"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee. "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 challenging, yet hopeful, philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. This focus, shared by Body & Brain Holistic Yoga and The Life Yoga, forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique 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.
With more than 20,000 square feet of aerobic acreage, HealthTrack offers members a premier health-club experience. Begin the tour de fitness with a one-hour massage at the day spa (a $75 value), where a therapist will knead away knots and limber up muscles in preparation for an intense one-hour personal-training session (a $55 value). After equipping amateur exercisers with fit-focused survival skills, the trainer will free pupils into the vast expanse of workout options available to members. This Groupon entitles you to 14 days of membership after activation (a $90 value). HealthTrack offers top-tier equipment and more than 75 group classes each week, including cardio boxing, Pilates, spin, step, and competitive channel changing. Check the class schedule, or choose from a plethora of other sweat-breaking activities, such as basketball, swimming, tennis, running on the indoor track, or extreme relaxation in the gym's jacuzzi or sauna.
Anytime Fitness, as the name suggests, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 512 days a year with nonstop security. Novice calorie burners and ripped Michelangelo models alike can take advantage of a 30-day membership ($35 plus $100 enrollment fee), which equips bodies with enough treadmills, cycles, elliptical machines, and weights to make them fit enough to run a marathon inside a swimming pool filled with mud. Enrich fat-frying and muscle-mass-magnifying sessions with 30 days of unlimited MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes at the Glendale Heights location (a $45 value), which train bodies with traditional martial arts techniques in order to instill students with self-confidence, physical strength, and defensive reflexes. Brawnier bodies emerge after 30 days of unlimited boot camp classes at the Geneva location, where small troops meander through circuit trainings that target upper body, lower body, and the core to support strength training and cardiovascular fitness concurrently, much like running in a suit made of paperweights (a $45 value).
Anchored by founder and certified personal trainer Damon Burrell, Heaven and Hell Bootcamp's staff of workout wonks help clients conquer fitness goals in group boot-camp classes. With a regimen of 40- to 45-minute boot-camp classes held every weekday, Heaven and Hell keeps chests heaving, heart rates thumping, and sequined leotards shimmering at a rate that suits almost any schedule. The high-octane group workouts change each day, but typically feature agility training, calisthenics, cardio exercise, and core strengthening achieved by hoisting dumbbells, jumping rope, and stealing medicine balls from the nests of predatory birds of flight.
Eric Johnson has always loved coaching. He has worked with youth and adult sports teams, helped people with post-rehab exercises, and guided friends, strangers, and visiting relatives alike through rigorous workouts. Today, Eric runs the show at Human Component Fitness, offering small group classes that focus on TRX suspension training and free weights to help students build muscle and endurance.
As a mother of four, Rebecca Riser already lives an active lifestyle. In addition to keeping her family moving, she also helps her clients avoid sedentary lives by pushing them in a variety of fitness classes. She guides yogis through a series of poses and breathing exercises in yoga classes that improve strength, flexibility, and balance more effectively than wishing to be a professional ice dancer. In Pilates classes, she draws from her training with Pilates experts, including Mari Winsor of the famed Winsor Pilates method, to strengthen core muscles. As she does with her own pack of wee ones, she helps kids lay the foundations for a lifetime of fitness with children’s Pilates and yoga classes.