Warm beige walls and soft floors welcome visitors to Mindful Movements Health & Fitness Studio, a cozy exercise hub that helps guests tone and tighten bodies with various group fitness classes led by passionate, certified instructors. Helmed by the experienced Julie Danno, the troupe of teachers leads small groups of 10–15 movers and shakers through calorie-reducing yoga classes, which elongate muscles while quieting minds, and Pilates mat classes, which tone tummies so thoroughly that they can be used in the event of an emergency washboard shortage.
At Sunshine Studio, radiance comes from within. The teachers at Sunshine Studio embrace yoga as a holistic health treatment, combining it with other forms of exercise—such as Pilates—known to strengthen the body while alleviating or preventing injury. Outside of the classroom, massage therapists sooth muscles with seven distinct modalities, including therapeutic massage, acupressure, and hot-stone massage.
The studio's spa technicians also coax out each client's inner light with rejuvenating skin care and body treatments. Customized to meet the needs of all skin types, their revitalizing facial restores lost youth with a full package of hydration, cleansing, and exfoliation. Technicians also rid clients of negative energy, removing pent-up toxins with ear candling and ionic foot baths and restoring respiratory clarity with aromatherapy-based raindrop therapy.
Inside Bikram Yoga Plainfield’s cozy studios, soaring temperatures allow students contorted in muscle-building postures to deepen their stretching and expel toxins through perspiration. Expert instructors lead students through a series of 26 postures, each building off the next to help them build flexibility, strength, and enough confidence to never again be intimidated by a pretzel. Parents can drop off mini-yogis for childcare five mornings a week before stretching out muscles on their own mat or one rented from the studio.
Before they stretched beneath the studio's two skylights, the instructors at Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge had to prove themselves to the father of their art. They all attended and graduated from a nine-week intensive program led by Bikram Choudhury himself, emerging as certified teachers who were ready to helm their own heated practice space. They now manage Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge according to the Bikram discipline's specifications: 90-minute classes, a room warmed to 105 degrees, and a carefully ordered sequence of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises.
These sessions strive to progressively work all areas of the body by passing newly oxygenated blood throughout its systems. The heat, meanwhile, renders muscles more pliable and reveals which of your fellow pupils are actually elaborate ice sculptures. Though the high temperatures take some getting used to, the studio's amenities are otherwise geared toward total comfort: changing rooms, showers, and a bright lobby welcome students. The heating mechanism is also environmentally friendly, conserving energy even as it prompts a cleansing sweat from Bikram practitioners.
Yoga Vidya's experienced instructors guide yogis of all skill levels through classes that strengthen and restore bodies and calm bustling brains. Yoga Vidya specializes in Iyengar yoga, a practice that promotes flexibility and incorporates props, poses, and prescription-strength stretching. Scaled to specific ability levels, introductory, intermediate, and invitation-only classes encompass 90 minutes of body bending and utilize natural-rubber yoga mats and handcrafted wooden implements to get the most out of each sarvangasana. Standing poses, twists, and bends awaken sluggish energy glands during the Rise and Shine classes, and ropes, chairs, and organic-cotton blankets support slower-paced position posing in each Gentle class. To keep endorphins firing at a steady flow, the airy studio boasts an all-natural atmosphere buoyed by ample sunlight and grass-fed bamboo floors.
"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.