Beginners and seasoned yogis alike are welcome at 105F - Bikram Yoga Chicago. Here, instructors lead classes that are designed to lure students to their limits, providing a demanding physical challenge for all skill and fitness levels. Each of the three studio locations contains a practice room that is heated to 105 degrees with 40%?45% humidity, creating a sweat-inducing, tropical setting that aids practicers by loosening their muscles as they sink into each stretch.
The 90-minute classes all follow the same sequence: two breathing exercises and 26 standing and seated asanas, which use deep twists and bends to methodically work organ systems and muscle groups throughout the entire body. Instructors slowly guide students into poses and ensure that they can perform each asana at a level that safely challenges their limits. Continued practice can help yogis hone their strength and endurance while also learning to maintain a greater sense of focus and mind-body awareness, even in the face of physical distractions like another student's Sudoku puzzle back tattoo.
Yes, Yoga Is a Sport
And Gianna Purcell is the reigning champion. Follow her journey to the top from her very first class at 105F in Chicago.
"Life takes life out of you. Yoga puts it back." Amy Treciokas, founder of Yoga Now, lives by these words. In high school, Treciokas—already a fledgling yoga practitioner—was drawn to the savasana relaxation pose because it "was a great time for a nap." After being reintroduced to yoga as an adult, she truly fell in love. A consuming passion for the energizing and stress-relieving practice of yoga led her to spend three years in India to learn at the feet of yogis in Mysore, an intensive period of study that helped her to obtain authorization to teach Ashtanga yoga. Not long after she was authorized, Treciokas founded Yoga Now.
Yoga Now's studio evidences a commitment to sustainable-living practices, including bamboo flooring, eco-friendly insulation, and energy-efficient lighting powered by giant hamster wheels. Students practice yoga on rubber mats and sustainable cork blocks, or they relax their muscles by lounging in the complimentary sauna and steam room or indulging in one of nine massage modalities that are available seven days a week. An extensive team of teachers and healers helps to fill out a class schedule that spans from early morning to night.
Visitors to CrossFit Chicago don't find a gym's typical treadmills and weight machines. Instead, upon arrival at the 11,000-square-foot facility, they're greeted by barbells, pull-up bars, rowers, and medicine balls. The knowledgeable, passionate staff of coaches oversees this blend of old-fashioned equipment and new-school exercise theory, drawing from a diverse array of experiences and qualifications as they go. Owner Rudy Tapalla might use motivational techniques learned during his time as a USMC Sergeant, and lead coach Sara Cook might incorporate mastery of specific CrossFit components such as gymnastics, Olympic lifting, and nutrition during her women-specific workouts.
Equipped with space, exercises, and guidance, trainees transform their bodies with constant, varied movement, such as swinging kettlebells, leaping onto boxes, and flipping tractor tires. Specialized programs, such as women's only sessions or kids' classes, build strong bonds between participants while promoting healthy lifestyles full of rigorous activity.
Growing up, Timothy Suh learned that strength could take several forms. His father was a tae kwon do master who helped inspire a lifelong passion for martial arts. His mother waged a two-year battle with cancer, and her passing prompted Timothy to study alternative medicine. Today, he combines these strengths to aid other cancer patients with their pain, linking his acupuncture treatments with tai chi and yoga practices.
The symbiotic relationship between Timothy's specialties underlines Alternative Health Group's primary mission: balance. All his staffers also boast complementary disciplines. For example, licensed massage therapist Danielle Pacific teaches restorative yoga poses to her massage clients, which they can assume at home for further relief or on the sidewalk to bend the rules of hopscotch. This holistic approach allows the team to bring Eastern and Western influences together and to address root causes of symptoms rather than just the symptoms themselves. With personalized acupuncture sessions, clinical massage, herbal remedies, and classes in yoga and tai chi, they strive to recalibrate bodies and minds from all angles.
A nonprofit educational organization, The Peace School promotes tranquility of mind, body, and spirit through yoga, tae kwon do, and meditation courses that welcome students of all ages. Originally established in 1972 by Grand Master Myungsu Y.S. Kim, the school has been recognized by the United Nations, developed senior and nursing-home programs, and helped establish Peace Day, an annual Chicago celebration of peace and cultural institutions.
At the school, a coalition of experienced instructors—all of whom have trained for at least 10 years—leads students in three levels of yoga, traditional tae kwon do, and other exercises. Group practice, discussion, and lectures divulge the fundamentals of peace breathing meditation, while a hands-on self-defense for women class opens up discussion of attitude, confidence, and safety issues. Massage classes emphasize acupressure technique and deep breathing, while courses in infant massage can help babies sleep better.
Yoga experts Jim Bennitt and James Tennant teach students to perform breathing techniques and postures from the Patanjali school of yoga, as well as Ayurvedic practices and meditation, in group classes. While new students learn basic techniques, seasoned yogis can stretch muscles and fold their skeletons into forms more easily stowed in an overhead luggage compartment with additional workshops. Pupils can also enroll in Tejas Yoga's teacher-training and mentorship program, which includes one year of training, one year of classes, and the use of Tejas Yoga facilities for personal practice. Dark wooden floors, ample space, and minimalistic d?cor create a tranquil ambiance with little furniture to catch dust or absorb negative vibes. Tejas Yoga's class schedule and answers to frequently asked questions can be found online or by staring long enough at a mandala.