at Burn it Off DC crashed Angle Stone’s Real Ride at Revolve
It was a fantastic experience! The room was packed and dark, music blaring.