The Yoga Shala really nails it when it comes to creating a space to escape from the craziness of the city. Smack in the middle of Shaw, the studio is accessible and has something for just about everyone. Don’t expect every class to be the sweaty power style you find at other studios – but do expect to dive into the basics and connect to the spiritual side of your practice. With a wide range of instructors and class styles, take the time to try them all out to find what works for you.
This class is tough, fast-paced, and very high-energy. Ours started with student requests for twists and shoulder openers. Once we wrapped those up, it was right into sun salutations and a dancing warrior series. Mimi brought us through warriors 1, 2 and 3 along with reverse and fallen warrior, all with vinyasas in between. You’ll get your heart rate up quickly and feel the burn right away. We repeated this sequence several times – adding on lunges, side angles and twists each time. When our muscles had enough, we moved to backbends and balancing poses before finally moving to the floor for final twists and core. Throughout class, we wondered if we were in yoga boot camp. It might be too much for a beginner but if you’re up for a challenge, you’ll find it here.
Mimi is no-nonsense and will make you work. She dives into class and gets you moving right away. Between her energy and a killer playlist, we knew we were in for a good sweat. While this class is tough, Mimi is very focused on alignment and ensuring students are safely in the pose. So, while you’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone, you’ll do so safely. She is great at reading students and helping them get into a pose they’re working towards and pushing them a little bit further. If you want to work hard and advance your practice – Mimi is where you want to go.
The space is no-nonsense but has all the essentials you need for class – including complimentary Manduka mats. You won’t find fancy toiletries and other perks, but there are two showers and separate restrooms along with filtered water and all the props you need for class. With limited space, there are no lockers for your belongings and transitions between classes can get a little crowded. The studios have lots of big windows that let in light but if you’re easily distracted, grab a spot in the back because the studio is street level and gets a lot of foot traffic. While the props and mats are squeaky clean, the floors could use more frequent sweeping to keep the space barefoot friendly.
1550 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 Shaw Yoga $$
The Yoga Shala
Shaw Yoga, $$
1550 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
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