Beats Yoga 101

Beats Yoga 101

By Helen Conway Hi yogis! I’m thrilled to be writing to you as the new teacher for Beats Yoga at the Georgia Ave studio, starting this Friday. This class has been on my weekly yoga rotation since I became a Yoga Heights regular and I am excited to take on this sweaty, sometimes silly yoga power hour.   Why Beats Yoga? The tradition of yoga is rich and I hold much respect for its teachings. But as someone who lives most of my life in my head, living in a city that takes itself very seriously, I must seek out opportunities to be playful and silly or I will get bogged down by it all. And this is true for my yoga practice as well. Beats gives me a chance to take my yoga practice, and myself, a little less seriously. I look forward to bringing you my spin on this fun Friday tradition at Yoga Heights.   So what is it?   Beats Yoga is an hour-long power flow class set to an amped-up playlist that is sure to bring a smile to your face and make you want to dance. Beats Yoga is designed to get you moving, breathing, and sweating so we will move at a faster pace than a typical All Levels Flow class and will include plenty of strength-building and opportunities for play. The pace means that I will likely not spend much time breaking down fundamentals so I encourage you to check out one of our Back to Basics or All Levels Flow classes if you need a confidence boost or tune-up. But...
Student Spotlight: Kate Judson

Student Spotlight: Kate Judson

Yoga Heights is made up of many fascinating people.  We are excited to introduce you to them one by one via the blog! Meet Kate, who stays busy by working to make DC a great, green place to live, chasing after her toddler sons, and enjoying her neighborhood! She finds peace in yin classes and loves Yoga Heights’ inclusive philosophy and the diversity of its yogis. Read on to learn more about Kate! Yoga Heights: Why do you practice yoga? Kate: To gain strength and bring peace to my crazy life as a working mom to toddler twins!   YH: Tell us about your first experience at Yoga Heights. K: I think my first class was a yin yoga class with Amy. I remember leaving and feeling more relaxed than after a professional massage. I was hooked!   YH: What classes do you go to at YH and why? K: I most enjoy yin yoga and all levels flow.   YH: What do you do when you’re not on the mat? K: During the day I work for the District’s Department of Energy & Environment and lead the coordination and implementation of the District’s Sustainable DC Plan (a 20-year plan to make DC the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the US. Learn more here: www.sustainabledc.org). When not working, I am chasing after my almost 3 year old twin boys, drinking coffee, or enjoying brunch at Anxo on Kennedy Street!   YH: Where did you grow up? K: In sunny Sarasota, FL.   YH: What neighborhood do you live in now? People love to know about their neighbors!...
Elevating Sisterhood: How do you find community in Park View?

Elevating Sisterhood: How do you find community in Park View?

By Leora Ward   I have lived on Newton Place, between Georgia and New Hampshire, for more than 5 years. In that time, I have seen the neighborhood change, restaurants come in, buildings go up. It was also during this time that Yoga Heights was born. Just one of the many changes that has taken place in the Park View neighborhood. As I walk around the neighborhood, or sit on my porch, or talk to neighbors, my mind typically starts thinking about community. What does community mean in Washington, DC? What does it look like for those of us that grew up elsewhere? What does it require of us in neighborhoods like Park View? Community feels important at this critical time in our nation’s history. It’s even more essential with all of the divisive and hateful politics happening just down the road. Yoga Heights has initiated, facilitated, supported, and led community events, activities, and gatherings over the years. I am just one of many people who have supported this vision of a studio that was integrated into the community. How do you build community in this neighborhood? What are the ways you bring people together? How do you create support systems where they don’t already exist? More than a year ago, a small group of yogis came together and expressed a desire for a regular, casual gathering of women (and those who identify). It would be a place of togetherness to meet, discuss life’s challenges, ask questions, and delve into issues that come up in our everyday lives. From there, and with that inspiration, a monthly women’s circle was...
Student Spotlight: Catherine DuBois

Student Spotlight: Catherine DuBois

Yoga Heights is made up of many fascinating people. We are excited to introduce you to them one by one via the blog! Catherine appreciates yoga’s ability to help her tune into her body and mind, and has been coming to Yoga Heights at least once a week for over a year and a half now! Read on to learn more about our neighbor and fellow yogi Catherine.   Yoga Heights: Why do you practice yoga? Catherine: Yoga is incredibly calming and self-centering for me. Yoga is a way for me to tune into myself, and focus on where my body and mind are at that day. I try to practice a little bit each day, in some capacity, as a way to carve out time to slow down and prioritize myself.   YH: Tell us about your first experience at Yoga Heights. C: Back in February 2016, I did the 3 weeks of unlimited classes deal that YH offers. I quickly got hooked and have been coming back to YH ever since!   YH: What classes do you go to at YH and why? C: It depends on the week, but I tend to go to the late morning or evening all level flow and power yoga classes. I also try to go to a yin class once a week.   YH: What do you do when you’re not on the mat? C: I’m the director of the National Sexual Assault Hotline where I oversee a national team of a couple hundred folks, so that takes up most of my time and energy when I’m not practicing. Hobby-wise,...
An Introduction to Children’s Yoga – Including a Sequence to Practice at Home!

An Introduction to Children’s Yoga – Including a Sequence to Practice at Home!

By Jess Gruber There are moments of teaching children yoga when I know they are deeply aware that yoga is so much more than an exercise; it happens when we practice deep breathing, the children close their eyes, everything stills and quiets, as they finish they look at me, eyes softened above a gentle smile. I ask them how they feel, pausing to consider, they say, “so peaceful,” “I feel gentle,” “sleepy and soft,” “like I want to cuddle”. Why + How? When teaching yoga to children, it’s important to utilize visuals, songs, and creativity. Visual guides help children to understand their body in space, this is called proprioception. When our proprioception is working efficiently then we can strengthen our interoception, our ability to feel the body internally. Interoception is important because it helps us to manage emotions and understand our body’s needs (hunger, elimination, illness) and then respond accordingly. Music is a timeless method to help children (and adults) improve memory and also creates structure within the lesson. Creativity, such as pretending to be animals or mindfully making crafts, provides an opportunity for children to utilize their foundation of knowledge and experiment with it. When teaching children yoga, one of the ways I engage children’s proprioceptive/interoceptive abilities, strengthen their memory, and set the groundwork for creativity is through the Little Moon Children’s Yoga Cards! I helped create these cards in collaboration with artist Andrew Schubert. The LMY Kids Yoga Cards tap into the creativity of pretending to be animals while teaching deep breathing and mindful movement to cultivate proprioceptive and interoceptive skills.   A Practice Here is a...