The Biggest Studio in D.C. by Vicky Hallett, The Washington Post Express

Curious about Yoga Hikes?  We absolutely love this article by The Washington Post’s Vicky Hallett!  Read below or check out the online article to read more of Vicky Hallett’s pieces on fitness in the DC area

The Biggest Studio in D.C.

Yoga Hikes move off the mat and explore parks across the city

By Posted on September 10, 2013

Photo Credit: Taldi Walter; Mark Squire

– See more at:

The Business of Yoga!

Always More to Learn and Room to Grow

Yoga Hikes was honored to be part of the 2013 Yoga Alliance Business of Yoga Conference held at the Capital Hilton August 8-10th.  The conference covered a broad range of  business considerations for those involved in the yoga industry.  It was incredibly well organized, highly informative, and had an extremely impressive roster of presenters from Tom Gardner of The Motley Fool to Julia Kadarusman of Wanderlust Festival.  Most importantly it was inspiring!


For more on the conference, check out the Twitter hashtag #yogabiz.

As a yoga teacher and small business owner there is always more to learn and room for growth.  A conference like this gives you new ideas from how to organize workshops, practical guidance on important legal and insurance considerations, as well as strategies for turning your dreams into reality.  As the owner of Yoga Hikes LLC, I was pleased to be a member of the host committee, moderate a roundtable session on teaching yoga outdoors, and lead a sold out Urban Yoga Hike as the conferences final activity!

Yoga Alliance Urban Yoga Hike

One of the highlights of the conference was definitely taking the women below out on their first Urban Yoga Hike.  Yoga Hike participants ranged from studio owners to newly certified instructors who had come to the conference from as close by as Maryland and as far away as Canada!


To see photos of the Yoga Alliance Urban Yoga Hike visit our Facebook page!

We started our hike out at the Capital Hilton and continued up to our first YogaStop at the statue of Samuel Hahnneman, not known for splits, but for being the founder of homeopathic medicine!  We proceeded north to our next YogaStop at the Freemason’s Temple on 16th Street where we got into a great flow between the sphinxes, Wisdom and Power.  Finally, we hiked up to Meridian Hill Park where we conquered a major hill of steps to be treated by a great view of the city.  We completed our last YogaStop at the bottom of the Meridian Hill fountain with a family of ducks as our audience, before heading back to the hotel. As far as awesome energy goes, it doesn’t get much better than this group!  Special thanks to all of them for making that hike so much fun!

New Relationship with Ahnu Footwear

The conference was also a great place to meet vendors who specialize in products for Yogis.  In particular, I was thrilled to connect with Amy Tindal of Ahnu Footwear – a company that makes both hiking AND yoga footwear – what a match for Yoga Hikes!   I’m happy to be a new Ahnu Yoga Ambassador, which is a great program for instructors to sign up for.  I’m also extremely grateful to have Ahnu Footwear for supplying me with a pair of their new Women’s Sugarpine Hiking Shoe!

Ahnu Yoga

Yoga Hikes’ Plan to Beat the Heat!

photo by Taldi WalterFor many, summer is about spending as much time outdoors as possible. We relish the long days, let loose our inner child, and enjoy outdoor activities with friends. Yoga Hikes is a great way to embrace all of these things and celebrate this playful season. There’s just one thing…the heat!

When the summer heat is at it’s most intense and an excessive heat warning or air quality advisory has been issued, Yoga Hikes takes it very seriously. Hazardous weather can have extreme consequences on our bodies, which are just not designed for intense activities in temperatures above 90 degrees. In such conditions, over exerting ourselves can result in heat related illness, exhaustion, and stroke. For this reason, Yoga Hikes will be cancelled during heat waves or days of excessive heat. Since the weather has become increasingly unpredictable, as of July 22, 2013 we’ve decided to modify our cancellation policy. For the rest of the summer, if you register for a hike that is cancelled due to extreme weather, we are happy to offer you the option for a refund or a full credit to your account for use towards a future yoga hike.

We are also going to offer a reduced and modified schedule that will take advantage of the cooler early morning and late evening temperatures.  Please see the current Yoga Hikes Schedule for updated times and check back in August for new 2 hour hikes to be added soon!

Don’t forget, it’s cooler under the trees and all of our Yoga Stops always happen in the shade! So grab a friend, wear loose fitting clothes, bring plenty of water, and prepare for a great workout on your next Yoga Hike!

photo by Taldi Walter







Photos by Taldi Walter

We Love What People are Saying about Yoga Hikes on Yelp!

Yelp LogoWe want Yoga Hikes to be the best experience it can be, so we take your reviews and feedback to heart!  After only 4 weeks in operation we are thrilled that participants have jumped right onto Yelp to share their positive experiences.  Not only is there a great diversity of voices and experiences expressed in these reviews, we’ve heard from 20-somethings to 40 somethings, and representatives from Maryland, DC, and Virginia!   Better yet, of the 7 reviews posted thus far we’ve maintained a 5 out of 5 stars rating!  Thank you!!

Haven’t seen the reviews?  Here’s a sneak peek!

Zack M. thinks – This is going to be the new thing in DC. It’s a good workout, takes place outside, and you get to be social during the hike. We went on the Pierce Mill  route, an hour and a half of hills and beautiful scenery. Danielle, the owner/instructor, is incredibly knowledgeable both about the area (ask her for suggestions on other hiking trails) and yoga. We stopped along the creek, at the top of a hill in a blooming field, and next to the Boulder Bridge for yoga breaks. This is a perfect way to start a weekend and especially great to do with friends or as a couple.

Melody F. writes – I went on my first yoga hike two week ago and I absolutely loved it. I took an Urban Yoga hike which started at Dupont Circle. I’m a plus sized fitness enthusiast and at first I thought it would be awkward to preform yoga in the middle of DC. However, the instructor Danielle was great about reminding us to move with breath, focus on shutting out the outside world, and focus on the pose. I’ve taken a few yoga classes but am still a beginner and I found the 15 minute yoga sessions challenging but do-able.  Once again, Danielle was very good at urging us to try our best, and find the fullest expression of each pose…I had a really fun and positive experience and I will definitely go on another yoga hike again soon.

According to new intern in town, Shannon S. – Just did my first yoga hike (Woodley/Dumbarton Oaks) and really loved it!  I will definitely come back to explore different parks and areas of dc.  I’m an avid hiker, but a yoga beginner and loved the combination of the two activities.  The hiking portions were pretty fast paced, and kept your heartrate up whereas the yoga helped you to relax.  Danielle was great, and very knowledgeable about the areas and yoga.  While hiking, we were all able to socialize and learned a little about the areas we were hiking through as well.  A yoga hike is definitely a great way to start your weekend!FULLLOGO-1

Park enthusiast Cara S. shares – Just did my first ever yoga hike with Danielle…and it will not be my last!  I did the 90 minute Nature Yoga Hike in Rock Creek Park and enjoyed every minute.  Danielle is a great yoga instructor and I was surprised at how much yoga I could actually practice without a mat in the great outdoors.  She’s also a good motivator to keep those legs moving up and down the hills and provides technique advice throughout the 90 minutes.  The hike took me through parts of Rock Creek I had never explored, and I’m certainly going to go back with my pup who will love exploring those trails.  I admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of exercise I got in the 90 minutes…she keeps you moving!

First time yogi Clayton L keeping it simple says – My first yoga class ever –Awesome!!!

For more reviews on Yelp please visit our page at




Yoga Hikes DC featured in Washingtonian’s “4 Unusual Fitness-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day”

We couldn’t be more excited about being mentioned in Washingtonian online!  Special thanks to Well + Being reporter, Melissa Romero, who joined us, not as an observer, but as a full on participant for the Rock Creek Park/Dumbarton Oaks Park/Montrose park Nature Yoga Hike.  We’ve included the excerpt on Yoga Hikes DC below, but for the full article, click on the image or visit

Washingtonian Logo

4 Unusual Fitness-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day
Practice yoga in the woods of DC or try standup paddleboarding for free on the Eastern Shore.

There are lots of fitness-friendly ways to celebrate Memorial Day in Washington, from standup paddleboarding to yoga and hiking in Rock Creek Park.   Photograph via Shutterstock.
Published May 24, 2013 [EXCERPT]

Each year on Memorial Day, through barbecues and picnics with family and friends, we remember those who lost their lives while serving in the US Armed Forces. But before lighting up the grill, why not celebrate by working out with a US Marine or going standup paddleboarding in Annapolis, home to the US Naval Academy? Check out these four unusual fitness-friendly ways to celebrate this weekend.

Yoga and Hiking in DC Saturday at 9 and 11:30 AM

The new program Yoga Hikes DC is led by Danielle Reyes, who takes a small group of yogis and hikers on 90-minute jaunts through Rock Creek Park and Dumbarton Oaks. Appreciate the woods during a brisk 45-minute hike with three 15-minute yoga breaks mixed in. Register at

The Yoga Hikes Season has Begun!

Thank You for Making our Launch Awesome!YogiHiker bridge stretch

If you’ve been wondering why you hadn’t heard about Yoga Hikes before, it’s because we are new! Yoga Hikes DC launched in May 2013 and is off to a great start thanks to people like you!   It’s only May and we’ve had some fantastic Urban and Nature Yoga Hikes and have already made it through days of steady drizzle and days of heat and humidity.  Conditions won’t always be ideal, but that has not stopped  you from showing up and giving 100%.    Those of you who have participated in our inaugural Yoga Hikes have been amazing! We can’t thank you enough for your energy, enthusiasm, and sense of adventure.  It proves what we already knew to be true about this region…it is comprised of amazing people who love to be out and about and are always up for new activities.  So first things first, THANK YOU!

Email Us Your Feedback

Nothing is more rewarding than having a student return for more!  So it was thrilling to have that happen multiple times after only one week of Yoga Hikes!  We hope to keep providing you with a quality yoga and hiking workout and are committed to making your experience as positive as it can be.  To do this, we rely on your feedback and encourage you to contact us directly.  We are new and know that there is always room for every business to grow and improve.  Please always feel free to follow up with an email or call to share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions whether it is about the Yoga Hike you went on, the registration process, or the hike selection!  Send emails to or call Danielle at (202) 670-6120.  You can be among the first (gulp!) to write a review on Yelp at

Last Call for Special Spring Promotion (ends 5/31/13)

Our “We Love Spring” promotion will come to an end at the end of the month!  Use promo code: FFSPRING for 20% off of our Drop In rate or really take advantage and use it on our already discounted 3 and 5 Hikes Pass.

No Mats Necessary and Other YHDC Details

Do I need to bring a mat?  Can I participate if I’m new to yoga?  How far do we hike?Danielle on YogaHike 1

All good questions and we appreciate you asking!

The most commonly asked question to date has definitely been, “Do I need to bring a mat?”  Great news!  You do NOT need to bring a yoga mat with you!  During a Yoga Hike we want you to have an active cardio experience, so your arms and legs need to be free to move unencumbered.  Also, if you’ve practiced yoga outside you know that a mat is not always that helpful and sometimes messy.  What is helpful are our handy mat squares, which provide a good barrier between your bottom and the ground.  Your instructor will have mat squares for everyone to use at the final YogaStop.  That said, the choice to take a seated or full savasana on the ground is up to the comfort level of each individual participant.

Another popular question has been about the level of the yoga.  Yoga Hikes is an open level vinyasa flow yoga format.  Open level yoga means that our yoga practice is accessible to beginners and more advanced yoga practitioners.   Is it helpful to have some prior exposure to yoga?  Sure!  But if  you are new to yoga, a Yoga Hike is a great way to learn.  At the same time, more experienced yogis will be invited to take more advanced versions of poses during the flow and are encouraged to make the practice their own.

Finally, (at least for this post) are the questions about the duration and intensity of the hiking.  You can currently sign up for 90 minutes Yoga Hikes and coming soon, 2 hour Yoga Hikes.  During a 90 minute hike you will likely get in about 45 minutes of hiking in 3 fifteen minute intervals (though this varies depending on the route and location of our Yoga Stops).  As for intensity, this is an outdoor fitness workout.  The hiking is our cardio work, so we keep a comfortable, but steady hiking pace.  Keeping pace with the group is important in order to maintain the workout and get to all of our YogaStops in time!

From time to time we will offer a more restorative Yoga Hike with a leisurely pace and restorative postures.  If you like the idea of going on a Yoga Hike, but would prefer a more leisurely pace, consider organizing a private hike.  Private Yoga Hikes can be tailored to meet the needs and interest of the group.  For more information on private hikes or other questions about the Yoga Hikes, please email or tweet @YogaHikes


The Making of an Urban Yoga Hike

When you go on a Yoga Hike, there are several things we want to be sure you experience.

  • a great yoga flow
  • a good dose of heart pumping cardio, and
  • a really good time outdoors

For these things to occur, its important that the trails we select offer the perfect mix of inclines and interest!  Urban Yoga Hikes are roughly 90 minutes and we want to maximize that time and get you moving through the city.  We start with 15 minutes of yoga at our first “Yoga Stop” and then hike for approximately 15 minutes to get to our next Yoga Stop and repeat this rotation.

The first priority is to find Yoga Stops that are both special and functional places.  On a Nature Hike you can expect to stop in open fields, along the river, or clearings in the woods.  Urban Hikes have more variables!  On Urban Hikes we’ll bring you to public green spaces that offer natural beauty and ample space for participants to stretch out and move.  Of course, practicing yoga in the city means hearing and seeing kids playing, dogs barking, and cars driving by…but you’ll also enjoy the sky above and the dirt and grass beneath your feet.  Combined, it’s all great energy for your practice!

Secondly, we want you to see something new on every hike.  We opt for side streets that are quiet and charming and pull us away from the traffic of downtown.  If we can take you down a street with great architecture, historic homes, or public art that you’ve never noticed before, all the better!

With all of this in mind, we’re very excited about our Dupont/Kalorama Urban Yoga Hike.  On this hike you’ll climb the Spanish Steps, pass the home of the French Ambassador, and possibly flow to the sounds of a pick up basketball on the court at Kalorama Park.  In fact, we’re so pleased with this trail, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak!

Dupont Circle fountain

Spanish Steps full (592x800)

Mitchell Park Circle (800x600)







French Amassador's residence (800x600)Bench in Kalorama Park

Kalorama Recreation Center
Starting in mid-May 2013, you can sign up to join us for this Dupont/Kalorama Urban Hike (90 minutes) on select weeknights .  You can also pull together your own group and schedule a privately guided hike with us.  For more information email or call (202) 670-6120

See you on a Yoga Hike!



How My Yoga Practice Made it’s Way into the Woods

Surrounded by lush green vegetation with the sound of the waves in the distance, I experienced my first full yoga class outdoors and it was transformative. Moving through our poses amid the fresh air and beauty of the outdoors seemed like the most natural thing in the world. I remember saying, “I would practice yoga every day, if it was outdoors!”

My first exposure to yoga was at my gym in a dimly lit mirrored room.  My gaze drifted from my reflection, to the instructor, to those seasoned students doing advanced expressions of each pose.  I struggled to focus solely on the instructor’s verbal cues and instead found myself following those around me.  When we finally transitioned from standing flow to our bellies, I was grateful.  I took a quick peek at my watch for a time check, not much longer.  Finally, we made our way into savasana.  I wondered how long it would last and used the time to make a mental grocery list of what I needed to pick up at Trader Joes after class.

It wasn’t a bad class or a weak instructor, it was me.  I didn’t know the poses physically or by name.  I had no idea what it meant to be present in a yoga class or at the gym in general.  Yoga seemed painfully slow to a cardio-lover like myself.  For a long time I thought that yoga just might not be for me.

Shortly after this experience I went on a  surfing vacation to Cost Rica.  While there, I was convinced to take an outdoor yoga class in Montezuma.  Surrounded by lush green vegetation with the sound of the waves in the distance, I experienced my first full yoga class outdoors and it was transformative.  Moving through our poses amid the fresh air and beauty of the outdoors seemed like the most natural thing in the world.  I remember saying, “I would practice yoga every day, if it was outdoors!”

Many years and many yoga classes later (both indoor and outdoor), I am putting those words into action and combing two of my favorite activities, yoga and hiking!  Spending time outdoors with friends has always been a big part of my lifestyle.  As an avid runner and hiker I am out on the trails several times a week.   As yoga became more a part of my routine, I would find myself taking breaks at favorite spots in the woods and along the river to enjoy a little yoga before getting back on the trail.  It wasn’t long before I realized how complimentary these two activities are together.

Yoga Hikes makes for a fun, active, outdoor yoga experience that can be enjoyed anyone.  It breaks down a 45-60 minute open-level yoga practice into short intervals and integrates them into a 90 min. – 2 hour hike.   It’s a combination of nature, accessible yoga, and cardio in a small group atmosphere.

It’s funny to think back to those days when I dragged myself to yoga, but I’m so glad I did.  I have grown to love my gym yoga, my studio yoga, and my outdoor yoga experiences.  There are many ways to practice yoga and part of the journey is finding the way that speaks to your mind and your body.   Finding my way led me to start Yoga Hikes DC, an experience I hope others will find as enjoyable as I do!

Danielle M. Reyes in Washington, DC