Over the Columbus Day weekend, several of The DC Moms were lucky enough to be treated to a yoga class, snacks and shopping at the Tysons Corner Athleta store. And let me tell you: this treat couldn’t have come at better time, as I had just finished my 20-mile training run in preparation for running the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of this month. After crushing soreness and punishing stiffness, a little yoga seemed like just the cure. And the girlfriend time and shopping wouldn’t hurt, either.

Say “om!”

But yoga in the mall? That seemed kind of contradictory, along the lines of sushi at the gas station. But the mall was officially closed, the helpful Athleta staff pushed clothing racks aside to make room for us to spread out our mats, and the extraordinary Cheri Tower of East Meets West Yoga Center in Vienna transported our minds to states of tranquil bliss.

As Sandie, Jodi, Elaine, Sue, Kim, Stacy, Ellen, and I contorted ourselves into warrior positions and child poses, I began to focus on my breathing, which helped bring me to a deeper state of relaxation. And it felt so good to stretch my tired, sore muscles. I was really getting into a zen-like state, but then I noticed: the clothes. How could I be expected to remain calm when there were so many pretty things around me? Things like this, and this, and oh…. this! (Note to husband: that last one would not be inappropriate as a Christmas gift. Just sayin’.)

I’ve always salivated over the Athleta catalogs: they not only carry awesome, high-quality workout clothes, but also durable-yet-adorable pre- and post-workout wear: sweater dresses, corduroy skirts, hoodies. And now that they have several brick-and-mortar stores in the area, it’s even easier to indulge my shopping habit. (Another reason to love the brand: Athleta is committed to giving back to the community in the form of support for local yoga and running events, including Girls on the Run – a group this marathon mama is hoping to introduce to my Kindergartener daughter in a few years.)

But back to the breathing, the stretching, the awesome pose I forget the name of, in which you lie on the floor like a corpse and zone out. That is, until your yoga instructor gently rouses you back to life, because it’s time for snacks and shopping. Thanks, Cheri, and the staff at Athleta! We’ll be back!