You will notice that we don’t call our classes hatha or vinyasa or ashtanga or power or any mashup of the foregoing. For a beginning student, these terms are often confusing and not terribly descriptive. (“Hmmm, do I want to take hatha vinyasa flow or gently flowing vinyasa or vinyasa hatha mix?”) We also don’t like Level 1, 2 and 3. That’s too judgy, in our opinion. The following descriptions are hopefully useful to you. Give us a call any time if you have questions about a class. T(w)eens ages ten and older are welcome to attend any class with a parent.
Active Yoga will get your heart pumping. Your breath is coordinated with flowing movement. Your body supports you in challenging poses. Your mind is focused only on your mat. You glow. You sweat, too. This is the kind of vinyasa class that many yoga studios offer, to be honest. Not with our spectacular teachers mind you, but not everyone is as lucky as we are.
This ongoing introduction to yoga gives students a chance to break down poses in detail and ask questions. It’s kind of like yoga teacher training, but without the anatomy and extensive homework. Great for those new to yoga as groundwork for our other classes, but also an opportunity for experienced students to refine their practice. This is a cyclical class that repeats every six weeks. Check with us to see which poses will be reviewed each week, and if you miss a session don’t worry, it will be back soon.
Baby + Me
We could certainly have called this post-natal yoga, but that sounds so clinical. This class is all about giving Moms with new additions to the family a time to maintain or re-establish connectivity with their bodies-—bodies that are still going through an enormous amount of change. Throw in new and different time demands and stresses, whether this is your first or your fifth, and we are pretty sure you could use some yoga right now. Any babies who are not yet crawling are welcome. If they are older, you’ll both be happier in the Family Yoga class.
Although we recommend that if you have never taken yoga before you start with our Asana ABC’s, this class is also appropriate for your first yoga class ever. Our instructors will give you lots of encouragement and personal attention as you become comfortable with body alignment, breath, and pose sequences. We recommend that you keep attending Beginning Yoga classes until you feel like you’ve got the hang of it, at which time you might consider trying Yoga-all Levels or Active classes.
Yes, it is as much fun as it sounds! We define family relatively loosely (get it?), so if Aunt Sharon is watching the kiddos and wants something to do, she can bring everyone to Family Yoga. This is a full participation class, with time for activity and relaxation for both the adults and the children. We welcome kids from toddlers to four year olds.
If you can blink, you can do yoga, but when you are carrying extra pounds yoga can be seriously intimidating. That’s why we offer HeavyWeight Yoga, which is specifically designed with modified poses, slower pacing, and lots of encouragement to help inflexible, overweight or obese students realize all the benefits of yoga in a safe and unintimidating environment. Whether you want to supplement your weight loss program, improve your strength and stamina, or simply learn to love your curves, HWY is your gateway to a happier, healthier you.
Kids Yoga (ages 3-5)
As a parent of young kids, you know you have to invest in yourself so that you can be your best, but it is often difficult to find time. We have a solution! Join us for an all levels yoga class with other parents in the Lake Studio while your 3-5 year old child attends the Kids yoga class held simultaneously in the Garden Studio next door. Kids Yoga is taught by Megan Harty, owner of Greentree Yoga Chicago, which specializes in yoga for children. Her goal is to bring calmness into children’s daily lives, as well as to promote physical activity.
Kids Yoga (ages 6-9)
Yoga can help kids develop concentration skills, body acceptance, and lengthen attention spans. We know a lot of adults who haven’t mastered those skills, so starting your children on their journey toward greater awareness and acceptance sooner rather than later makes a great deal of sense to us.
Lunchtime Express Yoga
A noon class that will fit in a little bit of everything. You will definitely move your body, but we will try to keep you from being drenched in sweat. We’ll also do some relaxation and de-stressing moves at the end. Then you can go back to your daily grind with a clear mind, a feeling of peace, and an good excuse to have a mid afternoon snack.
We have heard whispers that yoga people and Pilates people don’t mix. This is puzzling to us. Granted, you could spend five minutes talking with each of our teachers and pretty easily pick out the Pilates instructors. When they talk about physical exertion, they get a dreamy, faraway look in their eyes. The word “core” comes up in conversation with astonishing frequency. And when they say “Cadillac” they don’t mean a car. We like them. A lot. And we think incorporating Pilates in your weekly routine makes a ton of sense. Pilates develops core strength, increases flexibility, improves posture, and facilitates body control. Not sure about you, but we could certainly use more of that.
Congratulations! We are sure you will spend the next nine months feeling amazing every day, glowing from within, bouquets of wildflowers spontaneously appearing in your hands, as you embody Mother Earth and her bounteous fertility. But in case it’s not exactly like that, you should come to yoga. It will help ease the aches of bones, muscles and organs that are changing to meet new demands. We can’t promise that you won’t waddle eventually, but we think you will look and feel better doing it.
The human body contains more than 600 muscles. Learn to release every single one of them in this deeply relaxing class. Lights will be dimmed. Props will be abundantly used to support your body as you sink into the bolster, blanket or floor, completely letting go of all the tension you store. So ask yourself—what part of your body needs some serious tension relief?
Slow Mo Flow
If you like a flowing practice but sometimes feel rushed moving from one pose to the next, then this could be the class for you. We will do typical flowing sequences but at a pace that allows for slow and complete inhalations and exhalations. Your breath will dictate the speed at which you move your body. We will also explore some dynamic pose sequences. This class is very suitable for beginners, but experienced practioners who want a change of pace may enjoy it as well.
Stiff Guy Yoga
Let’s face it. A lot of you guys are as flexible as a sheet of plywood. But there is hope for you. You may never be able to touch your forehead to your shins, but this class will absolutely help you loosen a stiff back or tight hamstrings, and strengthen all the tiny intrinsic muscles of your body that you are unaware of 98% of the time. Athletes from many sports use yoga as a cross-training tool – think Lebron, Ray Lewis, Evan Longoria, Victor Cruz, and others. But even if most of your game playing is done on an Xbox, Stiff Guy Yoga will help you. And just think how happy you’ll make the special person in your life when you say “Honey, I’ve been thinking…let’s take a yoga class!”
We hate the idea of “levels” for yoga classes, because it suggests that some people are better at yoga than others. This is simply not true. Your yoga is YOUR yoga and if you’re growing in your practice, you are exactly where you should be. These open yoga classes are perfect for any student who is looking for a solid, challenging yoga class. Sometimes these classes flow, sometimes you’ll spend a lot of time holding poses or working towards apex poses. Each teacher brings his or her own experience to the class to make it special. This is also a good class to choose if you are coming with a friend and your yoga skill levels don’t exactly match up. It has something for everyone.
This is a flowing practice done with light hand weights (2-8 pounds, your choice). You do plank holding the weights and slowly lowering your body to the mat. You do warrior poses with weights lifted overhead and then out to the side. You focus not only on coordinating breath with movement, but also on moving the weights gracefully and with control. This active class that builds cardiovascular capability, total body strength, and flexibility as well.
Dance, Movement and Other Classes
These classes are especially good for people who run, lift, bike or do yoga or pilates because the movements in those disciplines are very linear. Dance movements aren’t linear at all, and as such they help you to move differently, balance differently, think differently (as in not at all!) Plus, they offer opportunities for cardiovascular activity, which we should all be doing 30 minutes a day seven days a week. Every class we offer had to meet criteria of being distinctive (the world doesn’t need another straight-up Zumba class), and had to be taught by an expert who will meet you where you are and encourage you to enjoy the experience.
Small Group Personal Training
Small Group Personal Training uses a combination of yoga, floor exercises, free weights and other tools to tone and strengthen. Callie will tailor each workout to the students on hand, making sure that each person gets a workout perfectly tailored to their current fitness level. You get all the benefits of personal training without the price tag of a private session. A great foundation to improve your performance in any sport or activity that is suitable for beginners or more advanced students. Intensity will be moderate, although you control how hard you are working. Class size is limited to seven students and you must pre-register for class.
BollyGroove Cardio and BollyGroove Kids
Whether you secretly dance to Jai Ho or have never heard of Bollywood before, BollyGroove Cardio will provide an hour of endless fun while giving you a great workout! This incredibly fun class will burn up to 700 calories, de-stress you like nothing else, make you active and teach you meaningful and theme-appropriate Bollywood dance moves. Absolutely no prior experience necessary. Purchase class cards at www.bollygroove.com. Already have one? We accept the BollyFlex and BollyValue cards.
A dance class set each week to your favorite show tunes and movie soundtracks. Think Chicago, Dirty Dancing, Oklahoma, Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Chorus Line. You will learn a variety of dance styles listening to an eclectic variety of tunes, all while revving your heart rate and improving your conditioning. Did we mention how fun it is? If you are really nice, we may even take requests on occasion.
Hula hooping is a great cardio workout that can burn 400-600 calories an hour! Perfect for children, safe for expecting mothers (with special pregnancy hoop), middle age men and women, all ages and body types welcome. This class will introduce basics of hula hooping and HoopFit fusing familiar cardio exercises. We will cover hooping at the waist, hips, above the head, and off the body basics. HoopFit will tighten your core, glutes and arms using the hoops as a resistance tool. Don’t have a hoop? No worries! We have hoops available for rental for $5. Come wearing comfortable clothes–yoga attire is perfect.
There are many ways to meditate. Some may seem to be in direct conflict with others, but we can let you in on a little secret-they all work! This particular meditation will be performed while sitting in a chair as you are led through a visual meditation exploring the movement of energy through and around the body, the concept of present time, and the power of neutrality. The class includes instruction as well as guided meditation practice. It is designed for beginners but experienced meditators are welcome.
For us, the frequency of “going out dancing” peaked in college and has gone down steadily since, save the occasional wedding. Nia gives you a chance to shake it without feeling like you have to have trained at Julliard to do so. Nia draws from Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, jazz dance, modern dance, Duncan dance, yoga, Alexander Technique and Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais. Every class offers a unique combination of 52 moves that correspond with the main areas of the body: the base, the core and the upper extremities. It is mostly structured, but allows for improvisation too. It is low impact but high energy. Anyone can do it. And the music is a blast. Trust us – you will love it.
We’ll start with pronunciation – chee gung. It is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. With roots in Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophy, qi gong is a practice to cultivate and balance qi or “intrinsic life energy”. Qi gong practice involves rhythmic breathing coordinated with slow stylized repetition of fluid movement, a calm mindful state, and visualization of guiding qi through the body. The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qi gong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system.
Zumba is a fun, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party™ that is moving people toward joy and health. Mary Lou Cerami will mix it up with high energy Latin beats for cardio and world rhythms that are perfect for stretching and centering.