The eternal Saturday morning debate: brunch, or yoga? I could get up early, get dressed, walk all the way to the yoga studio, sweat, and then maybe down some food after I’ve down-dogged my face off. Or, I could just eat brunch. Lounging in the ease of my weekend start choice, after I’ve gorged on stuffed French toast (and home fries, bottomless mimosas, and perhaps a cheese plate), I vow to go to yoga next time. And next time turns into next time. But fear not, Washingtonians, this debate is about to become obsolete. The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown now offers a yoga brunch on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Reservations are required, so be sure to call ahead and save your spot.
I went to one of these yoga brunches ($45 per person) in June, and let me tell you that it was a fantastic way to start my Saturday. I actually confused the two Ritz-Carlton hotels in town, and instead went to the one in downtown D.C. — by the time I got to the Georgetown one, I was flustered and sweaty, but ready to get my blood flowing (and my arms burning with lots of chattarangas). The class takes place outside in the hotel’s scenic urban garden. Having never done yoga outdoors, this was a great experience. Smelling the grass as I bent down to start the sun salutation, and feeling the sunshine on my face as I closed the series was definitely a blood-pumping yoga experience.
The Ritz started the program in early April, and judging by the full class, it already seems pretty popular. The all-levels session is suitable for nascent to advanced yogis. Instructor Alexis McCoy directed the class to center energies through an invigorating series of sun salutations, followed by a series of poses on the ground. I wouldn’t ever call myself an advanced yogi, but I have done my fair share of yoga—ranging from hot vinyasa flows to prescriptive Bikram—and I thoroughly enjoyed the class. I especially appreciated the instances where McCoy suggested adjustments for a deeper stretch and even provided hands-on guidance to better align me.
Post-yoga, my grumbly tummy led the way to Degrees for brunch. The space is very cheery and drenched in sunshine and deepened my post-exercise endorphin high. The yoga brunch package offers diners the choice of any three small plates, including a chicken sausage and Belgian waffle sandwich served with cheddar cheese and an egg over hard, or the local crab cake with roasted corn and black bean relish, Meyer lemon aioli, and a fried tortilla — all served with bottomless mimosas or bloody Marys. I opted for the roasted beet salad, the stuffed Texas toast, and the lemon ricotta pancakes. Chowing down on my brunch offerings, I devoured my salad (I should at least try to eat something healthy after exercising), The eternal Saturday morning debate: brunch, or yoga? and dug into my stuffed Texas toast with toasted almonds, caramelized pineapple, and rich mascarpone, but nothing could prepare me for the taste-bud tingling lemon ricotta pancakes. As I sit here writing, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Light, fluffy, delicate griddlecakes served with a citrusy Meyer lemon curd are easily one of my favorite brunch dishes in town. No need for syrup at all. The pancake was just sweet enough and the lemon curd proved to be the perfect accompaniment to the scrumptious dish. Satisfied, full, and accomplished, I departed to tackle my day. The overall “centeredness” that I felt post-yoga carried through brunch and well into the weekend.
The Ritz-Carlton’s yoga brunch is a great compromise for those who can’t or won’t have that Saturday morning debate. For those suffering from this inner monologue, you don’t have to commit; you can do both. And hey, perhaps the yoga brunch will balance your chakras and you might even make it out for some exercise on Sunday. But do it soon — this brunch ends August 30.
Kruti Ravaliya is a special contributor to The Daily Meal.