"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.
Borrowing its name from an ancient meditative chant, Forever Om Yoga turns up the heat on classic Vinyasa flows for calorie-burning, mind-clearing workouts. Aside from warming the studio to between 78 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit, a high-tech heating system cleans and recirculates air with an infrared light, facilitating easier, deeper breaths. In each 75-minute class, Yoga Alliance- and Baptiste-certified instructors lead groups through either gentle, 78-degree Vinyasa flows or hotter, high-energy flows inspired by Baptiste power yoga. The basic yoga class features the essential Vinyasa poses, and a class focused on athletic recovery incorporates therapeutic stretching and twists to help repair sore or strained muscles and prevent future injury during all-night Twister marathons.
A staff of more than 30 qualified yoga instructors sporting diverse backgrounds, experience, and expertise have made Sanctuary Yoga Highwood an inclusive studio for practitioners of all abilities and interests. Credit for the place's welcoming vibes also belong to owner Amanda Small, whose Mississippi-borne Southern hospitality inspires her to create a warm space, in both the emotional and physical sense. Though not every class is heated, some of the Vinyasa flows are performed in temperatures as high as 98 degrees to promote deeper stretching and to detoxify the body. For a less strenuous session, students can try one of Sanctuary's specialty classes, such as Stretchy and Gentle and Yoga Basics. An adjoined retail lounge keeps guests outfitted with exercise apparel and accessories from brands such as Yogitoes, as well as with organic candles and aromatherapy products that freshen up homes filled with sweaty yoga apparel and accessories.
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 adjust asanas for clients with physical limitations and disabilities.
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.
Instructors at North Shore Yoga and therapists at Integrated Healing Center promote holistic well-being with a one-two punch of movement-based classes and salutary bodywork sessions. Owner Sharyn Galindo honed her yogic talents over 10 years of dedicated practice, including occasional sojourns to Mysore, India and Thailand where she studied Ashtanga techniques while accumulating enough frequent-flyer miles to vacation on Jupiter. Under her tutelage, North Shore Yoga instructors emphasize Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga styles, helping students deepen stretches by heating rooms up to 84 degrees for the majority of sessions. To augment a lifestyle of physical wellness, Integrated Health Center's therapists dole out healing bodywork and alternative treatments, including acupuncture and massage sessions that can help address clients' individual needs by incorporating aromatherapy or organic, herb-infused oils.