Returning to Our Community Roots

superhero camp collageThank you so much for sharing your kids and family yoga experience with us. We’re having a wonderful summer so far and hope you’ll be joining us for great classes and camps we have planned.

The biggest change for Breathing Space in coming months is that we’ve decided to let go of the 1123 Penn location at the end of the summer and go back to a mobile program format.

We are excited to work with community partners again to offer classes and camps in a variety of locations around the Hill, both SE and NE!

Breathing Space started as a mobile program and the model makes a lot of sense for us given the limited hours needed for children’s and family programming. We took the 1123 Penn lease in the fall of 2014, starting classes there in 2015, because we had seemingly reached our limit for growth at our class spaces at the time and were anticipating our summer camp venue to be unavailable in 2015. The neighborhood yoga and wellness landscape has changed quite a bit in the past two years, with many more options for adult yoga and new opportunities for partnership locations for our family programming. As much as it is nice to have complete control over a studio space, it simply make better business sense to let go of the full time location.

Mind JarWhat’s more, community is a defining characteristic of family yoga and we’ve missed being a regular member of our partner communities over the past two years. By returning to a mobile model, we are excited to be able to reach further on Capitol Hill and are launching our first Northeast location classes at the Parish of St. Monica and St. James in September! If you have connections to community locations or ideas for classes not on our upcoming schedule, please let us know.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga and FAQs

Yoga: Ideal Prenatal Exercise and More

prenatal moms stretch in yoga classYoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm.

Yoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm.

As a physical practice, yoga during pregnancy builds strength, endurance, and flexibility. Asana practice, what we know as yoga poses, improves circulation, combats fatigue, and reduces tension and stiffness in muscles and joints.

prenatal moms in yoga classAs a mental discipline, yoga cultivates focus and emotional stability. Breathing exercises during prenatal yoga help mom relax deeply and connect with baby.

Prenatal yoga celebrates the mom and baby connection and the beauty and power of your changing body.

“Yoga was enormously helpful to me during my own pregnancy and I still feel that my regular practice was the most important preparation that I did for childbirth.”  – Jen

New Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal and postnatal classes only.

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “exercising at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week can benefit your health during pregnancy in the following ways:

  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
  • Increases your energy
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves your posture
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor.”

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

According to the Mayo Clinic, “[r]esearch suggests that prenatal yoga can:
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
  • Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath

Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.”

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20;  Good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $17 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $170.
    Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
New Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal and postnatal classes only; within 30 days of purchase.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 5-8 consecutive classes for $18 per class. For example, 5 classes is $90. See series listings for dates offered.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. Twice weekly attendance costs less than $10 per visit with membership.
    • A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.
    • Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
    • Members are also eligible for 10% discount off registration in children’s or family yoga series or prenatal workshops.
  • All prices at include 5.75% fitness tax.

prenatal yoga at Realignment StudioYoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm. A our prenatal yoga class might involve:

  • Breathing. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
  • Stretching. You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion while standing, sitting or lying on the ground.
  • Strength Work and Dynamic Movement. Moms in prenatal yoga are working to maintain fitness for a comfortable pregnancy as well as train for the endurance event that is labor and birth. Holding your bodyweight in postures while working against gravity is a great way to build strength. We’ll also do pregnancy appropriate vinyasa, moving with breath, to build fitness.
  • prenatal moms in savasanaCool down and relaxation. Every prenatal yoga class sets aside time for conscious relaxation. You’ll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.
Category: prenatal yoga

Our pregnancy yoga classes are held at Realignment Studio, 641 Pennsylvania Ave SE, lower level.  The studio is within one block of the Eastern Market metro stop and convenient to many bus routes along Pennsylvania Ave SE and 8th Street SE. Read more about locations.

Category: prenatal yoga

Students should wear comfortable clothing for movement that is not too stretchy and be prepared to practice in bare feet. Our venues have yoga mats to share, but carrying your own may be preferable. We have all the other props you might for exercises during class. Please bring a water bottle and you may wish to bring a small towel or cloth to cover your eyes during relaxation.

Category: prenatal yoga

Absolutely. Our classes are all levels, with variations offered for newer or more experienced students. We have plenty of props and adaptations ideas for moms who are not super flexible and offer postures and exercises specifically tailored to pregnancy and beginning students. All students should be cleared for exercise by their healthcare provider.

Category: prenatal yoga

Prenatal Yoga Class - Teacher AdjustmentAn in-person prenatal yoga class with a qualified instructor offers benefits you simply cannot reap on your own in front of a dvd or streaming video. Personalized sequencing, a watchful eye for alignment corrections, and customized adjustments complement camaraderie of a group class. Breathing Space prenatal instructors are also knowledgeable about birth, babies, and resources in Washington DC.

Category: prenatal yoga

Pregnant moms are welcome anytime and we often have moms in class who are anywhere from a few weeks along to counting down the days to to baby. During your first trimester, you may find you prefer your regular yoga class or fitness routine or that are too tired/uncomfortable for exercise. Consequently, we start seeing moms most often during the 2nd trimester, because they start feeling better or because the growing belly and pregnancy discomforts compel them to seek us out. We also have moms who start class in their final month. It’s never too early or too late.

Category: prenatal yoga
Prenatal Yoga Class - Balance Pose

Prenatal yoga classes focus on the fundamentals because so many women start yoga for the first time during pregnancy. We work to build flexibility, strength and fitness through modified postures and movements designed for pregnancy. We focus on exercises that might address common pregnancy discomforts and prepare for the endurance event moms are training for: birth.

More experienced yogis who take care to adjusting for their changing bodies may try to keep up their non-prenatal weekly class well into pregnancy. That’s fine, but I still recommend adding prenatal yoga to your routine.

The breath-exercises, concentration, and therapeutic work we do is not typical of a non-prenatal asana or vinyasa class. Also, the pregnancy-customized postures you learn can be incorporated into your non-prenatal yoga classes when the group instruction isn’t appropriate for you.

What worked for me (Jen) was continuing my one regular weekly class (with self-modifications as my belly grew) and one prenatal class for pregnancy and birth specific techniques and  to be in community with expecting moms. 

Category: prenatal yoga

How to Drop-in to Prenatal, Postnatal or Baby Classes

Baby & Me Yoga ClassOur public weekly Prenatal Yoga and Baby & Me Yoga classes welcome drop-in students. Classes can be reserved one at a time or using a multi-class pass.

New Prenatal Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal yoga only; both must be used within 30 days of purchase.

Please set up an online account and pay for your drop-in class in advance. Our registration site is mobile friendly and accepts drop-in payments right up until class starts. Most of our class venues do not have a receptionist so it’s a great help to the instructor if you take care of this yourself in advance, but if you don’t manage that, come anyway. Please note that instructors do not accept cash.

No single class drop-ins to any class for children/teens from crawling or older. Kids and family classes require series registration.

Makeup Classes FAQ

IMGP5062Our classes are offered in multi-week sessions with students committing to 6-12 consecutive classes. There are lots of benefits to committing to a weekly class but we understand that modern life is busy and sometimes unpredictable. So, we offer a generous makeup policy. Any family member may take any other appropriate class within 4 weeks of the original series dates – this means a similar class or something different.

Frequently Asked Questions

toddler family yoga

Tot (for us that’s ~8 mo+), kids, and family classes require series commitment. Need to miss due to travel, illness or other conflict? Take advantage of our generous makeup policy.

Our children’s and family classes and some special topics are offered in multi-week series with students committing to multiple consecutive classes. There are lots of benefits to committing to a weekly class but we understand that modern life is busy and sometimes unpredictable. If you must miss a class, you have three options to make it up:

  1. Any family member may take any other appropriate class within 4 weeks of the scheduled series, even in advance – this means the same class on a alternate day or something different;
  2. If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class (instead of option 1). Please confirm space availability with your instructor.

How do I reserve a makeup class? No advanced registration is required to take a make-up class but it an RSVP always appreciated. Simply email to let us know you are coming.

I really am only able to attend a couple classes, can I drop-in? For adult or parent & pre-crawler classes, yes. That means Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga, Baby & Me Yoga. We do not allow drop-ins for any class focused on children crawling or older.

No advanced registration is required to take a make-up class but it an RSVP always appreciated. Simply email to let us know you are coming.

Category: makeups

Rebecca Gitter teaches baby yoga classYes. If you know you will be out of town or will miss class for any reason, feel free to take your makeup class whenever it’s convenient in the same session.

This is particularly helpful for prenatal and postnatal students who expect babies to arrive or maternity leaves to end before a session is over. Feel free come more than once a week as your schedule permits.

We allow one makeup to carry over into a different session, within a month of the original series dates, so feel free to come a couple weeks before or after your class begins or ends.

Categories: attendance, makeups

prenatal yoga forward bendsIf you or your child falls into the proper age range for the desired makeup class, yes you may.

Parents of registered children may take a makeup in Prenatal or Baby & Me Yoga. Your teenager can take a makeup for your toddler and vice-versa, so long as the student attends an appropriate class. Any weekly yoga class is open to make-up students, even if they are marked FULL (though please give us a heads up in that case).

Category: makeups

Focusing on our Core Mission

Beginning April 1, Breathing Space will streamline programming to focus on our core mission of serving families and children with yoga and wellness programming. We are ending nearly all of our (non-prenatal/postnatal) adult yoga classes by March 31 (the only exception may be Jen’s sunrise classes).

Why? Options for adult yoga classes have expanded dramatically in the neighborhood since we began offering a couple classes a week at Hill Center back in 2014.  Jen set out to run a kids and family program and only ended up offering adult classes because there appeared to be a need. That is no longer the case.

Beginning April 1, we will focus on our prenatal, postnatal, early childhood through teens and Pilates programming. All of our classes will be offered in multi-week series, mostly 6-week sessions. If there is room, drop-ins will be welcome in our prenatal and postnatal classes as well as any special series we run for adults, but multi-class passes will be eliminated*.

Instead, participants are asked to commit to either 6-week series or monthly memberships. Monthly memberships are the best option for clients who wish to attend several different classes each week or simply prefer automatic billing. For clients whose due dates or maternity leave schedules don’t coincide with our 6-week sessions, we will allow flexible scheduling. The same generous makeup policies we use for kids & family classes will apply for these series classes as well.

*If you are holding a class pass that expires after March 31, expect an email from us with more details. Feel free to ask any questions too.

If this means we part ways . . .

We will miss our adult-only students but hope you will find another great class in the neighborhood. We are more than happy to make suggestions, just ask. Here are just a few:

  • Tricia teaches twice a week at Capitol Hill Yoga and they offer a great new student special;
  • St. Marks Yoga has been all-levels yoga instruction in the neighborhood since 1978. Their Monday evening class would be appropriate for those who have enjoyed our gentle yoga. Any of the Sivananda or Integral Hatha Yoga classes would be a good option for students who have enjoyed our Yoga Fundamentals classes. Breathing Space students have the option of converting any remaining classes to an SMYC pass.
  • Freed Bodyworks, just a couple blocks closer to Potomac Ave Metro, offers semi-private specialty yoga classes, including Yin Yoga and Mindful Curves for Larger Bodies.

Opportunity this presents . . .

Rent our StudioWe are excited to continue building and expanding our family programming. However, this schedule shift means we will have more hours available in the studio for partner programming. If you know someone who’s looking for an afternoon or evening class or meeting space starting in April or even a part-time daytime space starting in the fall, please let us know!

Spring Yoga & Pilates Classes Enrolling Now

Tot Yoga - class for baby and toddler crawling to 2, with parentsJoin us for spring and summer kids and preteen/teen or early childhood and family yoga classes:

Early Childhood & Family Classes

Our early childhood classes are offered in 6-week series for $96,  Sibling/multiple registration/sibling discount automatically applied at checkout. No drop-ins. Students who must miss a class or a family member can take a makeup in any other appropriate class, including adult yoga or Pilates classes. Up to two parents may attend these classes with the registered child.

Tot - downdogPreschooler Yoga welcomes younger siblings: 12-21 month old siblings may register for 1/2 price; no charge for non-walking infants. Enroll your 21-month-4 year-old and then contact us about adding your younger child.

Kids, Tweens and Teens

Sunday afternoon kids and preteen classes are cancelled due to low enrollment. Help us decide the best time to offer these classes in the fall by completing our survey.

Our kids to teen classes are offered in 7 and 8-week series. Sibling/multiple registration/sibling discount automatically applied at checkout. No drop-ins. Students who must miss a class or a family member can take a makeup in any other appropriate class, including adult yoga or Pilates classes. Classes for kids and teens are for participants only. Family members are kindly asked not to watch class.

Prenatal and Postnatal

  • Baby & Me YogaBaby & Me Yoga - 1 (newborn to pre-crawling, blend of activities for baby and postpartum appropriate yoga for mom/caregiver)
    Tue @ 11:30 am, Sat @ 10:30 am

Our prenatalpostnatal and Pilates classes are offered in multi-week series, mostly 6-week sessions. Registration is open now for sessions beginning the week of April 4.

Adult classes and those welcoming pre-crawling infants, including Baby & Me Yoga, welcome drop-ins if there is space. No drop-ins when class is marked FULL, or if indicated on individual class notes. No online reservations for drop-ins; just arrive a few minutes early. Learn more about dropping into class. All classes have minimum of 6 enrolled students to run.

Adult Classes

Our adult and prenatal or postnatal classes, including Baby & Me Yoga, allow drop-ins ($20 + tax) if there is room in the series. Learn more about dropping into class.

Valentine’s Day: Mother-Daughter Yoga Date

Join Breathing Space owner Jen and her 8-year-old daughter for a mother-daughter yoga class and Valentine themed crafty activity.

family yoga

family yoga

Family Yoga is structured like an age-appropriate kids class with an emphasis on poses and activities for parents and children to do together. While many of the poses will look familiar to adult yogis, we incorporate songs and games. There’s much more emphasis on social interaction and classes incorporate many props never found in an adult class: hula hoops, balloons, scarfs, crayons, and more. bsfy-open-house 709

This workshop is for ages 6 and up. $30 per pair, $10 for additional children.

Around the Web: Yoga for Back-To-School Anxiety or Exhaustion

Did you see Jen’s articles on the ChildLight Yoga blog? Learn a few of her daughter’s favorite calm-down poses.

Yoga for Back-To-School Anxiety or Exhaustion

Restorative poses for kids? Yes please.

With school starting around the country, students may be experiencing emotions ranging from joy and excitement, to anxiety or even dread.  As parents we do our best to prepare our children for that first day back, but we can’t remove all uncertainty, especially since many schools don’t share class lists or even room assignments in advance. . . . .

See the rest on The Kids Yoga Resource

Full Registration for Kids & Family Classes

Breathing Space does not allow single class drop-ins to kids & family classes for crawling babies or older children. Why?

Session Commitment is Best for Both Students and the Program

We’ve written before about the benefits of committing to a weekly yoga class. Children, even more than adults, benefit from the consistency and progressive teaching enabled by full registration.

Kids yoga operates in an unusual context. While adult yoga classes are very often drop-in based, you cannot just occasionally show up to any other kind of teacher-directed children’s class. There’s no drop-in ballet, gymnastics, music, art, karate, etc. All of these programs require registration in a series of classes or monthly membership. This creates a stable class and allows lessons to build upon on each other.

Session Commitment Encourages Consistent Attendance

As a parent, there are tons of demands on my time and regularly attending a class requires commitment. Paying ahead of time gives me that sense of obligation to actually go every week. This is true for me with my own classes and it’s doubly true for me to motivate my child out of the house, even for activities she (or we both) adore.

Session Commitment Enhances the Student Experience

As a children’s instructor, I find:

  1. Drop-ins detract from the experience of the students who have committed to a full session of classes because my attention is drawn to the new student – on everything from taking payment and filling in the parent on policies, facilities, and expectations, to making the new child feel comfortable.
  2. Drop-in classes are not in the best interest of the child. It often takes 3 or 4 classes for a child, especially a toddler, to feel comfortable with a new place, new people, and a new routine. Children benefit from repetition and structure. Since drop-in students tend to only show up once or twice a session, they miss out on the full benefits of the experience.

But . . .

There are two major objections that I hear from parents to registering for an entire session:

  1. That they aren’t sure if class will be right for their child. We get that. It can be hard to even imagine a toddler or preschooler yoga class if you’ve never attended one.

    That’s why we offer a No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 24 hours of class that you will not be able to continue the session, you will pay only $20 for the class you attended. (See refund policies for more information.)
  1. That they have travel or other schedule obligations that prevent full attendance. We understand schedules can be tricky. We intentionally skip holiday weekends and other high-travel times and offer a very generous make-up policy. To make up a missed class:
    • Any family member may take any other appropriate class during the same session – this means a similar kids class or parents can take an adult class;
    • If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class. Please confirm space availability with your instructor.

Wanted: Your Recyclables for Camp Crafts

In order to keep summer camp affordable and conserve natural resources, we use recyclables in camp crafts whenever possible. Considering that we have some 200+ camper weeks scheduled this summer, we need a lot of stuff!

silly monsters by flickr user Emma Craig / cc lisence

silly monsters by flickr user Emma Craig / cc lisence

  • Toilet paper and paper towel rolls (We need a ton of these over the course of the summer for everything from shaker instruments to castle towers)
  • Aluminum foil or cling rap rolls (They are stronger, which we need for some projects.)
  • Small snack and cereal boxes
  • Formula tins, cardboard oatmeal containers, or similar (with or without lids)
  • CDs (Doesn’t matter what’s on them, we’ll cover any labels)
  • 1/2 and 1 gallon milk jugs (opaque plastic kind)
  • Clear polystyrene take-out/salad containers (#6 plastic), larger ones preferred. (Looking for 4-6 inch squares of material.)
  • Square foam take out containers – clean top lid part is best thanks (Looking to cut out flat pieces approximately 6” square) – or meat trays
  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • Clean tube socks or knee highs (toes/heals can be worn out)

Feel free to bring them to class or to camp between now and August 31. Please make sure everything is VERY clean. Thanks.