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If you're like most members, you have walked past one of our yoga studios and became curious about the practice. But, maybe like most members, you think it's not for you. It can be intimidating for most newcomers because there are mats and props, it uses foreign words, and you somehow think you are not flexible enough to do it. But the truth is: the hardest thing about yoga is walking into your first class. Once you choose a space, roll out a mat, get some blocks and sit down, the hardest part is over.
You do not have to be strong or flexible to begin a yoga practice because yoga meets you where you're at. Tight hamstrings? No problem. Sore lower back? No problem. Feeling out of place at first? No problem.Yoga is essentially a journey through movement lead with the breath. You show up as you are, use what you have, and do what you can. It is a personal practice and is not competitive. That's why you see all ages and all body types in the same class.
No matter what you're thing is-studio cycle, weight lifting, jogging, swimming, HIIT classes-yoga is a great addition to your workout week. You can even think of it as a form of cross-training.
It may feel a bit strange at first, but after a couple classes you will find yourself looking forward to your yoga class because you feel so great after class.
Ken Cox is a Certified Yoga Instructor and yoga enthusiast who has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 33 years and teaching both practices for over 20 years. He believes, and knows from experience, that the practice of yoga can transform your life over time. Ken teaches yoga as a system of philosophy and science designed to reach your highest human potential with a peaceful and loving mind.
There are many different types of yoga practice, so how you do know which one is right for you? Truly the best way to decide is to try as many different styles as you can. You may find that different styles suit your practice at different times. Here are some breakdowns of the types of yoga classes we offer at CAC so you can decide which one you want to try first! Check our schedules page to see when the next class is at your home club.
Hatha Yoga refers to any type of yoga involving physical postures, or asanas. Hatha Yoga balances mind and body using poses, controlled breathing and calming of the mind, while teaching poise, balance and strength. When the term Hatha is used to describe a class it is a very informative, basic and slow moving class that focuses on alignment and structure. An excellent class for all levels, but well-suited to first time yogis.
Yin Yoga focuses on the connective tissue (yin) rather than muscle (yang). Poses are held for longer periods of time, with support from blocks, in order to accomplish the proper stretching of connective tissue and increased flexibility of the joints. This style of practice is excellent for recovery and stress relief, while also supporting increased flexibility in the muscles to help prevent injury and stiffness from more active workouts.
This vigorous method of yoga involves synchronizing breath with a progressive sequence of postures to help build strength, flexibility and detoxify the body. Progress is easily assessed because the sequence is always the same. While it may be a daunting class for newcomers, the repetition of poses and sequences helps to provide a physically accountability to form, and over time becomes a true moving meditation for those who practice it consistently.
Yoga Sculpt is a modern form of yoga that combines Vinyasa Yoga, strength training, cardiovascular fitness and core work. This yoga class uses weights to strengthen the practice, while helping tone and shape the body. Burn calories, build stamina, increase strength and flexibility and increase lean muscle mass. This practice has roots in traditional yoga theory and roots, but is faster paced and challenges strength in different ways. Expect contemporary music, high energy and lots of sweat.
Live Music Yoga is a Vinyasa class in which the DJ blends her own music with sounds from across genres — soul, hip hop, classical, rock, top 40, world music — to create a fun atmosphere of intense physical focus. The goal is for the music to support and enhance the yoga while never overpowering the teaching or flow of the class. This class is good for all levels as all poses and transitions can be modified to suit the physical needs of the student. Don't be afraid to ask your instructor for help!
When you are ready to being your yoga journey, contact the experts at Chicago Athletic Clubs. Our patient, knowledgable, and experienced yoga instructors will guide you through your practice. Our yoga classes and other group fitness offerings are free with your Chicago Athletics Clubs membership. We welcome beginners, and our yoga classes are modifiable for participants of all levels of experience. However, if you need help feeling comfortable with your yoga practice, we also offer private yoga one-on-one sessions. Try our yoga classes for free today with a guest pass at your local Chicago Athletics Clubs location.