When I wrote this post… it was not scheduled to be unseasonably warm today. But don’t let your guard down just yet. Get out and enjoy this brief preview of spring and save these ideas for later this week when we’re stuck back down in the 30’s and 40’s.
While all you may want to do on a brutally cold DC day is snuggle up with a hot cup of coffee and one of these faux chinchilla blankets we all got from Nana for Christmas, sometimes you have to stretch your legs and break up the cabin fever a little. If you live in an older building like I do, it may even be a relief to escape your apartment. Try one of these activities to get out and about without freezing your ass off.
Personally, I’m an off and on yogi. I always mean to go consistently and then, you know, I don’t. But whether you’re a fanatic (#yogababesofinstanamastenovemberchallenge) or a total newb who has never set foot in a studio before, I highly recommend taking a class, especially at this time of year. You don’t have to invest much to get a lot out of a beginners class, most studios have community class rates as low as $10 and all you need is an hour to spare. If you’re already a pro, you can always try something new (hot if you’ve never done it before, or restorative if you have a consistent daily practice). I love yoga in the winter because even if you’re one of those people with perpetually cold extremities (my feet are always cold) you are guaranteed to forget what it’s like outside while you’re in the studio. Even if it’s not a hot class, the room will be warm, you’ll get to wear very few clothes and no shoes, and you’ll get to sweat out a little of your stuck-inside blues. There’s a different vibe than at your standard gym, everyone is at the studio to relax, get centered, and make their bodies feel great.
- If you feel nervous about trying yoga for the first time, go with a friend or just let the instructor know.
- Know that while you may feel self conscious, everyone is focusing and no one is thinking about whether your feet stink or not. Just have fun!
- Two great studios that both have beginner specials and multiple locations are Buddha B and Studio DC.
You may think I’m crazy for suggesting you expose your winter-hobbit-feet to a stranger when they don’t need to see the light of day for another few months. However, imagine sticking those bad boys into a tub of bubbly hot water so they can get a rub down and a good scrubbing. This is the ultimate treat yo self move and if you go to the right salon you’ll also get a glass of bubbly to compliment the vibe. My personal favorite spot is Enchanted on 18th street. They installed new chairs recently that are amazing and if you’re lucky, the salon’s mascot, a tiny, fluffy white dog named Essie (!!!) will come and sit with you while you get your toes done.
- Pay cash and/or go on a weekday to save money at lots of salons.
- Spring for gel if you’re worried about your wool socks ruining your fresh paint.
The United States Botanic Garden, located just south of the Capitol, is one of the best kept secrets of the mall area. This spot can be overlooked by tourists because of the other, flashier sounding attractions so close at hand and they’re overlooked by locals because we just generally don’t venture down that way except possibly for Jazz in the Sculpture Garden. Especially in the winter, the Garden is a great place to go and wander around or just sit and read. It’s warm and quiet, and the atmosphere is so absorbing, you’ll forget that you eventually have to go back out into the cold. I could go on and on about this but that’s why I ended up writing an entire post which you’ll see soon…
- Pack light: due to the proximity to the Capitol, there are no lockers or coat check, so you’ll have to carry everything you bring with you.
- Put away your phone! The beauty of this space is in the details and it’s easy to miss the most important parts if you’re busy Instagramming the whole time.