Polar vortex, be gone. Spring is here, and with it a new appreciation for time outdoors, after one of the harshest winters we’ve seen in quite some time. Shut-in snow days get payback with hikes, yoga sessions, and Pilates, all done in open air and led by professional instructors. So while we’re in the weather window between bitter cold and summer swelter, get out there while you can.
Rock Creek Park and Dupont Circle
Price: $25 to $30 (discounted group rates available)
If you know an hour of “namastes” and “ohms” will do the body good but prefer something a little more fast-paced, consider this outdoor hybrid class that combines yoga with hiking. Yoga Hikes range from 90 minutes to two hours and include three or four 15-minute yoga stops interspersed along the way as you explore both urban neighborhoods and nature trails in Washington.
Hotel Monaco, 700 F St., NW
Pilates on the Patio, also known as pop—appropriate both as an acronym and for the sparkling wine served at the end of the class—returns for a third season this summer. Local Pilates instructor Chauna Bryant leads the 45-minute class, held every Saturday morning in June inside the lush courtyard of Hotel Monaco. Treat yourself to a convenient and guilt-free brunch after class at the Penn Quarter hotel’s restaurant, Poste Moderne Brasserie. Bryant will also hold two classes in May at one of Adams Morgan’s newest restaurants, Roofers Union.
15101 Seneca Rd., Germantown, Md.
Work on your arms and balance, and learn a new skill, all while gliding along a placid lake in Germantown. Stand-up paddle boarding, or SUPing, is becoming one of the most popular and accessible water sports in the area. The Valley Mill Kayak School’s three-hour introductory courses begin the first weekend in May and are conducted on the school’s private lake.
Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, 13220 Yates Ford Rd., Clifton, Va.
The well-known outfitter megastore may be an intimidating place to shop for a novice, but its Outdoor School in College Park has a number of classes to help acquaint beginners with fresh-air activities. This spring it offers a new twist on the Introduction to Hiking Class that includes a winery tour and tasting. Participants are taken through Hemlock Overlook Regional Park and eventually to Paradise Springs Winery during the five-hour experience.
Meridian Hill Park, 16th and Euclid sts., NW
DC’s beautiful Meridian Hill Park is known for its 13-tier cascading waterfall, drum circles, historical statues, concerts—and free yoga. Returning for its tenth season in June, Yoga in the Park is a weekly class sponsored by Bikram Yoga Dupont and taught by a different instructor each week. The class meets every Sunday in June, July, and August from 5 to 6:30 pm.