Early on Sunday morning, July 21, two local men, Michael Joel Hall and Michael Roike were brutally attacked by a group of three men in their Eckington neighborhood residence near 3rd and U Streets NE. Details about who the attackers were are scarce and the motive of the attack is not yet clear. However, DC Police have started investigating the case as an anti-gay hate crime.
After the attack Michael Joel Hall was taken to the hospital with a broken cheekbone and had surgery. He owns Mid-City Yoga and is an ambassador with the Lululemon store in Logan Circle.
Moreover, the couple had recently lost their Logan Circle apartment when the building housing the Mid City Deli and Carry Out Deli caught fire on fire June 7 (see Fire at Mid City Deli Building, 14th and P NW).
How You Can Help
The community has come together in support of Hall and Roike — Hall has no health insurance to pay for his hospital expenses.
- A PayPayl account fund has been established to help with Hall’s costs has been established.
- Cobalt/30 Degrees (17th and R Streets NW) is hosting a fundraiser Thursday at 9 pm, June 26, with all door proceeds ($3 cover) go to the MJHFund.
- The Flow Yoga Center in Logan Circle (1450 P Street NW) will host a fundraiser, “In the Name of Love” fundraiser on Friday, July 27, 8:15 pm.
- Join the DC yoga community for a special donation yoga class benefiting Hall on Sunday, August 5, at 5 pm at Meridian Hill Park, 16th and W Streets NW.
From Mike Kohn. Have an urban etiquette right that needs to be wronged? Find Mike on Twitter at @mike_kohn or send him an email at mike[AT]borderstan.com.
Featured image from christaki in the Borderstan flickr pool.
Thanks to my sister, who is an avid yoga fan, I finally got on the bandwagon and started my own practice last summer. The athletic nature of it combined with the idea of locating your inner balance was incredibly appealing and got me instantly hooked.
Besides the practice itself, part of the reason I kept coming back for more was that the people at my studio, The Studio DC on Connecticut Avenue at R Street NW, had that sense of warmth and friendliness that made you want to come back — everyone seemed to know the etiquette of yoga already and they were more than happy to educate newbies like me who had no idea what they were doing. Their sense of etiquette was impressive even to me (and, admittedly, I’m a little high maintenance when it comes to etiquette, in case you haven’t noticed).
Since starting my yoga voyage, I’ve been to a couple of different studios and it’s not always the case that people have the sense of common courtesy that you just expect. I’ve seen people take up more than the necessary amount of space, like the jerk who takes up two parking spaces so no one can park in front or behind them, and it’s common to see people leave equipment scattered about. Come on folks, get it together.
So whether you’re a yogi or lifting or running at the gym, here’s some food for thought:
- Make room. If you want a private gym, invite a trainer to your house. But otherwise, don’t leave your stuff strewn about, particularly if you’re at the gym or the studio or wherever you work out at high traffic times, like post-work or weekend afternoons. Moreover, don’t you dare give me a nasty look when I ask you to move your yoga mat six inches to the right so I can have my own space.
- Clean up. Have you ever gotten on an elliptical and found it to be wet with sweat? If you have, you know just how disgusting that is. Yes, it’s a gym and I’m going to sweat myself, but I’d prefer to have a clean machine to start with for sanitation purposes. Every gym I’ve ever been to has a spray bottle with paper towels for you to give a quick wipe down, so be a pal and use what they’re offering.
- Put your toys away. When I go to yoga, I always grab a block and a blanket that they offer. If I go to the gym, a lot of the times they’ll have a towel for me to use while I’m there. No matter what, I put away the stuff I borrowed. Do we need a Kindergarten lesson refresher?
- Why are you there again? I remember my days at GW watching rows of runners who looked flawless in their tight fitting clothes (of both genders) and makeup (that one is mostly at the ladies, sorry). Are you taking up my machine because you want people to notice you?
Anyone else have any horror stories when it comes to your workout routine?
On a recent chilly Saturday morning, I found myself in an unusually awkward position. Somehow I’d managed to drag myself out of my lovely, warm bed and get over to one of Kim Weeks’ classes at Boundless Yoga, and I happened to be the most inflexible and inexperienced student in the studio that day. Bent over with one leg straight up and thighs trembling, all I could think was, “I’m not cut out for this. Everyone is looking at me. I should just get out of here.”
“Does this feel scary?” Weeks suddenly said, and for a moment I thought she was talking directly to me. “Honor that. Go into child’s pose if you need to.”
At least a third of the students dropped to their mats, me included. It was the first time since I began practicing yoga that I truly felt unashamed to be “that person” — you know what I’m talking about, the one who, along with the 75-year-old and guy with a back injury, just can’t do it, which is infuriating since I can do just about anything else I set my mind to.
As a former Wall Street executive, Weeks understands the stubborn mentality of the DC professional and is passionate about teaching people to listen to their bodies. After 10 years of running Boundless Yoga (and having two children in the process), she’s more than a professional yoga instructor – she’s a professional DC small business owner.
Borderstan: Why did you decide to open up a yoga studio?
Weeks: I was a recovering corporate executive — on Wall Street for most of my 20s and traveling a lot. I found that yoga was a portable practice I could do anywhere. I moved to DC to expand my horizons, and I was burned out from having this ungrounded lifestyle. DC is full of people who are stressed out, so I decided to open a studio and try it for a year. Ten years later, here we are.
Borderstan: What’s your philosophy on yoga?
Weeks: My philosophy on yoga comes from Shavasana (corpse pose). When I began yoga, I was a girl in my 20s doing marathon training, and I couldn’t believe we were given permission to lie there. It was a profound moment in time where I felt like everything could be okay. Relaxation should be an inalienable right. Yoga is not about perfecting the pose — there’s no such thing as a perfect pose. It’s about experiencing your own definition of yoga. Flexibility is a subjective term. I would love for people to let go of any preconceived notion of what yoga is.
Borderstan: How has your life changed since you became a small business owner?
Weeks: The fundamental change is the acknowledgement that by running my own business I have to make critical decisions on a daily basis that are my decisions only. I had to learn how to do everything while managing people well and maintaining my own yoga practice. I can’t hide. You have to be real in ways that you don’t have to when you’re sitting at a desk.
Borderstan: What’s the biggest challenge of being a small business owner in DC?
Weeks: The hardest thing about doing business in DC is getting through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). It’s myopic, byzantine and filled with people who are saddled with a system that is not digital enough. It’s unintentionally set up to obstruct a business owner from making simple decisions. It took us three business days to get a permit to put an awning on our building. For a small business, that is a huge opportunity cost in terms of what else we could be doing.
Borderstan: What advice do you have to anyone wanting to start a business?
Weeks: Be clear about how much working capital you need. Know your competition, how you are bringing value to people’s lives and your mission. And let go of any idea that you have days off. Running a business is like having a child in that you are totally responsible for its survival and health in the beginning, and ideally you send it away to college and let others take care of it in the far future.
Boundless Yoga is at 2001 13th Street NW, just north of U Street. Follow them on Twitter at @boundlessyogadc.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Opens Tonight at Lincoln
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens a four-week run at the Lincoln Theatre tonight on U Street. The theater has a four-week partnership with Landmark Theatres to show The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; it runs through January 18. You can view the schedule and purchase tickets online. We will have more later this morning on Mayor Gray’s Tuesday press conference on the city’s plans for the venue when the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities officially takes over the theater on January 1.
Great Wall Szechuan House Reopens in Style
For those in search of A Christmas Story style Chinese feast, a fully renovated and reopened Great Wall Szechuan House on 14th Street NW may fit the bill. The Washington Post gives you a sneak peek into the new space — I covet that exposed brick. I am also coveting that pork dish. There are many restaurants battling for your dining dollars on that stretch of real estate, why not give Great Wall a chance in the new space and help pay off their bills?
Creative Space at Tranquil Yoga
Say what you will about DC regulations, at least they are enhance an ethos?* For owner of Tranquil Space, Kimberly Wilson, the requirements on spa and massage business literally opened space for Tranquil Space Labs inside the yoga studio. As Express (Washington Post) reports, the former spa room is now a space for creative thinking endeavors, which kicked off with holiday crafts and Prosecco. Clove-scented oranges and bubbly? My chi feels better already. (* indicates a reference to a personal favorite Big Lebowski reference and is not intended to support or condemn various regulations that may impact our many small businesses.)
What do We do During Layovers?
Credit the Onion for this gem. As you begin your holiday travel, stay safe and try not to be obvious in your eavesdropping on your seatmate’s family drama. I’m off checking out soda varieties in Connecticut and North Carolina!