Life Yoga's instructors engage bodies in gravity-defying postures, fill lungs with carefully performed breathing exercises, and soothe minds with meditations integrated into each exercise. With two¬–five classes a day at each of their locations, they kick open the floodgates to inner peace, providing islands of serenity accessible amid even the busiest of schedules. As the instructors lead students in the body-toning poses and stretches, they hope that they will internalize the healthy habits and mind-calming exercises practiced in class. They urge them to carry those values into their daily lives, sharing them with family and friends or storing them in the freezer until they can be shown to visiting grandparents at Thanksgiving.
The hot-pink walls aren’t the only element of Studio Energia giving off an energetic vibe. Owner and fitness instructor Julie hops and twirls across the hardwood floor as she leads fast-paced Zumba routines set to catchy Latin music. Trained by the program's founder, Beto Perez, Julie personally guides all Zumba sessions, which include Zumbatomic classes designed especially for kids and Zumba Toning sessions that build muscle and fend off stray lacrosse balls using a weighted stick. The studio also keeps energy high by offering a seven-day-a-week schedule packed with Latin-dance lessons, kids' hip-hop classes, cardio kickboxing, and boot camps.
The certified Bikram yoga instructors at 26hot draw students from all over the western suburbs to their facility, conveniently located near the Roosevelt Road exit of I-355. Within the 1,800-square-foot space, which is kept at 105 degrees and 40% humidity, yogis move through 26 postures designed to build muscle and cardiovascular health. The one-legged balancing stick pose, for example, puts bodies into a T formation, and the tree pose encourages birds to alight on squared shoulders.
The studio's reception area appropriately greets students with fiery-red couches and warm-yellow walls. At the desk, students can rent yoga mats and towels or purchase beverages such as chilled coconut water.
Inside Yoga By Degrees' spacious, spa-like studios, a team of certified yoga instructors helps students of all abilities refine strength, flexibility, and endurance during one-hour classes. The seven-day-a-week schedules features an assortment of yoga styles, including beginner-friendly fundamental classes, aerobic Vinyasa flows, Restorative, and Yoga Sculpt sessions that incorporate hand weights to chisel muscles into marble-statue perfection. Each session is heated to temperatures between 80 and 105 degrees to help rid bodies of toxins and melt muscles with deep, restorative stretches. During workouts, the dedicated teachers play a collection of both mellow and mood-boosting music to motivate minds, and after class students can change back into superhero spandex inside the facility's immaculate locker rooms.
Several times a day, students flock to the 105-degree studio of Bikram Hot Yoga in St. Charles and Palatine, striking confident poses under the direction of experienced instructors. Each 90-minute class helps students find inner peace and outer health as they sweat out toxins, lengthen muscles, and find respite from packs of predatory hockey players. The studio welcomes students of all abilities, as the balmy heat helps even the tightest of tendons sink into Bikram’s 26 postures and two breathing exercises.
In practice rooms with aqua-blue walls and wooden floors, Willow Yoga's passionate instructors guide students toward physical fitness and stress relief. Small groups move through a variety of Hatha yoga classes and yoga Pilates fusion classes. The atmosphere is supportive, and instructors provide modifications of routines so that students can practice within their comfort zones. At the end of each class, a guided relaxation helps participants to find peace and focus.
Following the teachings of Swami Rama, Himalayan Yoga's limber yogis assist all levels of stretchers in adopting a balanced, mindful lifestyle through a variety of soothing classes. Vinyasa-flow and beginning Hatha courses follow a systematic progression of breathing and asanas—or postures—designed to strengthen muscles and align spines, giving bodies the brawny flexibility of a steel-coated rubber band. Himalayan courses impart the wisdom of Swami Rama through breathing techniques and meditation, and gentle beginning courses afford less-strenuous stretching avenues for students suffering from illness, injury, or long-held fears of Mr. Fantastic. In addition to offering individual and family sessions, instructors can adjust asanas for clients with certain physical limitations.