Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
The block of P Street NW by the Logan Circle Whole Foods is always a little crazy, especially in the early evening as 9-5ers run after-work errands. The block’s chaos even permeates the calm of Flow Yoga, the place a jumble of people coming and going. But Tuesdays at 8:15 p.m., the second-floor room at the end of the hall can be relied upon to feel like a sanctuary of sorts. The lights are low, voices are muted, and Hugh Byrne is at the helm. He’s been conducting his weekly meditation class at Flow for the past six years, and students’ enthusiasm for his warm, soothing style and depth of knowledge is still undimmed today. In every class, he greets new visitors individually, leads the group through a guided 30-minute meditation, and addresses questions about how to approach the intricacies of human nature. Byrne’s answers tend to be variations on a theme: How to bring one’s mind, which would rather run wild through past and future, back to the present.