in partnership
(Addenbrooke Burr, courtesy of Flow Yoga Center)

WorkFlow, where work and yoga intertwine

More and more companies seem to be giving employees the option to work from home, but what happens when you have kids running around at home or you just can't concentrate from your couch?

Sure, Starbucks is a great option, but like the sign outside WorkFlow says "You can't do a down dog in a coffee shop."

WorkFlow at the Flow Yoga Center has recently popped up in Northwest D.C. and is giving Washingtonians the choice to work at a peaceful yoga studio, where 15-minute meditation breaks are an option and you can reserve an hour long yoga class in the middle of your work day.

I took it upon myself to try out WorkFlow for a day and see what it was all about. I arrived to WorkFlow around 9:30 a.m. on a Thursday and got comfortable in a quiet room upstairs. There were little desks, blankets and large pillows set up at every work station, along with complimentary tea and coffee.

After I settled in, I headed out to my 10:30 a.m. hot yoga class down the street at Flow Yoga Center's 14th Street location. I would have to say this was the best part of my day. It is very rare that I get a workout in before I start my workday.

Owners Debra and Ian Mishalove opened Flow Yoga Center on P Street in 2005. Finding the demand for yoga studios in D.C. was growing, they opened a second location in 2015.

When the Mishaloves opened the 14th Street location they moved all the daytime classes at the P Street studio to the 14th Street studio, leaving P Street empty most of the day.

"We realized there was an opportunity here in the empty space and we identified a need," says Catherine Zack, an instructor at Flow Yoga Center. "The need being a place for people to work that wasn't a coffee shop, at home, or the office. A space that supported a healthy work-life balance."

According to the Flow Yoga Center website, "WorkFlow is a wellness-based co-working space, blending quiet and natural-light filled work spaces, yoga and meditation breaks, and community. Taking a lead from the latest in health and wellness research, WorkFlow promotes what humans need to be most productive and successful (and happy!) at work... genuine work-life balance."

And they are true to their word! The room I sat in had plants set up along open windows letting in fresh air. People would get up in the middle of working and stretch or do a yoga pose, and almost everyone went to meditation breaks. At WorkFlow they encourage taking a break, whether it be two minutes or 15 minutes.

Flow Yoga Center started testing out WorkFlow in February 2016 with popup days like WorkFlow Fridays and decided to fully launch WorkFlow on a daily basis on March 28.

Entrepreneur Emily Powell has begun to frequent WorkFlow. "Owning my own business and working from home, it is a lot of time alone and a lot of time not moving my body," said Powell. "One of my goals this year was to try and get out more and get more into a routine." That is where WorkFlow has helped out in Powell's life.

"My favorite things are the little touches like the essential oils, meditation breaks and snacks," explains Powell. "It is the added touches that I think make you feel like you can be productive in a space that is comfortable and promoting a healthy balance."

"The science and research are starting to support what we've already known and felt in our guts; that when our work-life balance is out of whack, our health, our productivity, and our relationships suffer," said Zack. "So we've created a place where you can not only go to get your work done and be productive, but you can also take a break to move your body or simply take a deep breath."