"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.
The certified trainers at Elite Fitness meet with guests to determine a personalized fitness routine that utilizes the number of gym equipment and the skills of the trainers. They lead guests through one-on-one training sessions or lead groups through body-sculpting and boot-camp fitness classes.
Village Pilates Studio's owner, Regan Hoerster, boasts an impressive 1,000 hours of apprenticeship work, earning a master's certification with The Pilates Center in Boulder and another certification with the Pilates Method Alliance. She draws from her extensive education to create a comfortable, friendly environment with class styles to accommodate patrons of all skill levels and varying needs. Hoerster offers one-on-one private lessons and semiprivate lessons with a maximum of four participants, which are especially beneficial to beginners. The small class sizes enable her to devote ample attention to each person to foster the development of proper technique. More advanced patrons can opt for gender-specific classes, large-group mat classes, or those that incorporate props such as the barre, pole, and low chair. Reformer machines?built specifically to enhance Pilates workouts by adding resistance to the exercises?line the walls of the hardwood studio, with the majority of the floor space left open for performing mat work and impressing fellow students by forming every letter in Mississippi with your body.
The instructors at Ahimsa Yoga Studio lead classes that have something to offer yogis of any age and skill level. Those new to practicing yoga can jump into the art of precise stretching and breathing in beginners? yoga, whereas experienced practitioners can learn more in-depth maneuvers in hatha Vinyasa sessions. Prenatal yoga classes gift soon-to-be moms with a number of exercises that alleviate tension and discomfort, and in Yoga Kids classes, children as young as 4 can channel their abundant energy into noncompetitive movements. Instructors also helm teen yoga meetings that teach calming techniques to soothe anxiety over upcoming tests, summer jobs, or passing the limbo portion of the state driving test.
Former Yoga Trek students Kate Wester and Catherine Cappel carry on ownership of the studio passed on to them by their former instructors, leading a staff of impassioned yoga teachers as they guide students in the physically dynamic Vinyasa and Ashtanga styles of yoga. The instructors accommodate students of all skill and fitness levels except in the most advanced sessions, which transition between challenging poses at a rapid pace. Beginners and intermediate students can build up practice over time, learning to incorporate meditation and mindful breathing techniques to center thoughts while bolstering physical stamina with traditional yoga poses. Instructors help to prepare students before class by passing out any yoga mats, supportive props, or chakra-warming space blankets guests need.
Students should bring: A yoga mat, water bottle, and towel
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 60 minutes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: 2 hour free parking
Pro Tip: Classes at Navy Pier are first come first serve. Plan accordingly.
Different people want to get in shape for different reasons, and they go about it in many different ways. Fortunately, Fitness Formula Clubs' trainers understand this. They start every new member at their gym with four complimentary personal-training sessions that not only help hammer down each individual's goals, but also provide a solid foundation of knowledge and motivation. From there, equipment and guidance help each client reach whatever heights they're after.
Programs that focus on endurance in running, swimming, and cycling pair with Pilates work and basketball courts to develop well-rounded regimens. There's also classic equipment?cardio machines and free weights?offsetting a selection of less-than-traditional equipment?an artificial rock wall which lets clients build upper-body strength while practicing lines for their Cliffhanger: The Musical audition.