Yoga by VIDA at the Yards Park

VIDA Fitness, a DC chain of high-end gyms, is opening this summer in our neighborhood by Nationals Ballpark! The new 30,000+ SF VIDA will include a rooftop pool and lounge, Fuel Bar and Gear Shop, steam room and sauna. To market their fitness club to residents of Capitol Hill, VIDA is offering FREE fitness classes in the riverfront Yards Park all summer long!

I decided to try the 12 pm – 1 pm Vinyasa Yoga on Friday, despite the 85+ degree heat. The Yards Park on the Anacostia River is a gorgeous spot to do yoga, where you feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Yoga is typically held on the beautiful boardwalk but because of DC Jazz Fest’s set-up, yoga was moved to the Great Lawn area of the park.

Yoga at the Yards Park - instructor in white pants

Yoga at the Yards Park – instructor in white pants

It was a little tricky to do yoga on the grass. My mat kept bunching up and it was tricky to balance on the not-so-level greenspace. Some people moved their mats to the wide walkway lining the perimeter of the Great Lawn for the harder surface.

The instructor from VIDA (don’t think she mentioned her name) was excellent! I haven’t taken that many yoga classes – I mainly just do the YogaX P90X DVD. It was nice to have a change-up from my typical routine and SO nice to be outside on such a beautiful day. This was a vinyasa flow class so we focused on that rather than pure stretching or balance postures. We did all the usual poses – Warriors, Triangle, Chair Salutations, Plough, etc. We also did a lot of the side arm balances in several variations. Those really work the obliques. The VIDA instructor would come around to correct form or just to help push you to the next level of the pose.

Such a peaceful yoga spot.  Also realized my Birkenstock tan is pretty bad

Such a peaceful yoga spot. Also realized my Birkenstock tan is pretty bad

There were about 12 of us in the class, including several males but mainly females. I was impressed at what a good workout this class was! The great thing about yoga is that every pose can be adapted to different levels, depending on the student. Most people in the class seemed like they knew what they were doing; however, the environment was not intimidating in anyway. I think taking a yoga class outside would be a great intro into yoga, perhaps less intimidating than a yoga studio.

Some tips for yoga outside:
– Sunglasses – I wore my Oakleys that I typically wear for running. They don’t move at all and also help prevent sweat from going in my eyes.
– Sunscreen – don’t forget your back since your back will be facing the sun for most of the class.
– Water – take breaks to hydrate

photo from VIDA Fitness - bootcamp class on the boardwalk

photo from VIDA Fitness – bootcamp class on the boardwalk

I plan to go to as many of the VIDA classes this summer as I can. You just show up at the Yards Park (usually the boardwalk, but follow VIDA Fitness at the Yards on Facebook to get updates), bring your own mat and water.

Summer schedule:
Mondays, 6:30-7:30 PM – V Boot Camp
Tuesdays, 7-8 am – Boot Camp
5:45-6:45 pm – Sunset Yoga
Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 pm – V Boot Camp
Thursdays, 6:30-7:30 am – Sunrise Yoga
5:30-6:30 pm – Zumba
Fridays, 12-1 pm – Vinyasa Yoga
Saturdays, 10-11 am – V Boot Camp

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