RICHARD OLIVEIRA SOENS/THE HOYA FEEL THE HEAT Down Dog Yoga, which takes its name from a popular pose, features hot yoga classes, where the heated room helps one’s flexibility.
RICHARD OLIVEIRA SOENS/THE HOYA
FEEL THE HEAT Down Dog Yoga, which takes its name from a popular pose, features hot yoga classes, where the heated room helps one’s flexibility.
At a university where students take daily workouts as seriously as breathing, exercising at Yates gets the job done but can become pretty boring after a while. Though Yates offers classes like Zumba, kickboxing and spinning in addition to its indoor track and machines, leaving campus for fitness instruction provides some much-needed variety to students’ exercise regimens. For those who want new fitness options without breaking the bank, Down Dog Yoga and Fuse Pilates are two venues that offer Hoyas an alternative to their institution’s gymnasiums.

Located on M Street behind Dean & Deluca, Down Dog Yoga is popular among Georgetown students. On a weekly basis, numerous Hoyas can be seen flocking down to the studio, preparing to engage in 90 minutes of hot yoga. But given the commute, why do students choose to go?
For Lexy Carlson (COL ’13), yoga at Down Dog fulfills her desire to exercise and helps relieve stress. “It’s even a good way for me to clear my mind and [learn] to focus in other parts of my life,” Carlson said. “That’s really what yoga teaches you: to focus on one thing at a time.”

Another student, Phillip Bradshaw (COL ’14), frequents Down Dog because of its convenient location. Yoga is a primary part of Bradshaw’s workout mix; however, he also incorporates weights at Yates twice a week and running. “The feeling that I get after yoga is a great workout and a relaxation and serenity. You can’t get that with other workouts,” Bradshaw said.

Recently, interest in other group workouts has been on the rise, including Pilates. I took a class at the Fuse Pilates studio in Dupont Circle, and now I see why Pilates is so popular with students. Founded and developed by Mariska Breland in 2005, Fuse Pilates seeks to enhance the traditional mat Pilates experience.
The discipline of Pilates traditionally incorporates 34 ordered exercises, but Fuse Pilates incorporates yoga and general fitness techniques as well.

“At Fuse, every class is different; there are no traditional sequences of exercises,” instructor Allegra Poggio said. Each class begins with the instructor asking the students what three parts of the body they would like to focus on. The instructor tailors the class to the students’ requests.

The studio offers several different classes but the three main types of classes are “Original,” “Fuse Toys” — which includes the use of balance balls, rings and weights — and “Fuse Foundations.”

In addition to the Pilates classes, Fuse seeks to create a community environment. To this end, the studio offers nutritional counseling by resident nutritionist Jennie Johnson, workshops and vegan health-food products by local vegan cookery Goûter. With its growing following, Fuse has become a part of the DC community and something that Georgetown students are finally discovering.

As the temperature drops and the temptation to hibernate becomes more enticing, a class at Down Dog or Fuse Pilates will be a great and energizing mini-adventure to break the monotony of Yates.

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