Two Hill Yoga Studios announced they would be closing this week, specifically citing the COVID-19 pandemic in their reasoning. Both Be Here Now Yoga (BHNY, 406 Eighth St. SE) and Realignment Studio (641 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) announced their closures within a few days of one another.
In an email to clients, BHNY owner Sherri Piñeyro wrote that the BHNY team had decided that operating the studio in the current climate “is no longer feasibly financially or energetically, and we have decided to close the physical space.” Piñeyro cited that the stress associated with preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and the fear that someone might contract it in studio.
When BHNY opened on Barracks Row, they brought something new to a street otherwise known primarily for its restaurants. The team wanted to offer a unique experience and to make yoga accessible and enjoyable for members of the community that might not otherwise have had the yoga experience.
“We opened it to bring joy to others and ourselves,” Piñeyro wrote. “In the months following the lockdown and restrictions, that joy has begun to fall away.”
The team will continue to offer streamed lessons and health services until Nov. 30. Memberships and unused paid healing sessions will be refunded as of that date. Those pursuing yoga training can continue their association with the studio until July 12, 2021.
Owners Alyson Shade and Betsy Poos made the announcement Sept. 2 in an email to community members.
In the email, Shade wrote that she had weighed the financial impact of a global pandemic on an independently-owned yoga studio. She said they had also considered their role in an industry that is accessible to some but not to all, in unraveling language and patterns steeped in cultural appropriation. “[F]or all of these reasons I’ve decided to close Realignment Studio,” Shade wrote, “and to open a new chapter for us to move forward, aligned and empowered to take our practice out of a broken system and into the next level of consciousness.”
The studio began in 2012, when Shade left her job at the Department of Defense to teach yoga full-time. In 2017, she joined forces with Poos to open Realignment Studio. In three years, they built a community with nearly 5,000 members.
Shade said that over the next several weeks the team will have more information on what’s next for herself, Poos, the teachers and ways you can support them through the transition. They’ll also send out information on what will become of unused passes and open memberships.
Shade said she is also planning a few socially-distant opportunities for the community to gather in person and “share stories of resilience and rebirth”. Poos and Shade will continue to offer livestream classes through the end of October.
You can follow the studio and the two instructors on social media, @realignmentDC, @_alysonshade, and @betsypoos. Learn more about the studio at www.realignmentstudio.com