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!


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?


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?

Instructor Highlight: Charlotte and Falon

This weekend's Yogini guides

Photos by Sandi Moynihan

Washington, DC - “Crazy things happen when we let ourselves be vulnerable,” advises Falon Sweeney, one of the two Grip The Mat instructors to lead yoga at this Saturday’s sold-out yoga social event, “Grip The Mat’s Soul & Spirits Presented by Sprindrift.”

If things go as Falon has planned, “crazy things” might happen. Soul & Spirits Presented by Spindrift is an experience created to break people out of routine and shake things up. It’s a time to feel all of those pent up emotions and let loose in the company of great people!

Over 150 tickets have sold to this one-of-a-kind yoga event at Big Chief in Ivy City. With every dollar benefitting the Potomac River Keepers Network, the event offers a feel-good experience attendees can feel proud of.

If anyone is left wondering whether they are capable of joining the yoga social fun, co-instructor Charlotte Bowden encourages, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” For anyone who still isn't sure, tickets to the 2-hour open bar social hour are available on the event page.

Learn more about the two DC-based Grip The Mat yoga instructors who will guide this weekend’s soul-thumping Vinyasa yoga. You may be surprised at what you find!

Meet Charlotte & Falon

How They Came Into Yoga

Charlotte’s First Experience: In college at the gym.

I remember there was a guy next to me who had also never done yoga before, and we both laughed at some of the things the instructor was asking us to do - not because they were funny, but because we both were struggling so much.

Falon’s First Experience: In high school with her dad.

I took my first yoga class in Hanover, MA at Open Doors Yoga studio with my dad when I was a freshman in high school.

Why they started teaching


Charlotte’s Reason: Community.

I knew I wanted to start teaching almost immediately after I started practicing in DC. I realized I had found a community that I wanted to become more involved in, and that teaching was an opportunity to learn more, remain accountable,  and practice some creativity.

Falon’s Reason: Service to others.

During my senior year of college at the George Washington University, I took an unconventional spring break trip to India with my best friend Monica. In India, we supported her family's non-profit, India Children's Angel Network (ICAN) by teaching for a week at one of the Orphanages the charity supports. As part of our lesson plan and as active yoga students, Monica and I taught basic yoga poses to the orphans. While I was teaching, I remember so clearly the girls being in tree pose, and thinking to myself, "Wow, I can actually do this - I can make the world a little bit better of a place by teaching yoga." After the trip, I made it a goal to get certified and start teaching within the next six months. Teaching has transformed who I am down to my deepest roots, and I thank the girls at the Home of Hope for that.

Their favorite Washington, DC hangout:

Charlotte’s Choice: Logan Circle

I love the roof of my house in Logan Circle. It's a little bit slanted so yoga is interesting, but it's great for hanging out with friends and just enjoying the sunset.

Falon’s Choice: Lincoln Memorial

The back of the Lincoln Memorial - early in the morning and late at night, and even during peak tourist times, there is a sense of calm and serenity amidst bustling DC life.

Their “other” job

Charlotte’s full-time: Commercial Banking Research Analyst

“It's more interesting than it sounds.... most of the time. :)”

Falon’s full-time: Strategic Communication Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton

Why They Teach for GTM

Charlotte: Authentic interactions.

My favorite part of GTM is getting to meet new people from all over DC who are just looking to have fun. There's no pretenses, no rushing to the mat before practice and then rushing out right after practice is over; instead, people come together to enjoy their practice and each other.

Falon: Community.

The community, hands down. When I come to a GTM event, whether I'm teaching or attending, I always connect with the most awesome people. The other GTM instructors and staff are a huge part of this community, and I always feel so warm, happy, and connected after leaving a GTM event.


Favorite Post-Yoga Treat

Charlotte: Whatever is in my path..... but if you've ever heard me talk about the OMG bars at Baked & Wired (pictured above), you know those are my one true love in life.

Falon: A green juice or a smoothie - basic, I know, but truly so good for your mind, body, and soul.


Parting Advice to You

Charlotte: If you can breathe, you can do yoga.

Falon: Don't be afraid to show up.

"Maybe you bought your ticket to GTM but are hesitant to come because your friend bailed. Or maybe you're tired after work and don't feel like an hour of yoga + socializing. My best advice is to do it - to show up, do what you wouldn't normally do, do what's uncomfortable and see what kind of magic happens. We've all been there, but you never know who you'll run into at these events, and you might just get to know yourself a bit better. Crazy things happen when we let ourselves be vulnerable."


To learn more about Soul & Spirits Presented by Spindrift, visit the event page.









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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Our second Vinyasa to Vino at Hierarchy sold out! This time, a portion of the proceeds benefited the expansion of Aceing Autism - an organization aimed at enhancing motor development and improving social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders.

Thank you to Tommy Darling for sharing your heartfelt  and personal stories with us. Also, a huge thank-you to Justin at Vinolovers for bringing the party with your Italian wine and insider’s tips on selecting and tasting vinos. 

Follow @gripthemat on Facebook and Instagram for more pictures and updates!

Cheers and Namaste, folks!


Amazing People

"We could be the generation who learns how to love 

Mistakes and empty promises will never be enough

So tear apart these giant hearts that beat inside us now

Lets conquer the percentages, and rise above the crowd.”

- US The Duo

We’re getting down to business and really taking the reigns on our project. Thanks to the talented Carolyn Rush and her incredible interns, we had our first official photo shoot.  It was so invigorating to be in an open space and the opportunity to move, dance, bend, fall, jump, fall, and stretch freely. Did I mention fall? We did a lot of falling. 

Being surrounded by fun creatives was energizing and inspiring. It reminds me of a piece of advice that local DC celeb Philippa Hughes once gave: surround yourself with amazing people. Rid yourself of the unnecessary and the toxic.

Take the wheel and strive for your own personal success (whatever that may be).

With love,

Christy and Ashley