Why The Daley

We typically host events in the central DC area, so why are we going out of our way to host Soul & Spirits at The Daley at Shady Grove? Well...we’re glad you asked!

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Grip The Mat’s purpose has always been to bring communities together, and sometimes it feels like those living in the DMV, outside of the district, get left behind in all the fun! The Shady Grove area is just a red line away (or an uber, because metro fires are real) and it has so much to offer to our yogis! The Shady Grove / Rockville neighborhood is one of the best areas to live near Washington D.C., especially for those wanting a well-balanced nature-filled lifestyle. Think:  parks and trails for running, hiking, and biking- oh my! As community builders, we want to be able to share and showcase what each part of the DMV has to offer, so we partnered with a local residential building, The Daley, to host our next Soul & Spirits!

What is Shady Grove about and how is The Daley perfect for young professionals who seek a well balanced lifestyle?

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So here’s the scoop...The Daley is just a two-minute trail walk directly to the Shady Grove metro station and the space is truly exceptional, with more than 10,000 square feet of amenity space. From outdoor gathering areas to quiet, indoor nooks, and even a yoga studio! They offer plenty of places that are ideal for chilling with friends, taking care of business, or just doing your own thing; it’s a community within a community (but with an awesome pool).

Soul & Spirits at The Daley Pool

The Daley has no shortage of exclusive resident events and opportunities to mingle with your neighbors, and this FREE Soul & Spirits event is no exception. We are beyond excited to be able to offer the best yoga community to one of the best places and communities to live in the DMV. So what do you say? Join us?

February Event Alert

Vinyasa to Vino Comes to London

February 7th 

@ Autumn Yard

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GTM is excited to announce that we're bringing our signature yoga wine event Vinyasa to Vino across the globe to London! We're turning our pinkies up to the dreary London weather and creating the coziest night out this city as ever seen. 

Say goodbye to Dry January and welcome in the new month with balance. We'll be practicing mixed-level vinyasa yoga then flowing into a wine tasting at Autumn Yard in East London. After all, February is the month of love! Why not treat yourself to night of self love? Who knows, you might even leave with a little more than that... Know what we're sayin'? ;)

What can beat an evening of yoga and wine with good people in an amazing cozy space? Grab your tickets below and get ready to experience the best kind of yoga in London.


Details: Vinyasa to Vino // February 7th // 7:00pm - 9:00pm


Vinyasa to Vino With Legendary JBL

Next-Level Soulfulness

Los Angeles, CA - Grip The Mat yoga is a full sensory experience, which is why we're teaming up with the legendary JBL to bring Los Angeles a next-level soulful experience of yoga, wine, and everything fine.  

 

On October 26th, 2016, GTM LA's Vinyasa to Vino will feature feel-good vinyasa yoga in a breath-taking art gallery in Abbott Kinney followed by a mouth-watering wine tasting. The night will be cradled in the smooth sounds of JBL's EON ONE sound system.

Photo by  Nate Polta

Photo by Nate Polta

If you're looking for things to do in Westside Los Angeles, this is it. Think mindful and social wrapped up into one sensory, soulful experience that you can share with others. An evening of yoga and wine somehow just got better!

Cheers & Namaste,

GTM

Soul & Spirits Presented by Spindrift

at Big Chief in Ivy City

Photo by  Nate Polta

Photo by Nate Polta

Washington, DC - Grip The Mat is proud to announce the next, biggest and realest event: Soul & Spirits Presented by Spindrift. If you’re looking for the best way to spend your Saturday in the nation’s capital, we’ve got you covered.

 

On Saturday, November 5, 2016 Grip The Mat will team up with Spindrift to bring you a badass out-of-body event lineup in DC’s newest neighborhood: Ivy City. Yogis 21+ of all levels are welcome to join this signature GTM event with a special Spindrift + Tito’s open bar and much, much more.

What’s with getting real? Spindrift is America’s first and only line of sparkling beverages made with real squeezed fruit. We’re teaming up to celebrate living life to the fullest and in pursuit of soulfulness in the most genuine, real way.

Here’s how:

#1 Masked yoga.

Photo courtesy of  Pinterest

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Permission to get real. All attendees receive a face mask at the entrance and in, true “check your body at the door” style, will be asked to let soulfulness take over. Think of it as permission to let loose and let go of inhibitions for this yoga social experience. Or, as we like to call it, get real.


#2 Live music.

Photo courtesy of  Hollertown

Photo courtesy of Hollertown

Get ready to get down. Both the Vinyasa and the beverages will flow in sync to the  live music by local badass band Hollertown.


#3 Open Bar.

Photo by  Nate Polta

Photo by Nate Polta

We’re getting crafty with Spindrift's naturally delicious real squeezed fruit sparkling waters and mixing them with Tito's Vodka. Think of it as happy hour revamped for the healthy, mindful, real lifestyle.


#4 Real Food.

Photo courtesy of  CAVA

Photo courtesy of CAVA

In addition to the two-hour open bar, this Soul & Spirits features food for all tastes. For the thrill seekers and outdoor adventurers,  Patagonia is bringing their new line Patagonia Provisions, as well as camping gear for a free raffle! For our city-slicking yogis, Buredo, a local DC hotspot, is offering burrito-size sushi rolls to attendees. Even more goodness provided by Cava, Simit + Smith, and KIND.


#5 All for a real good cause.

Photo courtesy of  Spindrift

Photo courtesy of Spindrift


Every aspect of the experience is included in the ticket price, which is a donation to the Potomac Riverkeeper Network. As if this event couldn’t feel any better, every dollar raised goes directly to the protection of clean water for all.

Cheers & Namaste,

GTM

 

Please direct press or media inquiries to info@gripthemat.com.

Yoga for Election Relief

When the country's fate teeters on one decision, it's natural to feel anxious. Add any personal stressors + maybe the occasional toe stub or traffic jam and you have yourself a recipe for emotional overwhelm. 

To keep you on your path, we've teamed up with the Washington Post. In our Facebook Live event, our DC instructors lead yoga poses and other techniques to keep you calm during the presidential election. Regardless of your level of experience with yoga and/or your political stances,  these tips will help you find your center in this time of stress.  

Introducing... Grip The Mat's 2016 Step-By-Step

Election Relief Plan


#1 Stand Tall 

MOUNTAIN POSE

If you want to be an unwavering force, start with this basic posture.

ALIGN

  • Stand up
  • Big toes to touch or keep your feet separated.
  • Knees track toes
  • Palms faceward

ACTIVATE

  • Spread your toes. Look down and notice if you favor placing your body' weight to the inside or outside of your foot. Sway side to side until you find where you can stand through the center.
  • Press down through your feet to stand up TALL. Feel your quads activate and your inner thighs roll in.
  • Tilt your pubis down and feel your abdominals turn on.
  • Roll your shoulders down and back to lift your chest. Allow external rotation of your shoulders bring yous shoulder blades together. 

#2 Get In The Hips

FIGURE 4

When we tense up emotionally, our bodies tighten and contract. Similar to how shoulders clench and hunch over, hips store trauma, stress and anxiety. If you want to dig out the emotional junk, you'll want t get into the hips.

ALIGN

  • Start in Tadasana with hands at heart center
  • Shift your weight into your left foot.
  • Place right ankle on left knee. 
  • Reach your hands forward so your biceps are in line with your ears. Palms face each other
  • Neck is in line with your spine

ACTIVATE

  • Inhale to contract your abs, pulling your navel towards your spine.
  • Exhale  to shift your weight into your heels.
  • Inhale to reach forward and up with your arms
  • Exhale to reach your hips back and deepen.

#3 Get Grounded

WARRIOR II

In yoga, we learn to balance effort and ease so that we can safely progress. Warrior II is a useful grounding pose that helps us grow gracefully in strength. 

ALIGN

  • Start in a wide stance with both feet on the ground
  • Turn your front toes to point forward with the front knee over the ankle
  • Turn your back toes 45 degrees with the leg extended and hip externally rotated
  • Chest and heart open
  • Reach your arms forward and back
  • Externally rotate shoulders
  • Palms face down to internally rotate the forearms
  • Look towards your front fingers

ACTIVATE

  • Engage your abs
  • Drop the hips
  • Press down firmly and equally through both feet
  • Reach up through the head
  • Drop shoulders away from your ears
  • Actively reach forward and back 

#4 Open Up to Increase Self Esteem

REVERSE WARRIOR

ALIGN

  • From Warrior II (see #3) 

  • Flip front palm up and reach it straight up

  • Place back hand on back thigh, palm facing up
  • Chest and heart lift in direction of lifted arm
  • Legs and hips stay the same as Warrior II
  • Gaze is in direction of your chest and heart
  • *To deepen reach the top hand up and back with the chest following

ACTIVATE

  • Distribute weight equally through both feet
  • Firm your abs
  • Deepen in the legs and reach higher with your heart and top hand

#5 Twist to Eliminate the Unnecessary

LUNGING PRAYER TWIST

Twists help detox the body of physical and emotional blockages. Do this twisting lunge to stimulate your internal organs,  improve digestion, and stretch deeper into your hips.

ALIGN

  • Find a low lunge with the back knee down and your hands at your heart and front knee in line with front ankle
  • Bring opposite elbow to the outside of opposite knee
  • Hips point down as middle and upper back twist toward the sky
  • Gaze follows chest

ACTIVATE

  • Hug your abs in
  • Inhale to press your palms together and engage your arms
  • Exhale to twist deeper

#6 Fold Forward to Shut Off Distraction

STANDING FORWARD FOLD

Just as our body opening facilitates confident self-expression to the outside world(see #2), folding inward gets us in touch with our subtle body.  While out of sight the Achilles tendon, calves,hamstrings, spinal columns and neck should be kept in mind if long-term wellness is your goal.

ALIGN

  • From Tadasana (see #1) step your feet apart slightly
  • Interlace your finger behind your back
  • Fold forward with knees either bent or straight

ACTIVATE

  • Press the heels of your hands together. If interlacing is not accessible, hold a towel or a strap in either hand to help open up the chest.
  • Shift your weight into your toes
  • Relax your shoulders, neck and jaw
  • Exhale to fold deeper

#7 High-Five Your Inner Kid

YOGI SQUAT

We saved this essential movement for the end. Is squatting is painstakingly difficult foryou now? It wasn't always! As a child, your body moved safely and efficiently, bending at the hips to pick up things off the floor. Maybe it was the pencil skirt or the starchy slacks that kept us from bending at the hips. Regardless of the reason, this pose is worth the work if you seek longterm mental and physical stability.

ALIGN

  • From Tadasana (#1), step your feet apart.
  • Keep your feet as close together as you comfortably can as you drop your hips into a squat. 
  • Torso fits between thighs
  • Hands at heart and upper arms around knees
  • *If heels do not stay grounded, place a rolled up towel or blanket under them 
  • *For tighter hips, take a wider stance and turn your feet out (but make sure your knees track your big toes)
  • *If you experience any pain behind your knees, lift your hips or place a block underneath you.

ACTIVATE

  • Relax your front ankles
  • Lengthen your spine by lifting your chest towards your hands
  • Relax shoulders away from ears
  • Press elbows or upper arm into knees to deepen

#8 Sit Back & Relax

RECLINED BOUND ANGLE

When you lay flat on your back, close your eyes and let your hips open, your physical body starts to release tension and your perspective turns inward. When the world around you feels like a tornado is brewing, this is the perfect pose because it calms the nervous system and can help you find something we all seek... contentment.

ALIGN:

  • Lay down flat on your back.
  • Bring the bottoms of your feet together and gently drop your knees open wide.
  • Place your hands on your stomach palms facing down.
  • *If you feel any strain, support each of your thighs on a block or folded blanket. 

ACTIVATE:

  • Close your eyes, soften your neck and shoulders.
  • Allow your hips to soften by relaxing the hip flexers.
  • Feel your breath rise and collapse, and feel any emotions that might be swirling around in your "gut."
  • *The natural tendency in this pose is to push the knees toward the floor in the belief that this will increase the stretch of the inner thighs and groins. But especially if your groins are tight, pushing the knees down will have just the opposite of the intended effect: The groins will harden, as will your belly and lower back

Note: there is a lot of opening going on in your hips, groins, and inner thighs, and for some people the sensations quickly become intense. Don’t overstay your welcome; three to five minutes is plenty.Give yourself some time to settle in and make any adjustments you need.

Photos by Matt Tarro. To see more of his work, check out @Pharroo on Instagram.

Source: www.instagram.com/pharroo

New GTM instructor Nichol Teaches Her First Vinyasa to Vino

Yoga, wine and everything nice.

Grip The Mat took over C.A.V.E. Gallery for another weeknight Vinyasa to Vino in Los Angeles! This time, new instructor Nichol Chase co-taught with co-founder Christy Skarulis.  The class was contemplative, fun and chalk full of all things GTM: vinyasa flow, fun partner poses, deep juicy holds and a Savasana surprise! 

Not only is Nichol a professionally-trained yoga instructor AND formerly competitive yoga performer, but also a trained opera singer.  After her cool down, she lead yogis through a powerfully sweet lullaby accompanied by Ryan Svendsen on trumpet.

GTM yoga social events are made for you to relax and have fun, but also meet amazing people. 

There's something special about bringing your yoga practice with you wherever you go. That's why GTM brings the events to different spaces around the city. The goal with pairing yoga with wine is to help integrate the practice into your daily life and apply yoga off the mat. 

Thank you to all of the incredible yogis (new and advanced) who attended Vinyasa to Vino.  

For those who could not attend, check out the Facebook page to see the magic yourself!

Cheers & Namaste

Photos by Nate Polta

Moms Who Hustle - Grip The Mat's First Mommy & Me Event @ Hustle 2.0

There are women and there are superwomen. Then, there are moms. 

Grip The Mat hosted the first ever yoga social just for moms last Wednesday, May 18th, 2016. The event was held at pop-up art exhibition Hustle 2.0 by No Kings Collective at Lab 1270 in Northeast Washington, DC. 

The morning event started with mommy & me yoga by GTM instructor Brandon and co-founder Ashley. Afterward, attendees enjoyed a premium coffee bar by Illy and hydrating juices by Honest Tea. Gelato, affogatos (espresso poured over gelato), and KIND Snacks provided a nourishing treat both mommy and her kids could enjoy.

In addition to the yoga and tasty treats, activities like pay dough making and all-natural mat cleaner-making with dOterra Essential Oils rounded off the morning with a wholesome, holistic touch.

No matter how you slice it (or, in this case, scoop it), it's time to show #HustleMoms some TLC! Everyone walked away with a swag bag full of treats from all of our GTM-approved partners like KIND Snacks, Honest Tea, Illy Coffee and Chelsea Collective to take home.

Thank you to everyone who came out to our first ever Moms Who Hustle! Check out the Grip The Mat Facebook page for more photos from the day.

Moms Who Hustle is Grip The Mat's newest yoga social event series that nourishes moms' need for mindfulness and movement while also accommodating her little ones. 

If you or another #HustleMom would like to learn more, follow @GripTheMat and sign up for Moms Who Hustle updates below.

Cheers & Namaste!

Meet GTM's Fierce Boston Producer, Kyle Carbone

Our favorite Guy Upside Down is bringing the GTM feel-good yoga movement to Boston. Learn about his "teach-for-two approach" and why taking this leap of faith inspired him to join GTM. 

Read More

Washingtonian Announces GTM as Top Instagram Account

Washingtonian announced Grip The Mat as a top fitness Instagram! Read their article 12 DC Fitness and Exercise Instagram Accounts to Follow for Healthy-Living Motivation.

We're glad more people are catching on to our happy and healthy, yin and yang, yoga and cocktail lifestlye. Since we opened a year and a half ago, hundreds of yoga newcomers and advanced practicioners have joined us in the journey toward a lifestyle balanced with mindfulness and a social twist. The Washington, DC yoga scene has exploded this past year and we are glad to be a part of it!

Do you follow us on Instagram? Let us know if we live up to the hype.

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