Crash Course: Zweet Sport is a cute little hot yoga studio and activewear boutique owned and operated by local female entrepreneurs in Old Town, Alexandria. On the sweaty side of things, the studio offers hot power flow yoga and an awesome yoga+weights mashup. For the fitness fashionistas, their in-store boutique carries an assortment of sporty duds designed by owners Kimberly and Marja. The array of brightly-colored sports bras, capris, short shorts, and tanks are designed, sourced, and manufactured in the US of A and guaranteed to look and feel awesome during your calorie-burning adventures. Click here for more information about Zweet Sport and to see a schedule of classes. [line][left]where: 400 North Henry Street, Alexandria, VA
bring: yoga mat, water, towel
perks: small class size, mat rental, in-studio boutique
sweat score: 8 out of 10 [/left][right]wear: less is more – it’s hot in there!
cost: $15 drop-in rate [/right] [line]
I was so excited to extend my fit crashing adventures to Old Town and pop in on the ladies at Zweet Sport. A women-owned and operated company that makes fun workout gear AND offers sweaty yoga classes? It’s pretty much the holy grail of boutique fitness studio concepts, if you ask me. The only way this could get any more on-trend is if they had a juice bar in the closet.
The store and studio are tucked into an unassuming little building on the corner of North Henry and Princess Street. You’d miss it if you weren’t paying attention, so keep your eyes peeled next time you drive by. But step inside the front door, and that whole “unassuming” thing changes. A kaleidoscope of brightly-colored spandex pops off of brilliant pink walls and invites you to try everything on. Yes, even those snake-print capris and horizontal-striped short-shorts. You know you want to.
I had a few minutes before class to browse through the collection on the floor and try a few things on. Kimberly, one of Zweet Sport owners, was bubbling with energy about each and every piece as she walked me through the racks of candy-colored items. Her enthusiasm about the quality and uniqueness of the clothes was palpable, and rightly so. She plays a central role in designing the items to be perfect for hot yoga lovers. In her words, this means: no pinching in unflattering places, no see-through areas, and fabrics that can handle buckets of sweat.
Before I give you my personal impression of the items I tried on, it’s important to know this: I’m pretty conservative when it comes to workout gear. I prefer black bottoms, solid tops, and no frills. In many ways, this is the opposite of what was going on at Zweet Sport. Their signature items are loud, fun, colorful, and will get attention no matter where you go. I admit it, I’m a fitness fashion prude and typically my outfits are total snoozefests. So when my collection of items to try on included cheetah-print tights, nautical-print capris in cornflower blue and white, and a pair of tight red hot yoga booty shorts…you can just imagine the internal conflict going on in that dressing room.
While there are a few pairs of solid colored bottoms (including black!) hanging out on the racks, I didn’t try them on because, well, when in Rome, right? Might as well go way outside my comfort zone and try on a pair of animal patterned spandex. So I did.
Things I noticed: despite the thinness of the material (ideal for hot yoga), there was zero issue of see-through bottoms when bending over. I did my own scientific fitting room test and the results were impressive. Also, there was no awkward pinching in the midsection area where some other brands create an unfortunate muffin-top look. Amazing. And to know that the items were created by local lady entrepreneurs here in the USA? Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours.
To my surprise, I was generously gifted a pair of their best-selling hot yoga Jaco shorts in horizontal black and white stripes. Thanks ladies, what a treat! I can’t say I’ll be wearing them all around town (I mean, these things are teeny tiny!) but next time I’m crashing a bikram class, I’ll ditch my black bottoms to proudly rock those Zweet shorty shorts.
Bottom line: this boutique should be on your shopping list if you are someone who loves fun, unique fitness gear that you won’t see on every other girl in yoga class.
After some sartorial stretching, it was time to get down to business in the yoga studio for the Zweet Sport Chisel class. The 60-minute hot flow is set to upbeat music and incorporates free weights to kick things up a notch. There is even a cardio section in the middle involving burpees, jumping jacks, scissor kicks, and squats. Sound tough? Believe me, it is. I was sweating all over the place within the first five minutes.
The class concept is nearly identical to the Core Power Yoga sculpt class. Hot studio + weights + cardio = total sweat fest. In my opinion, the real difference is that the Zweet Sport studio is a much more low-key and intimate setting. There’s a lot of laughing and interaction among the small group of students. Perfect for beginning yogis or folks who don’t like the intimidation factor that sometimes comes with bigger studios.
Another difference is that the studio at Zweet Sport is not as hot as the rooms at Core Power Yoga, where I’ve felt like passing out or throwing up in a sculpt class before. That sounds like a negative, but I secretly loved it. However, now that I’ve done a yoga+weights class in a heated studio environment that doesn’t feel like magma in my pores, I may be converted. The experience was actually…fun!
Suzanne truly set the stage for an upbeat and lovely class. She announced that impromptu dancing was encouraged and even admitted to personally hating ab work, even though she was the yoga teacher making us do it. Her candid, casual, “we’re all in this together” attitude was fantastic. I caught myself laughing and smiling at multiple points over the course of the hour-long class. Either at myself, her funny commentary, or another student shaking it to Kesha.
And when all the work was finished, Suzanne came by with the ultimate yoga-class nirvana: lavender-scented mist sprayed above your body during shavasana. It’s the little things, people. Secretly makes me want someone to follow me around with a lavender mister all day long, just in case things get stressful. Ahhhhh.
I wish I lived closer because I’d love to go back again soon! Zweet Sport is a hidden gem that I recommend checking out if you’re in that neck of the woods and looking for zippy workout clothes or a sweaty yoga class.
Note: While Zweet Sport invited me to try a free class, my review is based entirely on my honest-to-goodness personal experience.[line]
What’s your fitness fashion style: basics or loud and funky?[line]