Breath, Body and Balance

Free workouts Archives

Memorial Day Yoga

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Don't let shorter hours at the gym or rooftop bbq parties stop you from hitting the mat this weekend. Here's a list of Memorial Day yoga classes to keep you focused and fit over the holiday.
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5 health & fitness events not to miss this week!

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Photo: Yoga Journal

Between work, family, friends and other miscellaneous responsibilities, I know first hand how hard it can be to schedule in a workout, let alone a workshop, class or something special for yourself. But these five health and fitness events are only offered for a limited time, so you'll want to make time for one -- or all- of them. Your body, energy levels and mood will thank you for it!
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Studio Review: Tru Harmony Yoga

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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The Tru Harmony Studio. It was so hot my camera kept fogging up!

I just slapped myself on the hand. Tru Harmony Yoga in River North has been opened for a year, maybe even longer, and last night was the first time I stepped foot in the studio. There are a couple of reasons why this is a big deal:

  1. All new students get a free week (5 consecutive days) of yoga
  2. It's a 10-15 minute bus ride (#66 Chicago) from my house and I pass by it often on my way to get cleaned out
  3. Baptiste Vinyasa classes rock.

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Mother's Day Yoga Guide

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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This Mother's Day, May 9, avoid the brunch crowds and busy spas and do something different with your mom! Take her to a yoga class or have fun shaking it with her at Yoga Booty Ballet. Here's a list of classes that are a great way to get your heart pumping (but won't send not-so-fit moms to the hospital), stretch your body and relief stress on her special day.
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Free Class of the Week: Core Yoga Sculpt

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Magazine covers, locker room chat and group fitness instructors looking to give you that extra bit of motivation seemingly have one thing to say: bikini season is just around the corner! As if you needed any reminder that summer is less than two months away.

If you've been going through the motions in your normal fitness routine or need to try something totally different, don't miss my pick for free class of the week, Core Yoga Sculpt at Spring Wellness.
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Earth Day Fitness Events

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

No matter how often we practice yoga or hit a class at the gym, if we're not conscious consumers (ie, knowing where our food comes from, supporting environmentally responsible companies, recycling, etc) we're polluting the Earth and creating a toxic planet that in turns poisons our food and water.
Earth Day is a perfect time to step up your eco-awareness. It's the 40th anniversary of the national day that serves to bring attention to environmental issues, and Chicago is full of green events for familes, foodies and of course, fitness fanatics. Here are a few healthy Earth Day events.
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Goodbye, YogaNow Edgewater

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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A few weeks ago, YogaNow sent out a newsletter announcing the closing of it's Edgewater location. Although I've only been to the studio a few times, I was really sad to hear the news because often, people who open yoga studios do it purely for passion and love, not to make profit. My heart goes out to the Edgewater-area residents who are losing their yoga home. 
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Talking Yogalosophy with Mandy Ingber

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Let's just go ahead and get this out of the way: Mandy Ingber is Jennifer Aniston's yoga instructor and she works with many celebrities and wealthy clients in California who can afford private lessons from a "celebrity yoga instructor."
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Free community yoga classes

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Photo: Indigo Studio

I've been hitting the gym a lot lately, going all out in 45-minute jump rope classes, and today, it hit me like a log- I miss my yoga!

Thankfully, when the craving for yoga comes along, I don't have to do too much to satiate it. I'm within walking distance to four great studios, I have class passes at another two studios, a free week at a place that's about a 10-minute bus ride away and unlimited online classes at my beck and call.

I'm feeling quite happy about my yoga wealth, so I felt it was only appropriate to pay it forward to those who might not be in the same situation.
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Healthy yoga and fitness events for Spring

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Photo: Exhale Spa

Have you noticed? Spring has SPRUNG! All of a sudden, my calendar is full of amazing networking events, parties, special workshops and spa deals! Not everything makes the mind-body fitness and yoga cut, but thankfully, a lot of things do! Here's a roundup of some not-to-be missed things for those craving a fresh, healthy start to the new season.
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Free yoga for runners class and a yoga giveaway!

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

*Update: Congrats to Christel, the winner of the winner of the YogaDownload contest!* 

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Now that I've got running on the brain, I've been keeping an eye out for yoga for runners classes. Although I haven't been able to find any classes at local studios that fit my schedule, YogaDownload comes through once again!
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Free Class of the Week: Core Floor & More at Indigo Studio

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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The Indigo Studio, Chicago's only Yoga Booty Ballet studio, has expanded their class offerings for spring. Still staying in true YBB spirit, most of the new classes have a fun dance-inspired foundation, like cardio hip hop, core barre ballet, street jazz and candlelight Yoga Booty Ballet, making Indigo a great place for those who like to workout without feeling like they're working out.

If you love the ballet-inspired toning section of Yoga Booty Ballet classes or just want to start shedding that winter weight, here's your chance. Indigo is offering two free Core Floor & More classes this week.
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Valentine's Day Charity Workouts

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Image: EyeHook

On Valentine's Day, it's great to give your sweetie something special or get all dressed up for a decadent dinner, but with the earthquake in Haiti and economic woes preventing many from giving to deserving non-profit charity organizations, this Valentine's Day presents a great opportunity to spread love in a different kind of way by participating in a charity/donation class events.
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Valentine's Day Yoga Events

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Photo: Allofitnow

Grab a partner or a friend, invite the hottie you've been scoping in yoga or your significant other. It doesn't matter if you're single or betrothed, it's all about love, fun and positive energy at these Valentine's Day yoga events.
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Free Class of the Week: Workshops at Soulistic Studio Spa

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Eco-friendly wellness center Soulistic Studio Spa gives you not one, but two opportunities to break a sweat for free this weekend.
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What to do on YogaDay USA

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Mark you calendar because this Saturday, January 23 is YogaDay USA. Started by the Yoga Alliance, the organization that regulates and accredits teacher training programs, Yoga Day was created to spread the word about the health benefits of yoga. This year, holistic health practitioner Jessica Marie of CHEW (Complete Health Education & Wellness) Chicago is pulling out all the stops for one of the best YogaDay USA events in the state.
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New Year, New Workout Challenge

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

Yoga Aid Challenge 2009 Takes Place In Melbourne

Screw the magazine plans, the TV-doctor approved workouts and all that other mumbo jumbo. Social Workout, a site for fitness enthusiasts, gym rates and urban yogis, will definitely motivate you to get out and get active. You'll find out about the hottest classes (for now, in New York, but they're planning to expand to Chicago), the latest health news, workout trends, gear reviews, yoga news, inspiring quotes, reviews and blogs from other members and my personal favorite, the Magazine Summarizer. But hands down, Social Workout is known for their free workout challenges (and the sweet prizes that go along with successful completion).
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Free Class of the Week: Hot Core Yoga at Spring Wellness Center

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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This weekend, head to Spring Wellness Center in the Southport Cooridor for two unique, challenging and cheap workouts.

Spring started as a pilates studio, but they now offer yoga, hot yoga, boot camp classes, kettlebells and personal training, so you get the variety of a gym in an intimate studio setting.  
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Do Exercise Shoes Really Work?

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

A better booty, trim legs and improved posture simply by walking? Is there anybody on Earth who doesn't want that? No, I didn't think so either, which is why I'm not surprised that fit shoes, exercise shoes (exer shoes) and functional footwear is growing in popularity.

Gallery sneak peek (8 images):

View the gallery...
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Urgent! It's time for an Emergency Holiday Workout Challenge

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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I felt great after the lululemon x Corepower challenge last month and with temps dropping and my workload increasing, I, like many others, am afraid I'll start to slack on my yoga and workout routines. So I was pretty stoked to find another challenge to keep me motivated into the New Year, the free Social Workout Emergency Holiday Challenge.
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Free Class of the Week: Pilates Chicago

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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I've been missing pilates lately and I'm excited to try all the new cardio, bootcamp, jumpboard and variation classes popping up in studios around town. But as much as I love inventive fusion workouts, I've got mad respect for pilates mat classes. Getting the floorwork down and having an understanding of proper core activation and breathwork is the fastest way to see results and really get an effective workout on the reformer and in other classes. So, that's why the free class of the week is a community pilates mat class at Pilates Chicago on Sunday, November 15.
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It's Time for a Yoga Booty Ballet Party!

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Indigo Studio, the Chicago home of Yoga Booty Ballet, celebrates their one-year anniversary with free mini classes, food and more this Saturday, November 7. Yoga Booty Ballet is the popular yoga, cardio dance and ballet toning fusion workout from California that swept latenight infomercial tv a few years ago.
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Free Class of the Week: Moksha Logan Square

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

Just a few months after celebrating 10 years of being at the forefront of yoga in Chicago, Moksha Yoga announces the opening of their third studio, Moksha Yoga Logan Square and to celebrate, all classes are free from now until November 7.
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The Bar Method comes to the Loop

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Photo Credit: Kate Grove

With successful locations in Lakeview and Highland Park, the Bar Method is bringing their tightening, lifting and toning system to a new Loop location at 180 N. Wacker Dr.
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Hot 'n Sweaty: CorePower Yoga's Grand Opening Celebration

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

I think I loved CorePower Yoga from the moment my first C2 class started. It was last winter and I had just finished the $29 unlimited month at Bikram Wicker Park. I craved the heat but was bored with the monotony of the same 26 poses. I needed to move and even though the challenging Bikram classes kept me focused, sometimes I seriously wanted to bust out a chaturanga to urdhva muhka svanasana (upward-facing dog).

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Lululemon Bucktown Fitness Fest

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

I spent a lot of time this summer bussing it from Wicker Park to Lincoln Park for free fitness events, so I'm happy to announce that lululemon Bucktown is bringing five of the hottest workouts for fall (including one for kids) to the neighborhood for Bucktown Fitness Fest.
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Free Class of the Week: Fitness Workshops at TeamiFit

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

This week's free class pick is courtesy of TeamiFit, a new fitness and lifestyle center in River North. Popular for their bootcamps and summer outdoor workouts, TeamiFit also offers personal training, group exercise classes, 6-week workshops, holistic health coaching, wellness programs and massage.
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Happy Yoga Month!

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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In case you didn't know, September is National Yoga Month. It's also California Wild Rice Month, Apple Month, Mold Awareness Month, Library Card Sign-Up Month and National Coupon Month. But Yoga Month is likely the only one recognized by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion as an official health observance.
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Lululemon + Equinox= Awesome Free Fitness Challenge

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Fall is just around the corner and what a better way to kick it off with a little healthy competition? For the first two weeks of September, Lululemon and Equinox, my recent pick for best Chicago gym for yoga, team up to challenge you to Get Winded in the Windy City. Stop in to your local Lululemon store to get a class punch card, take 10 classes from September 1-14 at either Lululemon or Equinox and if you complete or exceed the challenge, you get the (underrated) gift of health and self-satisfaction. All classes, even those at Equinox, are complimentary and while I don't think there's a big shopping spree grand prize, the better mood, slimmer body and boosted esteem that comes from working out sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

You must register for the challenge, so be sure to RSVP to your local Lululemon store to participate. 

Free Class of the Week: Yoga Booty Ballet

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

Instead of the usual morning yoga, Lululemon Michigan Avenue mixes it up with Jaclyn "JJ" Jones of Indigo Studio for a free Yoga Booty Ballet class this Sunday, August 23.

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JJ leading a Yoga Booty Ballet class at Lululemon.

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Free Class of the Week: Beach Booty Beat

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

I've got it on good word from Paul Konrad that this Saturday is going to be nice and summery, so this week's free workout is going outside!

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The Yoga Party of the Year

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

Moksha- The liberation from the cycle of death and reincarnation. A release from suffering and worldly existence. A realization of bliss and true self.

Moksha wasn't Chicago's first yoga studio, but it has developed into the epicenter of the city's yoga community. Over the past 10 years, Moksha has become the go-to place for great classes, workshops led by local and world-renowned teachers and a tightly knit community. My first community class, first shoulderstand and first memory of experiencing a truly energetic yoga high all took place at Moksha and I always recommend the studio to people interested in trying yoga because I know they'll get an authentic experience here. 

Ten years in business for an independently-owned yoga studio is no small feat and owner Daren Friesen and studio manager Ashley Bush (both in the video below) have put together an entire day of free classes, demonstrations, lectures, a dinner and a party to celebrate.


This is definitely one of the highlights of the year for the yoga community, and, like the website says, regulars, old friends, new friends are all encouraged to come.

Moksha Riverwest is located at 700 N. Carpenter St., two blocks from the Chicago, Milwaukee and Ogden intersection. Visit their site for the special class and party schedule.

Get Fit, Sexy and Centered for Free on Saturday

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Get fit for free at this year's Women's Health Are you Game? event.

Contact your workout buddies and fitness friends and tell them to cancel their plans on Saturday. With all the free, fun and healthy activities going on, you won't have time for (nor will you want to do) anything else.

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Free Class of the Week: Core Yoga and Running

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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After running my first 5K this spring, I can safely say that I'm not a runner. But I do know that yoga is a great complement for keeping the overworked leg and core muscles of running enthusiasts loose and injury-free.

On Tuesday evening, get into the cross-training yoga and running world for Self-Centered Yoga's Running Group.

This Roscoe Village studio kicks off the night at 6 p.m. with a free yoga core class and then everyone takes off for a run at 6:15.

Runners of all levels are welcome, as well as leashed dogs and even speedy strollers. Attend regularly and you may receive freebies and class discounts.

 

Self-Centered Yoga is located at 2201 W. Belmont. Visit their website to sign up for more information and to sign up for the class. 

Free Class of the Week: Nature Yoga Community Class

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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This week's free class pick is an old standby: the Sunday afternoon community class at Nature Yoga.

Located in the heart of Wicker Park at Division and Damen, this week's instructor is AJ, a new instructor at Nature who teaches a hatha vinyasa style class (I took a class with him at Crunch last week and really enjoyed his laidback, lighthearted teaching style).

I love this vibrant and friendly studio and so do plenty of others, so if you plan on attending, get there at least 15 minutes early to secure a spot.

If you can't make the free Sunday afternoon class, which starts at 3:30, Nature also offers donation and discounted rate classes throughout the week.

Nature Yoga is located at 2021 W. Division St.

Chicago's Best Prenatal and Kid-Friendly Yoga Studio

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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A few months ago, a pregnant friend asked me for a good prenatal yoga class recommendation and I immediately told her to head to Bloom Yoga Studio in Lincoln Square.

Bloom has Mom & Baby and Prenatal Yoga classes almost every day of the week; hosts a free monthly homebirth meet-up group and offers a slew of workshops for expectant parents.

Starting on July 8, there's a three-week Yoga for Pregnancy class that teaches poses to help relieve tension in the body, strengthen the spine and release the hips and pelvis in preparation for birth.

On July 12 there's an Infant CPR and First Aid class and on July 16 there's a Breastfeeding Basics workshops for couples.

Bloom also offers doula referrals, family yoga, kids yoga classes and so much more.

I've attended their unique Midnight Yoga class (discontinued until the fall) and would likely be a regular if I lived closer. Bloom is bright, clean and very welcoming and I often recommend it to people who live in or near Lincoln Square because in addition to all their family-friendly offerings, there's a full schedule of hatha-based classes and workshops, including an upcoming exploration on the sun salutations on July 18.

Visit their website for more information on classes and special events and mark your calendar for their free Intro to Yoga class on July 11 at 2 p.m.

 

Got 20 minutes? Download a Free Yoga Class

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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About seven close family members rolled into town this weekend, and while I've had so much fun with them, I haven't had much time for my daily workouts and yoga practice.

By Saturday morning, I was desperately missing yoga, so I finally decided to check out YogaDownload.com.

Since I love to run around town checking out new studios, trying different classes and of course, going to my weekly favorites, I rarely find the time for a home practice, but YogaDownload makes it so easy.

The site is full of audio class downloads for a variety of styles and levels. I find myself easily distracted by videos and as I've experienced in bikram, listening to the instructor instead of watching others, really engages your mind and makes you more aware of sensations in your body. Do your hips feel level? Is your back as flat as it could be? By listening, you learn to feel the pose, which is crucial to a well-balanced practice.

YogaDownload also has a pose guide for each video (including printable guides) and they've got a yoga info section, which makes them a great site for people who've always wanted to try yoga but were too embarrassed to take a group class.

Downloads range in price from $2.95 for 20 minutes up to about $6.95 for 90 minute classes or you can opt for a monthly membership for either $9.95 (6 downloads a month) or $19.95 (unlimited downloads). But before you grumble about having to pay for classes, you should know that a portion of proceeds is given to two different charities and YogaDownload offers free classes to members of the armed forces.

I opted for a free level 2 Power Yoga class that was a perfect way to help me wake up, energize and prepare to hit the town with my family.

Now that I've checked out YogaDownload, I'll definitely be downloading classes whenever I'm pressed for time, traveling or just in the mood for a quick pick me up. 

Free Class of the Week: Workouts in Millennium Park

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Photo: Millennium Park

This week's free class of the week is for the early birds. Fellow ChicagoNow blogger, the Local Tourist posted about the free workouts on the Great Lawn in Millennium Park weeks ago and now that the weather isn't as rainy, I second that notion.

Classes start at 7 with Tai Chi, then it's on to Yoga at 8, Pilates at 9 and the workouts come to a close with a high energy Body Combat/Body Jam class at 10 a.m (in July it switches to capoeira with Gingarte Chicago).

I don't get to Millennium Park enough, but when I do, I'm always so proud to have this beautiful park in Chicago. Now that there's a three-hour block of mind body fitness classes, I like it even more.

Visit the Millennium Park website for more information and be sure to check the Facebook page for cancellations and schedule updates.

Free Class of the Week: Sculpt Fusion at Core Power Yoga

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Colorado-based Core Power Yoga, which landed in Chicago's South Loop less than a year ago, offers a signature hot yoga class that I'd describe as Bikram meets vinyasa flow with a section of core work thrown in for good measure. It provides a detoxifying, invigorating sweat (the room is heated to 98 degrees) with the freedom and movement of power yoga that's challenging yet completely addictive.

Their signature class is definitely more suited for experienced yogis, but newbies will still get a challenge in the level one variation that isn't heated. There's also Hot Power Fusion (similar to a traditional Bikram class), Yoga Pilates and Yoga Sculpt, a full body workout blend of weight training and power yoga.

All new students get a free week of classes, which gives you the opportunity to try out all their unique class offerings, peruse their yoga boutique and get to practice yoga while enjoying a great view of the South Loop and the Sears Tower.

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If you've already done the free week, this Friday, June 19th they're offering a free Sculpt Fusion class from 6:30-7:30 p.m. From the description on the website, it sounds like this class is similar to Yoga Sculpt, but with more of a focus on hip and shoulder opening yoga poses in between toning sessions.

This is a new offering for the Chicago location, so I'm excited to see what it's all about. Plus, I can't think of a better way to get the weekend started than by sweating away the stress of the week in this class.

As an added perk, Core Power has clean locker rooms, showers, hair dryer and other amenities, so you can get your workout in, clean up and still have plenty of time to meet your friends out for dinner or a night on the town.

If you can, bring your own towels (one for soaking up your sweat and another for the shower) and mat and save on the $1 rental fee for each.

 

Core Power Yoga is located at 555 W. Roosevelt Rd. in the South Loop. Visit their website for a class schedule and more info.

Free Class of the Week: Pilates & Stretch at Lululemon

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

Many of my friends are young artists and professionals who can't afford a gym or yoga studio membership, so I'm always on the look out for free and cheap ways for them to stay active and healthy. Thankfully, Chicago's got plenty of fun fitness freebies for all of us, regardless of age or profession.

My free class pick of the week is Lululemon Bucktown's Pilates & Stretch, a yoga and pilates fusion class with certified pilates instructor Lindsay Stryffeler at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 11.

Lindsay is a Lululemon ambassador, a local fitness profession who "embodies the Lululemon lifestyle and culture."

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A photo from an acroyoga demo at the Bucktown store. This won't be happening in pilates class!

 I mentioned in a previous post that all Chicago-area Lululemon locations host weekly free classes and workshops and I can't recommend these workouts enough. The store provides mats, there's no pressure to buy anything (although I usually find it hard not to) and no one will give you the side-eye if you show up wearing something that isn't from the store.

If Thursdays don't work for you, the Bucktown store also has a weekly Sunday morning yoga class.

The Dailey Method is coming to Bucktown

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Photo Credit: The Dailey Method

Being a bike-less commuter, it's kind of a pain for me to get to the Bar Method studio in Lakeview, so I was literally the first participant through the door for Lululemon Bucktown's free preview class of the Dailey Method last night.

Although I did feel a little nerdy for showing up so early, apparently I'm not the only one who swears by these workouts, because the store quickly got packed.

Like its Lakeview rival, the Dailey Method is a combination of ballet moves, serious core work, toning and stretching, which results in a completely kick ass booty lifting, thigh slimming, tummy tightening workout.

I go to a similar class at Crunch on Wednesday evening (Barre Assets) religiously and it never gets easier, but the results are worth it. I love that my backside is rounding out in all the right ways!

The opening date for the Dailey Method keeps getting pushed back, but the studio is hoping to open in mid-June. You can believe that as soon as they're up and running, I'll be posting a review!

Oh, and in case you're looking for awesome ways to get fit on the cheap, all of the Lululemon locations in Chicago offer free mid-week workouts in addition to a free weekly yoga class. Consider it their way of sayings "thanks" for dropping up to $100 on a pair of (well-worth it) yoga pants.

 

The Dailey Method is located at 1714 N Damen, above the Marc Jacobs store.

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