“I’ve heard some people complain that Unity Woods is too intense, as in, serious about yoga.  Well, I can’t disagree with that.  Unity Woods is a full-on Iyengar studio, and I think most of the instructors I’ve had...[More]

Fostering health, serenity, and awareness since 1979

Course Descriptions

Community Classes

Community classes are mixed level, one-hour asana classes taught by a rotating selection of Unity Woods teachers. Offered from 6:00-7:00pm every Friday of the session at our Bethesda and Woodley Park studios, these are $8 cash-only drop-in classes.

Asana (Posture)

Drop-ins are welcome anytime during our class session. However, you should be aware  that most classes are progressive, with instruction in each class that builds on material from previous weeks. Students will achieve best results with regular attendance from the beginning of each session. For some special classes, such as Gentle I or Seniors’ Yoga, joining any time is fine.

Introductory Series – This is a four-week course that introduces students to the fundamentals of yoga as taught at Unity Woods. Appropriate for those wanting to start classes in mid-session, or who are interested in a brief introduction to our method. (This is not a prerequisite to Level I.) Please note: Because of the brief nature of these courses, no make-ups, discounts or refunds are available for Introductory Series.

Gentle classes are for students who are less flexible, not so strong,  have a particular limitation, or would prefer a more slowly paced, less rigorous class. Appropriate for pre- and postnatal students as well. May be joined at any time.

Level I classes introduce beginning students and students new to Unity Woods’ approach to the fundamentals of posture and breath.

Level I/II classes are for students who have completed Level I and prefer a gradual transition to Level II. This level is also ideal for those with previous yoga experience who are new to Unity Woods.

Level II classes are for students who have completed the introductory (Level I) course. The basic poses will be refined with an emphasis on all the standing poses. Inverted poses (headstand, plow, and shoulderstand) are introduced.

Level II/III classes are for students firmly established in their practice who are ready to move beyond the basics. Inversions are a regular part of these classes. Pre-requisite: 5 minute freestanding Sirsasana.

Level III classes are for students with previous Iyengar training who are strong in all the basic poses and can do headstand, shoulderstand, and plow with confidence. Pre-requisite: 10 minute freestanding Sirsasana.

Advanced Asana classes are offered periodically and are limited to students who meet the listed prerequisites for each topic. See “Workshops” page for advanced classes offered this session.

Pranayama Classes

Pranayama I affords those interested in working with the breath an opportunity to move beyond the elementary levels incorporated into regular asana classes. Prerequisite: one year of study and practice of asana in the Iyengar Method.

Pranayama II, III, IV classes are for students who have completed the preceding levels.

Pranayama V classes are for students who have completed Level IV or have received extensive Iyengar training in pranayama elsewhere. See “Workshops” page for advanced pranayama classes offered this session.

Pranayama VI classes are for students who have extensive Iyengar-style pranayama training and who have been practicing digital pranayama for two years or more. See “Workshops” page for advanced pranayama classes offered this session.

Special Classes

Back Care, for those with back injuries or conditions, emphasizes poses that improve stability and flexibility of the spine and hips by lengthening and strengthening supporting muscles groups. Correct postural imbalances and use breath awareness to reduce stress and pain. Physician’s approval strongly encouraged.

Yoga for 50+ classes (Arlington) are appropriate for students new to yoga and those with some physical limitations. The practice is designed to improve balance, build strength and stamina, and improve flexibility.

Seniors’ Yoga is a gently paced class designed specifically for seniors. It approaches asanas in ways that enhance strength, suppleness, and balance and covers a wide variety of poses. Classes also cover restorative poses and guided breathing. This class may be joined at any time.

All Levels Express is geared toward all levels of students who have limited time in their schedule. Modifications will be made according to level and/or need.