Crash Course: Embrace with Faith Hunter Yoga is a bright, cheery studio located at the crossroads of Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mount Pleasant. According to its website, the Spiritually Fly class is Faith’s signature vinyasa flow practice for levels 1.5 – 2. Prepare to play around outside of your comfort level with arm balances, inversions, and a few challenging sequences. There’s no stuffy feeling here – falling is greeted with laughter and applause for the effort of trying something new. The class is set to music and also features an extended savasana/meditation component at the end. Click here for a full list of classes at Embrace.
bring: mat, towel
perks: mat rental, mat storage available, free tea offered
sweat score: 5 out of 10 [/left][right]wear: something you can go up-side-down in
instructor: Faith Hunter
cost: drop in rate is $17[/right] [line]
Visiting the Embrace website, you’ll read this description:
EMBRACE with Faith Hunter Yoga is vinyasa inspired yoga loft that serves as an urban refuge to celebrate life, love and soul freedom through the practice of yoga and community. This modern-yogi haven is a place to have fun in the practice while connecting to the divine love in your heart.
From my experience, I can definitely attest to it being an urban refuge and a yogi haven. The studio sits on the second floor of a street-front building facing Columbia Road. Look for the Embrace sign out front, buzz in at the front door, and head up a cheery flight of stairs to the loft.
Take off your shoes and store them in the cubbies to the right of the stairs. The front desk is to your left. Sign in here and grab a rental mat if you need one.
The studio walls are painted in bright, energetic colors and even on this gloomy day, light streamed in through the windows and made the entire room glow. It really is a cozy space that generates a sense of calm, which is an enormous accomplishment considering how loud and crazy Columbia Road and Adams Morgan can be.
This window at the front of the studio really caught my eye – how could you not love to bend and flow surrounded by something this beautiful?
Along the right side of the studio are storage cubbies, a small changing room, and a bathroom that matches the uplifting mood of the rest of the studio. There is no shower, but because the studio is not heated, hopefully that doesn’t come as a huge disappointment.
Another nice little detail is tucked between the cubbies and the changing room: ceramic cups, a hot water filter, and complimentary tea. After coming in from the January cold, it was a wonderful treat to sit on my mat with a warm cup of tea before class. Sometimes, it’s small things like this that help make a studio feel more like a home away from home.
The particular class I took is called “Spiritually Fly.” It is the 90 minute signature class that should feel accessible to almost any experience level. There is no “front” of the studio; the two halves of the class face each other. I recommend putting your mat near one of the “e” stickers on the ground, grab a blanket, strap, and block, and settle in for the ride.
We started and ended the class with a bit of meditation, so the movement portion of class lasted about an hour. The practice had a very casual feel to it, and students were encouraged to play around and try some of the more advanced sequences. It was definitely a fun environment where everyone felt comfortable to laugh, move, and put their own personal mark on their practice.
Faith Hunter was a wonderfully energetic presence throughout the 90 minutes of class time. She moved about the studio making hands-on adjustments, and would occasionally demonstrate some of the more advanced poses. I admit, there were a few that went completely over my head, and from the giggles and thuds happening all around me, I think the same could be said for the majority of the class. But the best part is that we all felt empowered to try new things, knowing we would be among friends if and when we fell on our faces.
I really enjoyed my crash at this little yogi-haven and look forward to going back to Embrace to test out another class. On my radar? The hip-hop blasting “Spiritually Hip” class described as a “high-spirited and dynamic flow practice [that] will rock your core and make you sweat.” Sign me up!
What studio do you consider your “yogi-haven”?[line]