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Explore new yoga options in Chicago this spring

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(Sky Smigielska / The DePaulia)

(Sky Smigielska / The DePaulia)

This past Fall Quarter a new Explore Chicago Yoga class was introduced at DePaul. We chose to take it out of curiosity and haven’t looked back on that decision. Now that it’s springtime, it is time to shed the winter weight we all have packed on and explore new yoga options we have found through this class. Chicago offers numerous options for yoga practice, and we reviewed our experiences with some of our favorites. —Juana Estrada and Sky Smigielska

Chi-Town Shakti, Edgewater

Sky

The shambhava yoga class we attended at Chi-Town Shakti followed a relaxed flow and was held in an intimate environment. They even offered us tea after we walked through the rain. We also visited the nearby Chicago Ashram, home of a community of people that lead a yoga lifestyle together. Their practice includes lots of meditation, community gardening, and teaching asana yoga at Chi-Town Shakti.

Juana

I really enjoyed the mellow and calm feeling that the studio emitted. As my first insight of yoga, I was pleased at the ease and welcoming feeling the studio gave off. There was a melodic feel to the way the instructor taught the class, and although, as I recall, the weather was gloomy, I felt refreshed as the class ended.

(Sky Smigielska / The DePaulia)

(Sky Smigielska / The DePaulia)

Yoga Circle, River North

Sky

Our Iyengar yoga lesson at Yoga Circle was unique in the sense that we used bands, blankets, and chairs. These props helped to achieve that perfect stretch, which is something I am always looking for. The studio we practiced in at Yoga Circle had a lot of natural light filling the room to wake us up and made our colorful mats feel like yoga Christmas. Our hilarious instructor Gabriel even had cheetah print shorts on; it was a great lesson to begin the day with.

Juana

I was amazed at how from one moment to the next this office space building transforms into a hidden yoga studio. Gabriel Halpern, our instructor, gave a dharma talk which was full of philosophical knowledge and as simple as his word were it all made sense. The amount of reward you receive really does rely on the amount of effort you put in. After class, I wanted to live a life where I took control. I wanted to connect with my body, learn to gain peace and relaxation, love myself, and embody all the trauma in my life.

Corepower Yoga

Sky

I was lucky enough to be one of only three people in class at Corepower Yoga so I enjoyed plenty of one-on-one time with the instructor, who was really sweet. It was a heated (about 85 degree) class accompanied by some really good indie music. It was high-energy and pushed my body’s capabilities. In this sense it was a good workout that definitely drained me.

Juana

We were introduced to Power yoga, a form of Vinyasa yoga, in which movement is synchronized to breath. It emphasizes on strength and flexibility. Although my favorite “relaxation” band played in the background, I was getting my butt kicked in a sequence of body shifting positions. You could feel the intertwined sensations of body heat and mental focus as the instructor encouraged us to push our bodies a little more as we stretched from one way to another. It was tough, but I loved every minute of it.

(Sky Smigielska / The DePaulia)

(Sky Smigielska / The DePaulia)

Eb & Flow, Wicker Park

Sky

Attending a 90-degree Baptiste yoga class at Eb & Flow was a bit difficult. It felt similar to Bikram yoga, which is 110 degrees. Eb helped guide us into poses that felt great and the heat made me feel incredibly flexible. Under these conditions we sweat a lot and sometimes had to rest in order to keep going; it was well worth it because I felt detoxified after the lesson.

Juana

Eb and Flow’s fundamental purpose is to transform lives and help to empower others to discover their own possibilities for a healthier physical and mental state of being. I loved the sense of community and empowerment this studio promoted. Even during the sweaty and sticky asana yoga practice, I felt united with the class and the instructor. Mentally, you are pushed to focus; physically, you are challenged; and spiritually, you are rewarded with a sense of gratitude and peace at this studio.

Yogaview, Lincoln Park

Sky

At Yogaview our meditation instructor gave us some beginner’s advice and spoke of his own meditation journey, starting at none other than college, in his dorm. We then meditated together and although we were seated in a big circle, everyone’s presence began to fade away and for five minutes I was on my own, just breathing.

Juana

Outside everything seems busy and up-and-running, while on the inside you can find a tranquil and sane safe haven from society. The meditation aspect allowed me to escape any stresses I had held in all week, and let them freely escape my mind as I just simply sat still.

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Explore new yoga options in Chicago this spring