Meet in the middle
Capitol Quarter Volunteer Yoga project
Wednesdays, 630pm - 730pm
CAPITOL QUARTER COMMUNITY BUILDING (First Floor)
1000 5th St SE Washington, DC 20003
andrea gilliam, Founder
Project founder and director Andrea Gilliam moved to the Capitol Quarter neighborhood in 2012 with her husband, and they welcomed their and daughter into their family last year. As a growing interracial family, they wanted to live in a neighborhood that was both exciting and walkable as well as socioeconomically and racially diverse. Finding a blended neighborhood in which to anchor is surprisingly challenging in the DC metro area, where more than a third of zip codes in the D.C. metro area rank in the top 5 percent nationally for income and education.
Fortunately, Capitol Quarter, a subdivision of Capital Riverfront in Southeast DC, proved to be just the right place.
After completing her RYT 200 hour training with Chris Parkison (VIDA Fitness at the Yards) and Julia Romano (Yoga NoMa) a “Whole Yogi” vinyasa flow style, Andrea wanted to create more opportunities for neighbors to get to know one another. What better way than to share the joy of yoga right in her own community, with neighbors she might not otherwise meet.
Also believing that the full practice of community yoga needed to be a textured as the residents of the neighborhood, she secured donations for yoga mats and blocks and enlisted her fellow yogi and neighbor, John Stevenson, to help build a community yoga program. They worked with the D.C. Housing Authority and the Community Services Foundation to be able to hold classes at the Capitol Quarter Community Building.
Andrea Gilliam came to meditation and yoga seeking a safe space while pregnant with her daughter, Genevieve. As her body transformed and changed, yoga helped her mind stay calm and her body stay strong. When she’s not practicing law, playing with her daughter, or teaching yoga, she enjoys snuggling with Manny, her rescued Tibetan Terrier, also known as the holy dogs of Tibet.
John A. Stevenson, Co-director
Project co-founder John Stevenson moved to the southwest side of the Capital Riverfront area, once he completed his time as a assistant research professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. As a social/data scientist now working in the private sector with significant tele-work hours, it was important to him to live in a walkable neighborhood with lots of socioeconomic diversity, and large amounts of historical public housing. In the short time that John has lived in the neighborhood, the racial and socioeconomic demographics have shifted considerably, as the density of the neighborhood has increased from new construction.
To better get to know many of the new residents, and maintain a healthy lifestyle, John joined Vida Fitness at the Yards, and met Andrea during their RYT 200 hour “Whole Yogi” vinyasa flow style yoga teacher training. A long time critic of various forms of segregation, and the mental health dangers of aging in place in changing (read: gentrifying) neighborhoods, John enthusiastically worked to support Andrea's vision for a self-perpetuating, sustainable community yoga program.
Meet the rest of our yogis, here.
John A. Stevenson
John Stevenson came to meditation and yoga as a way to find a new challenge. In working as a research professor, John had become alienated from his own sense of physicality and everyday movement, and in not thinking of himself as flexible, yoga was quite the challenge. As his body changed, yoga helped his mind learn focus and ease, bringing a needed sense of balance to a Type-A life. When he’s not working as a social scientist , or teaching yoga, John enjoys traveling (to eat and shop) and working as the founding editor of the South Living Room.
Thanks for generous donations, we provide all the basic equipment needed for a safe and fun yoga flow. So come as you are for some free yoga.
Help design the next schedule! We incorporate community feedback from you so that we can make a free yoga schedule that is the most useful for the community. Please consider filling out this very brief (under 5 minutes!) survey, and signing up for the mailing list below.
Other teachers from the training generously volunteered their time and talents to teach classes, and this summer, they launched exciting regular opportunities for fun physical activity and community building through the practice of yoga, creating to provide a space for residents, both old and new, to come together. The seniors from the senior center located next door have been particularly active participants! The classes are 100% Free!
Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 pm Move and Breathe
Join our group of vinyasa yoga teachers to strengthen the mind and move the body in this mid-week beginniner's flow. The Wednesday series combines diverse music and dynamic movement designed as a convenient way to explore your weekday yoga practice. A little more movement, a little more challenge than many free classes, this yoga class is designed for beginner yogis, and intermediate yogis looking for a stretch and restore. Move and Breathe is an easy way to finish your day, wind down, ready to enjoy the rest of your evening and a sound night’s sleep.
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