Nya Alemayhu, an experienced yoga instructor in Washington D.C., offers free yoga classes on Sundays at S3 Active, a sportswear store in Union Market. The idea to have free classes came to her after realizing the price of yoga instruction was becoming very expensive.
Nya has been practicing since 2004. Her instructors had given her the motivation to take the teacher’s training course, and once completed, she knew she wanted to be an instructor.
“It’s the pillar of my life, it’s just a template to be a better person,” she said when discussing what yoga means to her in her life.
Originally at Dock5 when she started the free class journey, Nya said it was supposed to be just a 30-day pilot period, but it’s been over two years.
The room she holds her class in is often used for whatever pops up in the workout world, such as boot camps or yoga.
When discussing modern practices like hot yoga, or Barre, Nya said she enjoys the slower paced world of classic yoga. “I like things slow, and I like things safe, that doesn’t’ mean I don’t like them challenging, it just means that I don’t have the desire to be in a 100-degree room, sweating and moving so fast that I don’t know what’s happening and I can’t control my breath.”
She says that type of workout actually causes her more stress and defeats the purpose of having a clam practice.
“People that gravitate towards that kind of yoga practice are athletic and see it has a workout instead of a lifestyle.”
“Yoga itself as a lifestyle, as a practice, is good for everyone,” says the experienced teacher when discussing who benefits the most from yoga.
Many students said they simply put “free yoga” into a search engine, and Nya’s class came up, so she is able to serve the community in Washington D.C. by helping them save some money and practice yoga.