Georgia Avenue Gets Main Street Status

Georgia Avenue Gets Main Street Status

Have you noticed the exciting changes happening on Georgia Ave. in the last year or two?  Businesses are booming, neighbors are volunteering and the community is thriving.  Most of this is largely due to the organizing and advocacy of Georgia Avenue Thrive (GAT), a volunteer-based group of neighbors coming together to build an inclusive, connected, and vibrant community for the neighbors, businesses, and visitors to Lower Georgia Avenue. Initially starting in 2015 as a response to public safety concerns, GAT has grown to focus on creating opportunities for resident and business neighbors to build relationships and to support each other. We took a moment to chat with Jennifer Kuiper, the driving force behind GAT, to learn more about what’s going on in our neighborhood. Yoga Heights: What events or accomplishments has Georgia Avenue Thrive had so far? Georgia Avenue Thrive: GAT activities all come from the ideas and efforts of volunteers living and working here in the neighborhood. All our efforts are designed to be free, fun and family-friendly. Here is a sample of the activities resident and business volunteers have provided since starting up two years ago: Winter Fest and October Fest featuring local businesses, artists, makers, food vendors, and performers. Community-wide block party on Morton Street with water slides, service provider info tables, live performances, free bbq, and cooking demos by DC Reynolds and Feast in a Basket. Joint activities with Park Morton residents such as the Snow Angel holiday gift giving, NeighborUP-Park View activities, and Halloween costume donations. Yoga Heights community yoga and fitness classes on the old Murry’s Parking lot. Community outdoor movie nights with...
Student Spotlight: Benjamin Finkel

Student Spotlight: Benjamin Finkel

Yoga Heights is made up of many fascinating people.  We are excited to introduce you to them one by one via the blog!   Benjamin Finkel is a super dedicated yogi who quietly comes in, sets up in the front row, and digs deep into his practice every time.  Since his first visit to YH in July of 2015, Ben has taken more than 225 classes. Check out his work as a cameraman, which is his super cool day-job, via the link in our interview below.   Yoga Heights: Why do you practice yoga? Benjamin: I run around with a heavy camera on one shoulder which throws me pretty far off balance. Yoga straightens me out.   YH: Tell us about your first experience at Yoga Heights. B: About a year before I joined Yoga Heights when I lived in Silver Spring, a friend invited me to a restorative class at Yoga Heights with a live guitarist and wine. I was sore for the next week.   YH: What classes do you go to at YH and why? B: I really joined Yoga Heights because of the variety and frequency of classes. My work schedule changes day to day, so I end up in lots of different classes at different times.   YH: What do you do when you’re not on the mat? B: I’m a cameraman and video editor producing content for a variety of broadcast and corporate clients. From ESPN, Discovery and Access Hollywood to Hilton, Boeing and the American Cancer Society, I do it all. Check out www.viewpointvideo.com   YH: Where did you grow up? B:...
Meet Cameron and Greer: two Yogis who dreamed up something delicious – and delivered.

Meet Cameron and Greer: two Yogis who dreamed up something delicious – and delivered.

by Amy Rizzotto, E-RYT & Co-Owner of Yoga Heights   On a recent trip to Charleston, I did what I always do when I travel – wake up, find a yoga studio to try, take a class and chat with the teacher afterwards. As a studio owner and yoga teacher, I love seeing what yogis in other cities are up to and drawing inspiration from what they’re putting out to the world. While Community Yoga Charleston could in itself be the subject of this blog post, it’s a post-class conversation and where it led me that I want to share. As I was talking to the teacher of a sweaty morning class, I was telling her that two former DC-dwellers – one a former yoga teacher at YHDC and one a former teacher trainee of Owner Jess Pierno – had moved to the area to open a cute little cafe. “Harbinger?” I asked (butchering the pronunciation with my dormant Massachusetts accent). “Oh, my goodness, I’ve heard it’s amazing. I’ve been dying to go!” the teacher replied. Two others lingering in the studio’s communal space chimed in, emphasizing this sentiment. My heart soared to think of a time, roughly two years ago, when Cameron (Jess’ former teacher trainee) and I sat down and she expressed her concept for a cool and welcoming cafe in Charleston, asking questions about how it went for Jess and I opening YHDC. She was so excited by the idea of it and here she had actually done it! With Greer (a former YHDC teacher with crazy good culinary skills) by her side, the dream had...
Student Spotlight: Bethany VanderSluis

Student Spotlight: Bethany VanderSluis

Yoga Heights is made up of students who are fascinating people.  We are excited to introduce you to them one by one via the blog!   Meet Bethany.  She has taken more than 400 classes at Yoga Heights since her first visit in September 2015.  Bethany also graduated from the Yoga Heights Yoga Teacher Training last May and she is our newest addition to our teaching team!     Yoga Heights: Why do you practice yoga? Bethany:To challenge myself mentally and physically. The challenge always depends on the day, is it the challenge of calming down my mind or tuning into my body or to try something new and not be afraid to fall on my face.   YH: Tell us about your first experience at Yoga Heights. B: My first class was fusion flow with Amy and it kicked my butt!   YH: What classes do you go to at YH and why? B: I mostly go to 4:30 classes. The teachers are great and the class are right after I get out of work. I also love Rocket and take it on Sunday nights to push my myself in my practice.   YH: What do you do when you’re not on the mat? B: Working as a social worker in DCPS, gardening, cooking, and hanging out with my friends and family.   YH: Where did you grow up? B: Grand Rapids, MI   YH: What neighborhood do you live in now? B: I have live in Petworth for three years.   Make sure to say hi to Bethany if you see her in the studio.  She’s usually...
Meet Beth Roessner, a.k.a. The Rungry Health Coach.

Meet Beth Roessner, a.k.a. The Rungry Health Coach.

Meet Beth Roessner, a.k.a. The Rungry Health Coach.  Beth is the guiding force behind our Yoga Heights Run Group, and a pretty inspirational lady.  She is deeply passionate about nurturing all aspects of health. But she’s also super cool about balance – as in sometimes the right food for the soul is a burger, sweet potato fries and dairy-free ice cream.  She will be contributing to the YH Blog with health and exercise tips and tricks based on her expertise as a health and running coach!  Here’s a little interview to help you get to know her:   YH: Beth, can you tell us a bit about your own wellness routine or habits?   B: Fueling is incredibly important to me, and I strive to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and high-quality proteins. (I’m primarily vegetarian–no cheese, some fish.) Most meals and snacks are cooked at home, and it took a lot of practice to get me there. I’m a firm believer in everyday movement, and try to incorporate some form of movement everyday–a lifting session at the gym, yoga, a morning run, an evening walk. I also try to practice a lot of compassion toward myself. After years of having a tumultuous relationship with my body, I’ve stripped myself of the “all or nothing” mentality. I now give myself grace when I eat a bit too much ice cream, skip a workout or have an extra beer. I go for progress over perfection. Those three things are my most important habits.     YH: What brought you, a serious runner and health coach, into...