Peek into the store front on the corner of 34th Street and Prospect, and at first glance, you will take the space to be empty. However, on closer inspection, you can spy the the freshly painted walls, the new hardwood floors and a few yoga mats strewn about. In the next two weeks, this unassuming retail space will officially open as the fifth location for Down Dog Yoga.
Over the past year, DDY worked with Douglas Development to renovate the space at 3343 Prospect St. NW into a fully functional yoga studio. It is approximately 2,700 square feet, around 1,000 square feet larger than the flagship space located on Potomac Street, and it will offer a variety of classes including DDY’s well-known style of Hot Power Yoga.
DDY founder and owner Patty Ivey described the space as an embodiment of completeness and simplicity. While the studio seems bare, Patty explained how the sparseness played into her vision of what a DDY studio should look like.
“One of the pillars of our studio is raw sacred space, and this studio encompasses that,” Ivey said. “There is the natural brick, the exposed ducts, simple lights, wood beam ceilings and nothing fancy. It feels very complete.”
DDY opened its doors in April 2003. Its flagship location at 1046 Potomac St. NW remains the same as when it opened, but the business has expanded into both Maryland and Virginia with three other studios. While the chain has found considerable success, Ivey remembers the business’s early days as marked with frustration and difficulty.
“When I first started DDY, I made hundreds of calls every week and yet no one wanted to rent space to a yoga studio,” Ivey said. “But I always considered myself an entrepreneur, and over these 13 years we’ve changed the face of yoga in the area and we earned respect.”
When DDY first looked to expand closer to Georgetown’s residential area, it began with the idea that the main issue with its Potomac Street location was in its size, or lack thereof. Even though it remains the flagship studio for DDY, it is smaller than is ideal, according to Ivey.
“As charming as our original location is, for anyone new it is very small and cramped,” Ivey said. “And now in this larger space, we can satisfy more customers, have a greater variety of classes and add something more to the neighborhood.”
For Georgetown students who frequent DDY’s Potomac Street location, its biggest draw is its distance from the university. Now that DDY is only a half-mile walk from the front gates, there is even more of a reason for students to frequent the spot.
“I’ve been to DDY before and enjoyed it, but the distance always was an issue,” Aine Boyle (SFS ’18) said. “To have [DDY] now be a close walk from where I study gives me all the more reason to start going again.”
Though the formal opening for the new location will not be for another two weeks, both students and community residents are already expressing their personal excitement for the opening.
“I’m no athlete or yogi myself, but I can see this studio being a nice touch for our community,” neighborhood resident Donald McKay said. “For anyone who is a part of this neighborhood, there’s hardly a downside to seeing this new business add some diversity of life to our area.”
This new DDY studio will provide both normal yoga classes and a variety of opportunities geared toward attracting a range of age groups. Some of the programming involves night classes aimed at Georgetown students and open studio sessions for anyone to practice individually, and there are even plans to include a smoothie bar to create a space for leisure and relaxation.
“Part of our mission is to create community now that we are right in the heart of it,” Ivey said. “We want everyone to find something for themselv hit that conference and really understand what’s going on,” Celenza said. “We’ve talked es in this space, and with our future plans I know we can provide our neighbors with a truly unique experience.”
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