"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Ilchi Lee, the founder of Dahn Yoga. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere."
To make this philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of dahn—the Korean word for "life force" or "energy"—with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program designed to unlock inner peace and reverse the lack of focus caused by daily stresses in the office, at home, or when searching for Waldo. This fusion of life force and mind focus forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. In every class, warm-up maneuvers awaken muscles to prepare for 30–40-minute sessions of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation, which also include the studio's signature brain-wave vibration technique—a process that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
Under the umbrella of the Addison Park District, Club Fitness regales guests of all ages with 44,000 square feet worth of exercise equipment, group fitness studios, and aquatic amenities. Amid the clang of cardio and strength-training machines, certified instructors lead members through a range of free fitness classes, including Zumba, yoga, cycling, Pilates, and aquatic fitness sessions. Seasoned swimmers, 17 and older, can splash about within a six-lane lap pool, and runners can train for upcoming races by looping around the indoor running track in dramatic slow motion with arms outstretched. Those more interested in relaxation can sweat away anxieties in the hot tub or sauna. Before changing clothes within the modern locker rooms, parents can drop their tots off with the friendly attendants at the onsite childcare area.
Healthy Inspirations’ weight-loss programs help women shed pounds by tweaking everyday routines. Throughout each four-week course, trained weight-loss experts oversee a diet metamorphosis, helping clients reshuffle priorities in lifestyle planning, balance old habits with new ones, and resist the lilting songs of sentient pound cakes. Thrice-weekly one-on-one coaching sessions teach clients how to replace food faux pas with nutritionally sound selections, and expert-advised workout regimens combat stresses that lead to overeating. Before-and-after measurements help track progress, and nutrition plans and easy-to-follow cardio workouts reestablish control over fitness and help clients self-monitor progress. Like a street luge drawn by cheetahs, Healthy Inspirations' program gets off to a fast start, with many clients dropping between three and six pounds in the first three days.
Pilates Plus elongates figures and fortifies frames with a slew of mat, yoga, and dance classes led in a comforting, supporting environment. With a certified crew of instructors, stiff students can dabble in body-lengthening lessons, such as Pilates I, which teaches the program’s fundamentals of balance, flexibility, core strength, and two-by-four idolatry. For rhythm-enhanced exercise, Pilates Plus also offers dance-centric classes in Zumba, jazz, hip-hop, barre ballet, belly, and chair dancing, allowing the twinkle-toed to trim, tone, and tighten while meeting their groove quotient for the week.
With locations in Carol Stream and Downers Grove, ATI Fitness Center helps its members get in shape and recover from injuries. Its expert staff can work with clients for physical therapy, personal training sessions, and sports training sessions. Meanwhile, instructors lead group classes such as cycling and Total Chisel, a strength-training class incorporating weights, barbells, and stability balls. Alternatively, members can work out on their own with equipment such as circuit-training machines.