Praised for their calorie-blasting abilities by Time Out Chicago and BurnThis, TruHarmony's heated yoga classes help students hone strength, flexibility, and endurance. In beginners' yoga, instructors lead newbies through flow sequences, teaching pupils how to link fundamental yoga poses with careful, balance-challenging movements and deep-breathing exercises; pose modifications help beginning yogis or those with especially inflexible spandex. For those who prefer working out at more neutral temperatures, TruHarmony offers an unheated class each week.
For a more intense workout, students can head over to yoga sculpt and boot-camp sweat sessions, which incorporate strength-training, circuit-training, and plyometric exercises into traditional yoga moves to build the endurance and strength needed to wrangle sticky-mat kites into the air. Mornings can begin in the Sunrise Flow class, and yogis can try something new in the Barre/Flow Fusion classes. A new "Kid's Corner" offers childcare during select class times for practicing parents.
"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.
The assorted acupuncturists, chiropractors, and aestheticians of Interchange Medical Wellness Center alleviate assorted ailments with myriad treatments that boost well-being. The skilled staff evaluates clients holistically, examining sleep and exercise habits, stress sources, and grade-school attendance records before recommending a course of treatment. Chiropractic adjustments manipulate misalignments to help heal running injuries, herniated disks, and sciatica, and acupuncture treatments attempt to prime the body’s natural healing processes and melt mental tension. Pilates assists clients in dropping unwanted inches while increasing core control and flexibility, and an assortment of group exercise classes—such as yoga, kickboxing, and full-contact Heads Up, Seven Up—allow clients to shed sweat collectively. To reward physiques for a well-performed workout, Interchange offers muscle-pampering massages and facial treatments blended to reduce the signs of aging and treat such conditions as acne and redness.
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 décor 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.
Rachel Ladd was born to move. The former dance major started strutting her stuff on the ballet and tap floors at the tender age of 2, and by the time she got to the kinetic classrooms of Columbia College Chicago, she'd already garnered experience teaching jazz, tap, and ballet for all levels. When injury diverted her from the dance floor, a series of acupuncture and massage treatments ignited a new interest in holistic wellness that led her to seek certification in everything from massage and reiki to Pilates, sports nutrition, and Zumba. Today, she and her instructors lead classes that she hopes will inspire students to respect and care for their own bodies, sharing the physical and mental benefits of yoga with everyone from pregnant mothers and kids to consummate athletes and the stiff cats lounging in Chicago's back alleys. Styles ranging from Vinyasa and Forrest yoga to Hatha yoga for beginners comprise the studio's schedule, which boasts classes every day of the week.
Since the age of 6, Fernando Rodriguez knew that fitness and athletics would play a big role in his life. While most kids his age were busy at play, Fernando was swimming four hours each day and eagerly counting the hours until his next meet. His hard work paid off, earning him a spot on the Mexican Olympic swim team and instilling him with a passion for fitness that would continue into his adult life.
Today, Fernando draws from his years of athletic and coaching experience to guide others toward their fitness goals in his own private training studio, The Underground Lab. Alongside his staff of fellow certified trainers and fitness aficionados, Fernando leads group workouts that combine traditional exercises with imaginative and innovative techniques. The team also conducts personal-training sessions, employing a variety of cardio and strength-training equipment, and designs a unique 19-day nutrition program to help clients lose weight rapidly in preparation for special events, such as a wedding or an outing in a flimsy rowboat.