Historically, I have a very distrustful relationship with yoga. As a person built on a blueprint that approximately resembles a flamingo trying to play baseball, the idea that I would be able to chant, stretch AND breathe ALL AT THE SAME GD TIME is not only unrealistic, it's a fantasy roughly on par with thinking you could cast mega-white Emma Stone as a Hawaiian person and not piss people off. (Seriously, Hollywood, would it kill you not to whitewash the shit out of EVERYTHING?)
Anyway, as it turns out, I cannot chant, stretch and breathe all at the same time, but I'm still 1,000 percent addicted to this weird-ass sport. Spiritual exercise. Waterboarding. I don't know. This thing where you contort your body into fart-inducing aspects on a mat and people say things to you like, "Zip up your belly."
Before I go any further, let me say: Yoga is an incredibly rich cultural and spiritual tradition, and to those of you that practice it in its true form, I have all the respect in the world for you.
I'm talking about white-girl yoga, which is what I do. You know, with my Lululemon mat that I spent $3,930,308 on (come at me, bitches). The Core Power kind of yoga in a studio that has a juice bar, the kind that half-heartedly fakes spirituality at the beginning and the end of class, but is really about toning your tummy. (Spoiler alert: That only works if you stop eating Shake Shack burgers, which are delicious AF and which no one has given up successfully ever anyway so don't bother trying.)
Anyway, I'm really into white girl yoga because I'm a runner with all the bullshit niggling injuries that come along with that proposition and yoga is a key part of making sure I can still go run around on a regular basis. For example, my amazing PT recently touched my calves and made like, an involuntary sound of pain—like a half moan, half groan of 'wtf you moronic flamingo stop persisting in trying to be a runner'—and the only thing that has loosened those bitches up is a lot of downward dog.
I'm still deeply afraid of chanting—I get very uncomfortable whenever I end up in a studio that tries to make me ohm—and this morning, an instructor honest-to-God told me to stare at "the point between your genitals and your anus." I’m not kidding. There was a word for this, which I cannot remember now because I basically blacked out from trauma.
But I persisted, because I ran 10 miles yesterday and my hips were basically made of legos at this point. AND IT HELPED.
So, I'm here to tell you: Yoga is good for you and I have found the best place in town to do it.
Every Saturday morning at 9 AM, Epic Yoga hosts a class on the roof of the Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle. The views are stunning and the class is a perfect, relaxing stretch-out before a weekend long run. It's also on Class Pass, if you're a Class Pass addict like I am.
A few pro-tips:
Get there early, this class gets really crowded, for obvious reasons.
Bring your own mat and towel—there's no rental option if you don't bring your overpriced, sweat-absorbing Lulu.
Definitely bring sunnies and sunscreen. We did a like, 9-hour savasana at the end, which if you are pale or ADD, is going to be challenging.
Bring a friend and a bathing suit. You can get a day pass for the pool at the front desk, and it's gorgeous.