Local gyms, studios and fitness classes to try while Lerner is closed

Media Credit: Krishna Rajpara I Assistant Photo Editor

Try out Dupont Circle Yoga, PureBarre or SoulCycle in Georgetown while the Lerner Health and Wellness Center is closed for repairs.

With Lerner Health and Wellness Center closed for renovations until mid-fall, students are left looking elsewhere for their athletic exploits.

Running on the National Mall or local trails offers space for fair cardio, but other gyms in the area can be home to your indoor workouts with weights, yoga studios and cycle classes. These five local gyms, studios and fitness class opportunities will maintain your workout regimen and serve as reason to get out there and explore another realm of the District.

Dupont Circle Yoga – Dupont Circle
Calling anyone interested in yoga, this boutique studio in Dupont Circle offers a variety of yin, vinyasa and power yoga classes for students of all levels. Yin yoga is slow moving to increase blood circulation and flexibility. Power and vinyasa move much quicker with poses that flow from one into the next in a more fluid motion.

Dupont Circle Yoga hosts its classes in a light-filled studio on the first floor of a restored 19th-century brownstone, fitting about 35 people per class. I can personally vouch for their gorgeously naturally-lit studio as well as friendly instructors and patrons.

An unlimited package of classes for your first two weeks will cost $28, but they encourage students to “drop us a line” if they need a discount. This is a superb studio for those looking to explore their yoga practice in a friendly environment without spending exorbitant amounts of money.

SoulCycle – Georgetown
Nationally known fitness empire SoulCycle needs no introduction. Popular for cardio-intensive workouts, albeit a cultish atmosphere, SoulCycle presents a substitute for those who miss running on the treadmill or riding the spin bike at Lerner.

The studio often organizes themed classes, including “Taylor Swift Sunday” at the Georgetown studio and decade-themed rides that play music from the 80s, 90s or 2000s. SoulCycle provides discounts for new riders and students, which makes this cult classic studio a reasonable option for college students’ cardio workouts.

Balance Gym – Foggy Bottom
Steps away from GW’s campus, you can try out a traditional annual or monthly membership at Balance Gym for under $100 each month and a free one-day pass for DMV residents and first-time visitors. Check out the gym’s many fitness classes, ranging from yoga to high-intensity interval training classes in the gym and online.

Balance Gym prides itself on its CrossFit classes led by experienced coaches in addition to amenities like the gym’s sauna for recovery days. Visitors can try out all aspects of this gym before committing to a membership, and interested customers can always pay by the month to avoid a more permanent plan.

PureBarre – Dupont Circle
Known for small, pulsating movements incorporated from ballet and pilates that help strengthen and tone your body, barre is a high-intensity, low-impact workout in a class setting for those who want to tone their legs, arms and glutes. PureBarre, a well-known nationwide franchise, draws you in with one free barre class and an unlimited first week for $89.

Music accompanies the exercise as you repeat your small dance movements to feel the burn in targeted muscle groups. PureBarre’s classes range in intensity for first-timers and those with more experience. They offer online as well as in-person classes.

PureBarre is the ideal outlet for students looking to unleash their ballerina dreams or improve their flexibility. Since barre is low-impact, many orthopedic professionals recommend it as the “next step” after physical therapy when recovering from an injury. Physical therapists caution that those recovering should communicate their condition to their instructor to make sure the workout is safe for them.

Yoga Heights – Varying outdoor locations
Explore different parts of the District through outdoor yoga at locations that change class by class. Yoga Heights is a scenic option for those who want to combine a replenishing class with the joy of refreshing nature.

Upcoming classes include a rooftop session located in Park View, a class to inspire your creativity at the Wangari Gardens near Columbia Heights and an empowering community session at The Parks at Walter Reed right outside Takoma.

The classes are a lovely opportunity to destress and unwind during the first few weeks of classes and beyond in a socially-distanced, expansive environment. Prices vary from class to class, but many are donation-based or as inexpensive as $5.

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