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E-News From Yoga Chicago
February 17, 2016, Issue 23

The practice of yoga is individual and personal. But as humans, we all feel a need to bond and be part of a community, which we often find in yoga classes. Students connect after class, share experiences, go out for coffee/tea, etc., make plans. Community happens in a variety of ways: through book clubs, social action groups, bowling leagues, meditation groups, etc.

One of my communities is my neighbors; we find excuses to get together on a regular basis. This Sunday is pizza day, an annual event started about 10 years ago when we realized that four out of five houses had Aquarians living in them. (One couple moved, but their house was bought by a couple who now has a baby born February 9—an Aquarian!) So to celebrate the Community of Aquarian Birthdays, we have pizza night sometime in February. Everybody brings a pizza—ordered or homemade. (I’ve got a great recipe for pesto/feta/arugula pizza.)

This weekend you can participate in candlelight yoga, a gong bath, and a variety of workshops, including yoga for knitters (see events below). Knitters are another community.

In her weekly podcast, “This Moment with Sylvia Ewing,” Sylvia reflects on what we learn from our experiences in and out of the yoga studio, and how that learning helps us understand others. Hear Sylvia at

In community,

Sharon Steffensen, Editor
Yoga Chicago magazine, your source for all things yoga
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A horrific car accident was the catalyst to Swami Shraddhananda beginning a yoga practice to heal her body and led to the unfolding of her soul work. Read the article


Five Questions for Fantastic Teachers

This week’s teacher: Danielle Dickinson, director of Yoga for All Beings, in Chicago:

1. Describe your teaching style in five words. Strong. Gentle. Thoughtful. Permissive. Balanced.

2. How has yoga changed your life? Yoga saved my life. It has offered me a way to change my negative patterns and live a healthier and happier life.

3. What is the philosophy you try to instill in your students? I try to encourage students to be gentle with themselves. I encourage them to accept the challenges of yoga and of life head on, with a sense of ease and with a strong but gentle approach. When we can maintain peace in the most chaotic moments, that’s when the yoga practice really comes in handy.
4. What was one of your most profound moments in teaching? Unscrunched faces. Unclenched jaws. Relaxed shoulders. Unclutched guts. Unsqueezed fists. Seeing students let go, release or be gentle with themselves. It’s so easy to be hard or to stay hardened. It’s a lot more difficult to maintain softness in hard circumstances or to easy up when life is gripping tight. This sense of softness is something I find profound and inspiring, especially when I see if from a student that is fighting hard to maintain that sense of ease.
5. What do you see influencing or affecting yoga teachers and students in the next five years? It seems like the veil is being lifted from the confusion surrounding what yoga is or isn’t. The wider the practice spreads and the more attainable it becomes, the less we have of the notions that yoga is something reserved for a limited demographic. Yoga is becoming more down to earth, relatable, adaptable, and accessible to all kinds of folks, due in part to the educated and mindful yoga teachers. More accessible yoga means more yoga, in general. And more yoga, to me, means more peace in the world.


February 17
6:00-7:00pm, 200-hour Teacher Training Info Session with Sharon Wentz and Kerry Maiorca of Bloom Yoga Studio. 4663 N. Rockwell, Chicago. In this free info session, you will have the opportunity to meet lead teacher training faculty members to ask questions and learn more about the details of the program. 773-463-YOGA(9642);

February 17
6-7pm, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation ~ The Purity of Love is the Key to Happiness, $10 pre-paid/ $15 day of. 7-8:30 pm Guidance from the Gong. Both events led by Lisa Gniady at Evolve in Crystal Lake, Register 847-867-8630 ($30 prepaid, $35 day of) Max 10 participants.

February 17+
Dance Workshop: It’s hump day and you need to shake it off! Join Tracy for an hour of inspiring music and movement that is guided by Tracy’s suggestions and your own imagination! Dance, Sweat, Move, Feel Fantastic! $25/per workshop Wednesday 2/17 or 3/16 or 4/13 7:45-8:45 p.m. Yoga Experience, 4619 N. Ravenswood, Suite 100, Chicago,

February 19
Gentle Yoga in Candlelight with Karen Plumley of Bloom Yoga Studio and musician Tim Porcelli. 4663 N. Rockwell, Chicago. Slow down and reap the rewards of a gentle approach to yoga, practicing in a room filled with candles, while listening to the sounds of live, improvisation music. 773-463-YOGA(9642);

February 19
6:15-7:15pm. Kundalini Yoga and Mantra Meditation, Surrender to your Hearts desires, $20 Pre-paid / $25 day of. 7:30-8:30pm. Heart centered Gong Relaxation, $20 Pre-paid and $25 day of. Both events led by Lisa Gniady at Yoga Now, 742 N. LaSalle Dr., Chicago, 312.280.9642

February 20
2pm-5pm. Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: What’s the Scent of a Dosha? Making Personal Blends with Karen Klutznick. Three parts: 1) basics of ayurveda, 2) basics of aromatherapy and 3) Karen will formulate a personal, take-home blend for each individual based on the earlier teachings. Tejas Yoga, 1300 S. Wabash, 2nd fl., Chicago, 312.386.9642,

February 20
Goal Setting Workshop with Marijosephe Bradford & Shannon Bonner, 1-5pm. The purpose of this workshop is to help you accomplish your goals through an organized process made easy for you. It is designed to help you manifest your intentions. Tejas Yoga, 1300 S. Wabash, 2nd fl., Chicago, 312.386.9642,

February 20
Workshop Just for Knitters: You love to knit, but sometimes your body starts to complain? Learn to counteract the physical effects of knitting by incorporating yoga. Join Fern Josephs, yoga instructor and long-time knitting fanatic. $25/per workshop Saturday, 1/16 or 2/20 2:00-4:00 p.m. Register at Yoga Experience, 4619 N. Ravenswood, Suite 100, Chicago

February 20
Let’s get Twisted! A flowing, breathing and unwinding workshop with Rachel Sherron-Matrejek. Twisting poses will stimulate digestive organs, recharge and refresh the energetic body. Strong vinyasa practice, restorative postures, breathwork and meditation. Will create equilibrium within the body and inner stillness and clarity within the mind. 10am-12pm. 700 N Carpenter, Chicago, IL 60642, 312.942.9642

February 21
Sweet Home Chicago Family Yoga Class with Roberta Einhorn and Liz Vitell. 2-2-3pm. “Ride the El,” “hustle up the Hancock,” and celebrate our stellar sports teams with yoga poses and games. Adults & kids ages 5+. Healthy snacks afterward.  Om on the Range Yoga Studio, 1751 W. Grace. Register @ or call 773 525 9642.

February 24+
Restorative Sling Workshop: Restorative poses done in a low hanging sling. Feel the gentle sway of your suspended body while releasing the deep tensions that being earth bound brings. All levels, weight limit 250 lbs. $25/per workshop Wednesday 2/24 or 3/9 7:45-8:45 p.m. Yoga Experience, 4619 N. Ravenswood, Suite 100, Chicago

February 25
6:30-8pm. Gong Sound Experience/ Smoothie and Meditation With Lisa Gniady
An evening of sensations.  Begin with meditation. From there, move into a sound massage like you have never experienced. Soothe the mind and body, relieve stress. End with a refreshing smoothie of your choice. Berries and Greens, Crystal Lake, $25 pre-payment /$30 day of event register: Call 815-444-4637.

February 25-28
Yoga for Childbirth Preparation: A Yoga Teacher Training Intensive with Cassie Rodgers/Lela Beem. Learn how yoga can help women and couples prepare for the childbirth process.  Asana/pranayama modification, weaving in thematic language, sequencing skills for therapeutic effects, and creating prenatal yoga community. 10am-5:30pm, 2528 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647, 312.942.9642

February 27
Intro to Viniyoga with Serena Brommel.  Unite your movement with your breath (vinyasa) while learning the subtle mechanics and alignment of the yoga postures. Meditation, pranayama with yogic philosophy and visualization. Formulate a heartfelt intention (sankalpa) in service of your own individual purpose (dharma). 1-4pm, 700 N Carpenter, Chicago, IL 60642, 312.942.9642

February 28
Free Prenatal Yoga Clinic. Expecting moms can receive personal attention through a one-on-one yoga session. Current trainees from the Amala School of Prenatal Yoga will guide you through a customized lesson. For all levels of experience and during any stage of pregnancy.  Space limited to 10. Call 312-942-9642 to register and reserve your spot.

February 28
Yin Yoga Workshop with Liz Vitell, 1:30-3:30 pm.  Restore, relax and deliver deep stimulation to fascia, the biological tissue that holds us together. Bring your bolster or pillow for floor poses.  Wear super comfortable clothing.  Om on the Range Yoga Studio, 1751 W. Grace, register @ or call 773 525 9642.

February 28
Sunday, 2-4:30p.m, I am Woman, Hear me ROAR: Hormone Harmony for the Goddess Within. Felicia Schmid, 500 E-RYT, Certified Ayurveda Practitioner & Health Educator & Integrative Yoga Therapist. Held at the newly opened Focus OM studio in Batavia, IL (Batavia Location). Focus on a restorative practice influenced by the Iyengar & Integrative Yoga & Ayurveda Therapy traditions.

March 3
4:30pm-6pm. Mom and Baby Yoga Workshop with Katie Rowe Mitchell
This workshop is designed to help your body and mind recover from your birthing experience, bond with your baby and other moms, and also address physical and emotional postpartum discomforts. Tejas Yoga, 1300 S. Wabash, 2nd fl., Chicago, 312.386.9642,

March 5
Baby and Me Yoga Class with Abigail Lauren. Bond with baby while connecting with other caregivers in the community! Each session includes yoga postures that focus on self-care for adults, and are fun and soothing for baby. Basic infant massage included. Please bring a receiving blanket. 10:30-11:30am, 2528 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647, 312.942.9642

March 6
Sunday, 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Headstand Workshop with Jill Plourde. Explore the fundamentals of going upside down with body awareness, safety & comfort. Jill will help you build the two primary headstand foundations — classical headstand base and tripod base. All levels workshop.Om on the Range Yoga Studio, 1751 W. Grace. 773 525 9642. Register at: ‪

March 6
4pm-5:30pm. Gong Bath Meditation with Benjamin Savage. Sound vibrations draw us into a deep meditative state that allows for a wide variety of personal and beneficial experiences. If you have tried meditation and were not satisfied with the results, this may be a way to induce deep meditation. Tejas Yoga, 1300 S. Wabash, 2nd fl., Chicago, 312.386.9642,

March 10th
Thursday, from 1-3p.m.  $25 by March 3rd; $35 thereafter. Fun Lovin' Yoga & Oils Workshop with Pamela Hunter at Asanas & MORE Yoga, St. Charles. Nature's living energy, essential oils are amazing tools to add to your self-care and yoga practice. Join us for this fun lovin' workshop. Register at

March 11
Friday, Pulsation Yoga hosts a Meditation Workshop with Bhante Sujata: Finding Happiness & Contentment in the Western World. 6:30- 8 pm. At our Lake Zurich Studio, 729 W Rt 22, Lake Zurich 60047. $38 (or sign up for all 4 meditation sessions for $128, or $32 each) Call 847-989-7792 to pre register.

March 12
2pm-5pm, 3-Hour Extended Practice: Spring Awakening with Pierce Doerr. Join Pierce, as he leads and practicing along with his students, for a 3-hour Spring-renewal class. There will be an emphasis on internal cleansing practices to help mentally and physically prepare and transition from winter to spring.  Tejas Yoga, 1300 S. Wabash, 2nd fl., Chicago, 312.386.9642,

March 18 - 20
Subtle Body Sequencing: An Advanced Yoga Training with Mia Park, Alternative Health Group. This advanced yoga training is intended for teachers and experienced students who want to deepen their understanding of subtle body techniques in their practice and teaching.

March 19
2pm-4pm. Ayurveda 101 with James Tennant. Ayurveda (ah-yer-vay-duh) is an ancient philosophy, science, medicine, and art of daily living. In this workshop, we will come to understand the universal energies/principles of ayurveda and how they relate to our own psycho-physiological makeup.  Tejas Yoga, 1300 S. Wabash, 2nd fl., Chicago, 312.386.9642,

March 19
Weekend Parent & Little One Yoga Workshop with Annie Clapper of Bloom Yoga Studio. 4663 N. Rockwell, Chicago. After a busy week, yoga is a great way to reconnect with your little one and take care of yourself at the same time. Bring your child along (6 weeks through age 2) as  you meet other new parents and enjoy yoga with your child nearby. 773-463-YOGA(9642);

April 1-3
Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Rhoda Miriam, Module 1: The Subtle Art of Savasana and Restful Inversions, 4/1-4/3, Fri-Sun. Module 1 will focus on working with individuals. This module is a pre-requisite for Module Two: Building a Restorative Repertoire, April 29-5/1. Open to yoga teachers and somatic professionals. Grateful Yoga, 1108 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201., 847-849-1810.

April 2
Yoga For Golfers workshop with Terry Kiely. Noon–1:30pm. Get your swing and your game into the groove for the golf season. You’ll gain awareness of your unique body mechanics to support mobility, freedom, focus. Bring your 7 iron or favorite club. Om on the Range Yoga Studio, 1751 W. Grace, register @; 773 525 9642.

April 13
Wednesday, 11:30-2:30p.m.  $45 by April 6th; $55 thereafter. Yoga & Chakras with Gabriel Halpern at Asanas & MORE Yoga, St. Charles. This workshop will include a presentation, discussion and Gabriel's famous Dharma Talk, along with an amazing chakra yoga practice. Register at

April 26
Tuesday, 12-2:30p.m. $40 by April 19th; $50 thereafter. Yoga & Twisting with Kathleen Wright at Asanas & MORE Yoga, St. Charles. This workshop will explore Twists and their benefits in every category of asana. Register at

June 1-8
Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy with Genevieve Yellin ERYT-500, PYT-1000. This 65-hour training teaches Yoga Therapy methods to manage anxiety-related disorders. Students will also become certified facilitators of the Overcoming Anxiety Clinic. Austinite Genevieve Yellin has studied Yoga Therapy, Adaptive Yoga, Spinal Integration, Somatics, Vipassana Meditation, and Reiki. Ganesha Yoga 2054 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago


Through Feb 25
Tantra for Women: Theory and Practice for the Female Body with Yoli Maya Yeh: Four Thursdays, 7-8:30p. $80. Class Themes:
Feb 4- Mantra, Yantra, Tantra
Feb 11- The Sacred Feminine Form
Feb 18- What Is Enlightenment?
Feb 25- The 10 Wisdom Mothers (Dasha Mahavidya). Grateful Yoga, 1108 Davis Street, Evanston, IL. 847-849-1810.

Until March 1. Saturdays from Noon to 1:30pm 9
40 Days to Personal Revolution Program. Studio founders Beth & Terry Kiely are your guides on the path to mental clarity, lightness of body & an illumination of spirit. Om on the Range Yoga Studio, 1751 W. Grace. 773 525 9642. Register at:

February 20
Sleeping Well, Sleeping Deeply: A Workshop for Transforming Your Sleep, with Aggie Stewart. Room to Breathe, 25 East Washington, Suite 1025a. Focuses on various causes of sleep difficulties and presents yoga practices for transforming little or poor quality sleep into deeper, longer, and more restful sleep. For more information, contact Aggie: 401.499.7314/

Through February 20
A Beginner’s Mind: Four Week Introduction to Yoga with Natalie McGreal. This four week introductory series will help you build a solid foundation and introduce the basic principles of a yoga practice. You will learn about different yoga approaches, healthy alignment, props, breath, and meditation. 9-11AM, 2528 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647, 312.942.9642

February 20+
Saturday, Pulsation Yoga hosts a Meditation workshop: Access your Inner Well-Being with Marilyn Mitchell and Jessica Fabal. Saturday, February 20; Friday, March 11; Saturday, April 16; Sunday, May 15, 4-5:30 pm. $38 or $128 for all 4 ($32 each). 729 W Rt 22, Lake Zurich 60047. Call 847-989-7792 to pre register.

June 4-5
Immerse yourself in an intensive weekend workshop on  Aqua Kriya Yoga. 18 CEU'S. Franciscan Fitness Center. 100 W 197th Place. Chicago Heights IL 60411. To register go to  and inquiries: 650-5047892  

Local Teacher Trainings

85-hour Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training. Bloom Yoga Studio's Yoga Alliance Registered program will give you the skills, confidence, and credentials you need to get out there and start teaching prenatal and postnatal classes. 4663 N. Rockwell, Chicago. 773-463-YOGA(9642);

Begins March (Spring Info session dates: Feb 11 and Feb 25)
Moksha Teacher Training & In-Depth Studies by Master Teacher Daren Friesen. 200-hr Foundational certification Program approved by Yoga Alliance and 500-hr. Advanced Certification Program. For teacher trainees and students wishing to deepen their practice and understanding of yoga. 2528 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647, 312.942.9642 or contact

Blue Sun Yoga Winter Yoga Intensive & Teacher Training at Total Body Yoga in Mundelein. Information at or

April 2, 2016 – March 11, 2017
200-hour Teacher Training & Mentorship Program. A one-year immersion designed to establish a comprehensive foundation in yoga, ayurveda, and tantra. Develop a deep understanding of these disciplines and a sense of confidence in creating your own methods of practicing and teaching. Tejas Yoga, 1300 S. Wabash, 2nd fl., Chicago, 312.386.9642,

April 3, 9-5pm
Learn to Teach Guided Relaxation: The Art of Yoga Nidra with Mia Park, 9–5pmLearn to safely and confidently teach yoga nidra, a deeply healing, resting practice. Safe for all practitioners and is currently being used to relieve symptoms of PTSD in clinical studies. Yoga teaching experience is suggested.

July 15-17 and July 22-24
Yoga Nidra 50-hour Teacher Training. Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice for the modern world.  It helps us to rediscover of our true nature, and remain detached and calm amidst the chaos of daily life. Led by Indu Arora, Ayurveda-Yoga Therapist, Master Teacher, author of Mudra-The Sacred Secret. Ganesha Yoga, 2054 W. Irving Park Road.

August 7-26
Moksha Teacher Training & In-Depth Studies by Master Teacher Daren Friesen. 200-hr Foundational certification Program approved by Yoga Alliance. For teacher trainees and students wishing to deepen their practice and understanding of yoga. Stonehouse Farm Eco-Retreat and Sancturary or contact

August 19-November 20
Ganesha Yoga 200-hour teacher training, a YA-approved program focusing on therapeutic practices and alternative teaching methods that will equip you to teach all students, including those with physical limitations or needs for a more personalized approach. We’ll cover yoga for many special populations as well as traditional hatha and vinyasa styles.

August 7-26
Moksha Teacher Training & In-Depth Studies by Master Teacher Daren Friesen. 200-hr Foundational certification Program approved by Yoga Alliance. For teacher trainees and students wishing to deepen their practice and understanding of yoga. Stonehouse Farm Eco-Retreat and Sancturary or contact

2016 Teacher Trainings at yogaview
Spring Level 1, 200-Hour / yogaview Wilmette / March 3 - June 2
Spring Level 2 / yogaview Chicago / March 10 - June 9
5 day Intensive with Maty Ezraty / yogaview Chicago / May 18 - 22
Summer Level 1, 200-Hour Intensive / yogaview Chicago / July 5 - July 29
Fall Level 1, 200-Hour / yogaview Chicago / September 23 - December 11


February 19-21
Get away and get clarity around your purpose for 2016. Just north of Milwaukee on the shores of Great Lake Michigan. Intention setting, yoga nidra, creative expression and intelligent, subtle yoga practice throughout the weekend will balance body, mind and spirit. Arrive Friday, leave Sunday afternoon. Saturday is a day held in silent reflection. $280.

Throughout February
Several South India retreats led by Daren Friesen, with themes of scuba diving, temple tours, ayurveda, and more. Contact with questions.

March 19-26
Spring Retreat at Blue Spirit Costa Rica with Renee Chester and Rachel Bers of Bloom Yoga Studio. Want to get away to the white sand beaches and do yoga? Enjoy yoga, meditation, gorgeous views, spots for solitude, offsite adventures and more! 773-463-YOGA(9642);

April 9-10
Nourish your soul practicing Dharma Yoga, walking a labyrinth and exploring 50 acres of woods with Kali Om at the beautiful Port for Prayer in Frankfort, IL. Fee includes all Raja Yoga instruction (asana, prayanama, concentration/meditation, Psychic Development and Yoga Nidra), private room and gourmet vegetarian meals. $205 before 2/1, $225 after (commuters $175). or 773.315.5489.

April 29th–May 7th
Restorative Yoga Teacher Certification with Cindy Huston. The certification provides teachers with tools and information to lead a two-hour class. Learn hands-on assists for 12 restorative poses, in addition to the energetic effects of each pose, and sequencing strategies. There will be ample time to practice teaching each posture. Reiki 1 attunement is also included.

September 16-18
3rd Annual Retreat ‘YOUR’ Way: Yoga & Wellness Adventure at Riverbend Retreat Center, South Haven, Michigan with Felicia Schmid, 500 E-RYT Certified Ayurveda Practitioner & Health Educator, Integrative Yoga Therapist. Yoga & Ayurveda Classes; Massage Therapy available on-site; Fire Ceremony; Healing through the 5-Elements; PanchaMaha Bhutas; and more! to register or call Felicia 630.269.8696

September 30th-October 8th
Ganesha Plus Teacher Certification with Mindy Hanzlik. For some larger students, going to a yoga class can be too intimidating to contemplate. Develop skills to create Ganesha Plus classes that let students shine. Learn the components of a size-friendly class, common misconceptions, body-positive language, pose modifications and sequencing techniques that will keep students challenged and safe.

October 19-25
Pulsation Yoga Maui Hawaii Yoga, Snorkeling and Hiking excursion 2016 hosted by Jim and Kathy Simonik in a luxury gated private estate in sunny South Maui near the Wailea Resort. Daily yoga and meditation, hiking, tour of haleakala volcano, the road to hana, beaches galore…. Taking reservations now. It will sell out. Call Kathy: 847-767-5960.


Free yoga class! Please be our guest to a Tantra Vinyasa and Yoga Nidra class at Alternative Health Group. Mondays, 10-11:15AM. Email before class to confirm your space; limited to one guest per class. Move the entire body and rest the soul. 1834 W. North Ave, Chicago.

NEW Teach Yoga to Families eCourse
Learn the specialized techniques needed to engage students who range widely in age and experience, partner poses that work for both similar sized and different sized partners, how to incorporate static/dynamic poses, family dynamics and communication styles…and much more. Get instant access to all the course content when you register at -

Rental Space in Rogers Park. Sweet Magic Studio located at 6960 N. Sheridan Rd. has evening, morning and weekend slots available for instructors, rehearsals and group meetings. Fees: $20-$25 Contact Kareena 773.764.6488

Children’s Yoga Teachers – Are You Looking for Support? People need resources, advice, suggestions, ideas, help in overcoming their obstacles and a sounding board for their issues and ideas. Our mission is to provide it. Join our membership program now and get your first 15 days for FREE -

Ayurveda Center consultations and classes, therapeutic yoga and massage, Reiki, Drumming and more…, 630.235.6829, 929 S. Main St. #104, Lombard 60148 or email

Mom & Baby Yoga with prenatal teacher Lauren Falasz every Tuesday night from 6-7 p.m. (Dad & baby are welcome too!) Yoga Trek Center 911 S. Lombard Oak Park, 708.660.0868

Check out these inspiring stories!

From the Yoga Chicago archives, here’s another inspiring story about a doctor/yogi who brings yoga to her patients:

Got tight hips? Try this 15-minute routine!

Here’s an 8-minute routine for opening your heart—and your hips.

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