Archive for April, 2010

Studio Serenity

One of the studios in my regular rotation is Studio Serenity on 18th Street in Adams Morgan. Its a friendly place where students and instructors alike are warm and welcoming. One of the things I really love about Studio Serenity is that they are truly interested in growing and nurturing a community. Even the most introverted yogi will be hard pressed not to make a friend or two here. Along with offering 35 weekly vinyasa style classes, the studio hosts a number of workshops as well as monthly movie nights and a yoga book club.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I like a studio that caters to all your senses and Studio Serenity does this well. Essential oils and incense infuse the studio with soothing aromas, teachers pay attention to their playlists and chanting and inspirational readings are a regular part of the experience. For a bonus, tea with your instructor is a regular post-class option. This studio ranks high on my yoga bells and whistles scale.

The main studio accommodates larger classes and a small studio and lounge space upstairs often hosts workshops or smaller classes. Common areas are small so pre and post class traffic can be a little cramped–a common experience in most urban studios. I have yet to take a bad class at Studio Serenity but can enthusiastically recommend instructors Gopi and Ryan–both have trained with Shiva Rea which tends to be a common denominator for my all of my favorite teachers.

The Studio DC

I was delighted to learn that the folks at Studio Serenity are adding a new studio in Dupont Circle, at 1710 Connecticut Ave. NW in the space that formerly housed the Troyer Art Gallery. Opening next month, The Studio DC will host free heated vinyasa classes May 8-14. If you are on Facebook, you can find their fan page and get updates on the studio opening. I’ll certainly be there to check it out.


One of the things I wanted to do when I dreamed up this blog was have read-alongs of yoga related books. So when I recently saw a tweet from one of my favorite yoga blogs, elephant journal…I couldn’t resist.

Click to continue reading “Yoga Read Along: Bhagavad Gita”

Apr 17

Yoga Chic: Calamarie

Posted by Melanie in Yoga Chic

A girl can’t do yoga all the time. Shopping is good for the soul too, no? Today I wandered over to the Fenton Street Craft Market in Silver Spring. A new open- air market that will be running through the spring and summer at the corner of Fenton and Silver Spring Avenues in Silver Spring.

My find of the market was Calamarie accessories. Run by a Colombian-born, former State Department staffer, Calamarie is fair trade, eco-friendly jewelry and accessories sourced from Colombian artists. Each of the items are made from organic and recycled materials. Owner Catalina Lemaitre is delightful and clearly loving running her new business. She has recently been honored as a rising star in eco-fashion by the  Fashion Group International of Greater Washington.

I love my new bracelet made of orange peel rosettes. Its chic, fun and funky and it smells good too. Check them out at

Apr 16

May Yoga Gems

Posted by Melanie in Yoga Gems

Time again for yoga gems. May is going to be an exciting month for DC area yogis. Not only do we have DC yoga week to look forward to, but May brings celebrity yogis Shiva Rea and Dave Romanelli to our area. I will confess that I am a Shiva Rae crazy yoga fan grrrl so, I will definitely take advantage of a class or two with her.

If you have an event that you think should make the list, please comment, email or DM.

I hope to see you on the Mall on May 15th or some of the events listed here.  Let me know if you plan to attend–I would love to meet you.

Sun 5. 2.2010 12:30-3:00 PM Cost: $35, Flow Yoga Studio, DC * Yoga and Kirtan Fusion Move and Groove with Gopi Kinnicutt and Gaura Vani

Sun 5.2.2010 12:30-3:00 PM Cost $40/45, Circle Yoga, DC * Ayurvedic Sense Cleaning

Fri 5.7.2010 7:00-8:15 PM Cost: Free, Studio Serenity, Adams Morgan DC * Yoga Book Club, Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater

Sat 5.8.2010 6:30 PM Cost: $45, Sacred Space Yoga, Rockville, MD * Yoga + Miracles: With Wine Anything Is Possible! with Dave Romanelli (Yeah Dave)

Sun 5.9.2010 12:30-2:00 PM Cost: $45, Sacred Space Yoga, Rockville, MD * Chocolate-Covered Happiness with Dave Romanelli (Yeah Dave)

Sun 5.9. 2010 2:00 – 4:00 PM Cost: , Studio Serenity Adams Morgan * Chakra Healing Workshop: Fourth and Fifth Chakra with Gopi Kinnicutt

Fri – Sun 5.14-16, 2010 Flow Yoga Center, DC * Living Vinyasa Flow w/Shiva Rea

Sat 5.15.2010 thru 5.22.2020 * DC Yoga Week, Free and low cost yoga all over DC

Sat 5.15.2010 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Free, Washington Monument, DC * Yoga on the Mall with Shiva Rea

Sat 5.15.2010 6:00-7:30 PM Cost: $15, Circle Yoga, DC * Drumming Circle

Sun 5.16.2010 3:00 -6:00 PM, Cost: $50, Ananda Shala, Frederick, MD * Prana Flow Master Class with Shiva Rea

Mon 5.17.2010 9:00AM – 6:00 PM, Cost: $145, Ananda Shala, Frederick MD * Pranafication All Day Retreat with Shiva Rea

Sat 5.22.2010 12:30 – 3:30 PM Cost: $40, Circle Yoga, DC * Healing Yoga for Your Body Type: Yoga & Ayurveda with Liz Chabra

Sun 5.23.2010 12:30 – 3:00 PM Cost $40, Circle Yoga, DC * Building the Force of Inner Radiance with Liz Chabra

Sun 5.23.2101 1:00-3:00 PM Cost: $10 Donation, Lil Omm Yoga, DC * Yoga Book Club, The Power of Less, Leo Babuta

Fri 5.28.2010 7:30-9:00 PM, Cost: Free, Studio Serenity Adams Morgan, DC * Movie Night: What the Bleep Do We Know?

Sat 5.22.2010 3:00 – 5:00 PM Cost: $30, Radiance Yoga, Alexandria, VA *
Discover Your Life Purpose…and What to Do With it! with Peggie Arvidson

Apr 13

Confessions of a Yoga Gypsy

Posted by Melanie in Community

My yoga practice has been a circuitous, meandering path. I took my first yoga class sometime in 1990. I was a law student in San Francisco and my yoga of choice at the time was ashtanga. Hot, sweaty, cardio-pumping ashtanga yoga. No chanting, no oms, no incense for me. I wanted a structured sequence of poses so I knew what was coming next and at the end of class I felt like I had a workout. Anything the slightest bit “woo-woo” would cause me and my yoga buddy to snicker from the back of the room.

Over the past twenty-plus years I have drifted away and come back to yoga many times. I feel certain that this time, I’m back for good. Like most things in life, my yoga choices today are much different than they were all those years ago. Today, I look for an unstructured freer formed flowing class that engages all of my senses. Today, I like all the bells and whistles, the aroma of incense, an engaging playlist, inspiring thoughts from the instructor and if there is tea after class… all the better. Sometimes the asanas are just something I’m willing to endure in order to experience all the other goodies.

The good news is that I found the studio of my dreams and a teacher who inspired my most recent and fervent commitment to yoga. The bad news is that studio is a six hour drive away in Connecticut.  I will wax poetic on my studio love in another post. The point is, that I figured that with a few trial classes, I’d soon find a new yoga home and move right in.

It hasn’t exactly happened that way.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of wonderful yoga studios in the DC area.  The yoga scene in the nation’s capital has grown impressively since I moved here in 2002. You can really find nearly anything you are looking for in yoga here. But…like a gypsy, I’m unable to call just one studio my home.

I follow instructors from studio to studio, I roam around curious about what cool workshop is being offered where. Is it that I have commitment issues? I don’t think so,  I discovered that I was not going to find an exact replacement for my Connecticut studio. Just like people, studios and communities are unique and special. Instead in my wanderings I seek to find bits and pieces of what I love up north in each of the classes that I take here. I’m recreating some of what I’m searching for in my evolving home practice. My ultimate goal is to someday become a teacher myself and create my own version of what it is I’m looking for.

The happy upshot of all of my roaming is DC Dharma. I wanted a space to share my discoveries and learning and hopefully grow and enhance the metro DC yoga community in the process. But sometimes I question whether the yoga gypsy lifestyle is the best path. Does my inability to choose, one studio, one teacher limit my growth as a yogi?

What about you? What has been your yogic path? Where do you consider yogic bliss and where did you find it?  Please share in the comments.

Photo via Pringle Hill on Flickr

Apr 11

Off the Mat Discovery: Zen Tara Tea

Posted by Melanie in Nourish

Today, I enjoyed a beautiful serendipitous Sunday–one of those easy breezy I’m just going to let the day flow kind of days. After meeting a friend for a morning yoga class in Bethesda, a little shopping and a healthy lunch of some of the most delicious tuna tacos ever, we found ourselves wandering and talking, not wanting to get in our cars and miss out on a moment of the glorious sunny day. Just then we happened upon a delightful discovery. A small tea shop and tasting room tucked into a small shopping strip on Bethesda Avenue.

Click to continue reading “Off the Mat Discovery: Zen Tara Tea”


Ganesha is my favorite Hindu god. If you are following @dcdharma on twitter (and you should be) you’ll see that my avatar is a hot pink Ganesha.

Click to continue reading “Know Your Hindu Deity: Getting to Know Ganesha”

Apr 04

April Yoga Gems

Posted by Melanie in Events, Yoga Gems

Here are my choices for the area’s coolest yoga events and workshops for April. Click on the links for all the details.

Click to continue reading “April Yoga Gems”

Apr 03

Put in on Your Calendar: DC Yoga Week

Posted by Melanie in Events

Are you a frugalista yogi? Want to try a new studio or even a new yoga style without raiding the 401(k)? Then get your mat to DC Yoga Week.

Click to continue reading “Put in on Your Calendar: DC Yoga Week”

Apr 02

Welcome to DC Dharma

Posted by Melanie in Community

It is springtime in DC. The season of birth and renewal. So here is my new baby, DC Dharma.

Click to continue reading “Welcome to DC Dharma”


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