@CapitalYogaGirl Kelsey Harkness

Connecticut native Kelsey Harkness moved to DC to pursue a career in politics and journalism. While practicing yoga to separate from hectic workdays, Kelsey began a yoga Instagram account using @CapitalYogaGirl as the handle and showing her awe of the District through yoga poses. Kelsey lives in the Capitol Riverfront with her boyfriend and pup Utah.

How would you describe the Capitol Riverfront to friends and visitors?

The Capitol Riverfront is like nothing else in DC. It's spacious, inviting, kid (and dog!) friendly, and a great place to spend time with friends.

Yoga is obviously a great way to detach and find your zen. What is your favorite zen spot in the neighborhood?

Yes, detaching and getting away from the hustle and bustle is so important, especially for people who live and work in DC. I take a lot of yoga classes right here at VIDA Fitness, which is such a great gym. They even have a rooftop pool, which is pretty ridiculous!

What’s your favorite yoga pose and why?

My favorite yoga pose is a handstand. If you follow me on Instagram, you see me doing a lot of these. I grew up a gymnast and find them so fun. I definitely started yoga for the physical aspect—the handstands, and so forth—but after practicing now for five years, I’ve grown to love the simple poses just as much. Yoga can be so intimidating, but what I tell people is, there’s a class and an instructor for everyone. You just have to find the style you like.

This past weekend I actually began training to become a certified instructor, and soon I hope to be offering community yoga classes around the Riverfront for anyone to join.

Keeping a healthy, active lifestyle is important. What are your go-to fitness activities—besides yoga of course—in the Capitol Riverfront?

If I’m not at Vida Fitness, you’ll probably find me walking my dog Utah on the boardwalk. It’s such a beautiful walk, and really, an underrated area of this city. When I’m in the mood for a run, I start at the boardwalk and make my way around the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. It’s a beautiful loop and you don’t have to worry about stopping at red lights. 

Since spring and summer are right around the corner, what is your favorite Capitol Riverfront event to enjoy in the warm weather?

The Friday Night Concert series, of course! During the summers the neighborhood brings in some great bands that are free for anyone to attend. It’s the perfect way to spend a Friday night with friends. The only downside is that they attract such a crowd that the rest of the city is catching onto our little oasis! 

Use one word to describe the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.

Peaceful.

What is your best advice to those who are thinking about moving to the Capitol Riverfront, and to those who have just moved to the neighborhood?

Get outside! Even in the winter, this neighborhood has so much to offer. Not many people living in Washington, DC get to wake up with a beautiful river in their backyard, so take advantage of it. Everyday, I see signs for new restaurants and storefronts that are about to open. Go out and explore! 

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