On my way to teach Saturday 8:30am Prenatal Yoga at Mind the Mat…
Me, passing out Mind the Mat onesies to the pregnant mamas after class
…the words of Justin Timberlake’s song “Can’t Stop The Feeling” float into my mind and I can’t help but drop into an arm balance mid step…
Timberlake would have done well to have had the video filmed in Del Ray, Alexandria on a Saturday morning because it’s hoppin’ with hipsters jammin’ on head phones, babies cruisin’ in strollers, empty-nesters walking rescue dogs, and business owners making (or skate boarding) their way to work.
Megan Brown rolling into work. She’s been teaching Pilates Boot Camp Saturday mornings at Mind the Mat for almost 10 years.
Folks are strolling down the avenue, shopping at the farmer’s market, congregating at quaint coffee shops, or dashing into Mind the Mat with their yoga mats. Inside Mind the Mat, the students are in the zone and that “sunshine in my pocket” vibe is so contagious you can feel it in your soul.
When I arrive, Allie Menchel’s 8am Hot Flow Yoga has already started and it’s packed. After class, students cool down in the Mind the Mat lounge and Allie hangs with them for a while.
Allie’s student, Peter, above with Allie, first came to Mind the Mat when he registered for the Yoga Fundamentals Series, which is perfect for beginners. We now see Peter several times a week, especially on Saturday mornings for Allie’s class. He says, “once you start at Mind the Mat, you can’t stop!”
On her way out of class, another student, Elise, who just finished up Saturday 8:30am Flow Yoga with Chelsea Henderson, tells me exactly why she can’t stop. She says:
Mind the Mat has always been a place for me to find calm and strength, whether it’s Hot Classes, a Prenatal or Postpartum Class, or a Barre Class. I found Mind the Mat in 2011 and I’ve maintained my practice here through two pregnancies. The studio always has a class that I want to take. Mommy and Me classes are a great place for community and rebuilding my practice, and Yoga Barre is the perfect weeknight release.
Chelsea, Elise’s instructor, graduated from the Mind the Mat Yoga Teacher Training Program and embodies the Mind the Mat vibe. Her classes have that magical mix of joy, humor, care, inspiration, and knowledge.
Saturday morning at Mind the Mat reaches its peak at 9:45am with Megan Brown’s Boot Camp class. Class hasn’t even started and the excitement of coming together is already in the air.
After Boot Camp, I run into Sally with her daughter Liz.
I ask her why she can’t stop and she tells me:
You and Megan bring so much health and joy to Del Ray. I am beyond grateful. Mind the Mat couldn’t be more perfect! You offer Yoga, Barre, Pilates, and Bootcamp, and my Monthly Membership is the best deal in town.
Sally has that after-workout sweat and glow and I know it’s because Megan’s Pilates Boot Camp is a lotta bit hard, and still it’s a massive party every Saturday.
So, come on, come on.
Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.
Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.