With rates topping $20 a class, practicing yoga in Washington can be a pricey pastime. But fear not, for the ancient art composed of stretching and bodily contortion has been democratized by many local studios, which offer weekly “community” (read: free) classes. In fact, there’s so much gratis yoga going on around these parts, you can find a way to strengthen your pigeon and chaturanga poses every day of the week.
Monday Night Mindfulness at Circle Yoga, 7 to 8:30 PM
3838 Northampton St., NW; 202-686-110
Circle Yoga Studio bases all of its classes on the practice of mindfulness, or awareness of what’s happening with your body and your reactions from moment to moment. This course may not be a calorie-burning flow class, but it serves as a great way to get into a peaceful frame of mind for the week to come. Adopting mindfulness techniques may also help deepen your physical practice.
Circle Yoga also offers a Wednesday morning mindfulness and meditation course and a free all-levels yoga class on Saturdays from 12:30 to 1:30 PM. Check the website before you head to the studio to make sure it’s still on the schedule.
Mind and Meditation at Meridian Yoga, 7 to 8 PM
2401 15th St., NW; 202-903-0866
Though yoga in the US has become a secular method of exercise and stretching, it has its roots in ancient Hindu philosophy and was conceived of as a way to attain physical and spiritual unity through poses and meditation. Work on the latter part of your practice at Meridian Yoga’s weekly community seminar focusing on breathing techniques that release stress and heighten mental clarity.
Lululemon’s Yoga in the Park, 6:30 PM
Connecticut and New Hampshire aves., NW
Held on the south end of Dupont Circle, this free class is led by a rotation of teachers from studios around the District. Lululemon suggests bringing your own mat, a towel, and an electrolyte-enhanced beverage such as coconut water for hot days when this class might feel more like Bikram than all-level flow.
Flow Yoga Center Community Yoga, 4 PM
1450 P St., NW; 202-462-3569
One of four teachers leads this weekly, all-level flow class at Flow Yoga in Logan Circle. The hour-long session usually has about 15 attendees and is at the perfect time if your office observes summer hours.
Flow also hosts a Saturday outdoor class on the Southwest waterfront at 10 AM, led by Istar Guven.
Community Yoga With Emma Saal at Epic Yoga, 3:30 PM
1323 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-833-591
This pay-what-you-can weekly class is led by the owner of the recently opened Dupont Circle studio and is a boon to beginners looking to develop a practice with a specific instructor. Every yogi, no matter what level, is welcome to join. Since the session is in the afternoon, you’ll have a good chance of getting a little extra attention by beating the after-work crowd.
Epic also has a community class on Sundays at 11 AM, taught by Whitney Paterson.
Community Yoga at East Meets West Studio, 6 PM
8227 Old Courthouse Rd., Suite 310, Vienna; 703-356-9642
Catch a free beginner-level hatha yoga class taught by yoga instructor trainees at this Vienna studio on Old Courthouse Road. Teacher trainees must lead a certain number of classes to graduate from the East Meets West program, so this session is a working example of karma.
The studio is also reserved for community classes at 1:30 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, and to celebrate East Meets West’s one-year anniversary in its current location, all classes on July 7 will be free.
Free Community Yoga at Willow Street Yoga, 5 PM
6930 Carroll Ave., Suite 100, Takoma; 301-270-8038
It’s all about alignment on Friday evenings at Willow Street’s Silver Spring studio. The hatha class usually hosts between 15 and 30 people and is a great beginner-level class for novice yogis. The drop-in session is first come, first served, so it’s suggested to arrive ten minutes early to make sure you get a space.
The studio is also hosting a full weekend of free yoga July 13 through 15.
Good Cause Community Yoga by Sol Yoga at Bernard Brown Community Center, 8:15 AM 629 N. Market St., Frederick; 301-662-4006
Early risers will love this class for a cause. The Frederick studio has raised more than $5,000 for various nonprofits through this donation-based class. The flow session is taught by a certified yoga teacher, who leads 20 to 30 yogis with a wide range of experience. Part of the class focuses on seva, or yogic service.
Sol also offers classes at its downtown Frederick studio on Friday and Sunday mornings.
Open flow at the Yoga Fusion Studio, 11:30 AM
4609 Willow La., Bethesda; 301-656-8937
This vinyasa flow class runs on the first and third Sunday of the month. All levels of yogi are welcome, and the teacher will modify poses to fit your abilities. Typically attended by 15 to 20 practicers, this class is a good option for a someone who wants more than a basic session.