Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 80: Horses sweat and so do I. My introduction to Yoga.

Down Dog Yoga

“Hey Brian,” she said innocently enough.  “Wanna join my husband and me at a Yoga class tonight?” my friend Liz asked.  I had never taken a yoga class so I was intrigued, having heard a chorus of people tell me how good Yoga is for you.  I met my friends at Down Dog Yoga located at 4733 Elm Street and Woodmont Avenue, ironically above the Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream store (when I give directions all my landmarks tend to be places like this!).

The first thing I noticed when we entered the room was the warm temperature.  I had not even unfurled my mat before a bead of sweat had made a migratory path from my forehead down my cheek.  Vinyasa flow yoga is all about the heat.  The room temperature was 90+ degrees, designed to encourage sweat and movement.  In fact Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement.”  The class was $18 dollars and a few more dollars to rent a mat and the much, much, needed towel (you can also bring your own).  I strategically positioned myself at the back of the class so I had the benefit of my fellow classmates to emulate.  Even though I was a novice I could tell that the instructor was excellent.  She made everyone, even me “The World’s Most Inflexible Man” comfortable.  There was a dude in the class that would make a contortionist at a circus jealous and even he was benefiting from the instructor’s adjustments and suggestions.

About 10 minutes into the class I began to have doubts about finishing.  I’d never heard so many Hindu-Indian terms in my life or experienced a more difficult workout. I was an outside linebacker in high school.  We had struggled through three-a-day practices in August Washington heat and this was harder.    We stretched, we twisted, we lunged, and most of all I sweated, she sweated, he sweated, we sweated.  With each downward facing dog position (hence the name of the studio Down Dog) my body felt looser.  Drenched, exhausted, but surprisingly euphoric afterward, I emerged from Down Dog Yoga feeling very different.  I realize as a Yoga neophyte this blog entry does not come close to capturing the essence of Yoga – not the physical, mental or spiritual benefits.  What I hope you will do is experience this Yoga studio for yourself and begin the journey of self-discovery that I have. Young or old, athlete or couch potato, Down Dog Yoga is ready to help you find your path to greater enlightenment.  Thanks for the invite Liz. ~Brian

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