Since 1893, when Swami Vivekananda, Indian priest and mystic, chose to introduce yoga to the United States in Chicago during the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair, Chicago has become home to an enormous range of approaches to yoga.
Centers that were established in the 1960s are enjoying a flourishing resur gence and new centers are springing up all over the city and suburbs. The bimonthly Yoga Chicago , an imaginative and informative magazine that reports on the local yoga scene, has comprehensive listings of centers, teachers, and events—a must for any visiting yogi., For those yogis who seek traditional hatha yoga, visits to the Temple of Kriya Yoga and the Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Center are imperative. Goswami Kriyananda of Paramahansa Yogananda lineage established the Temple—housed in a beautiful Victorian residence—in 1968.
Visiting on a Sunday morning, you can practice hatha yoga, join the Temple musicians in mantra, contemplate powerful Noon Meditations, or browse in the Temple bookstore. Northeast of the Temple, the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center offers hatha yoga in the Sivananda style, based on the five principles of proper relaxation, exercise, yoga breathing, diet, and thinking brought to the West by Swami Vishnudevananda, a disciple of Sri Swami Sivananda. The Center, established in 1965, attracts students for meditation, mantra, and the study of karma, bhakti, and jnana yoga. If you’re looking for Iyengar and Ashtanga style classes, there are many Chicago studios to choose from.
Suddha Weixler, administrator of the NU Yoga Center, brings added than 16 years of acquaintance to classes in his bright, ample flat abutting to Lincoln Park Zoo— the aftermost free-admission zoo in the country. At Yoga Circle, amid aural walking ambit of the Art Institute, Gabriel Halpern teaches classical Iyengar Yoga. Daren Friesen, of the moksha yoga Centermost in the city’s Arctic Loop area, teaches Ashtanga and Power Yoga, and has been active in bringing arch yoga advisers to Chicago for assignment shops, acquisitive to advice accomplish Chicago a above hub of yoga in America. This spirit of amplification is blooming at Global Yoga and Wellness Center.
Located in the city’s contemporary Bucktown neighborhood, abutting to shopping, nightclubs, gourmet restaurants, bookstores, and cafes, Global Yoga’s classes accommodate Kripalu, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, and Kundalini Yoga, as able-bodied as appropriate classes like prenatal and postpartum yoga, women’s meditation, yoga for appropriate needs, and couples yoga. If the abounding offerings of the burghal centermost accomplish you continued for the artlessness of nature, this too can be begin aloof arctic of Chicago at the Himalayan Institute, amid on three abounding acreage in Glenview. The Institute is housed in a 100year-old refurbished aged barn, area a large, adequate capital allowance allows for the teaching of acceptable hatha yoga and the faculty that you are afar from civilization.
Helping his clients achieve a deeper state of calm was also an important goal for Michael Stusser, owner of the Osmosis spa in Freestone, California, who was inspired to build a meditation garden by a profound experience he had years ago in an ancicnt temple garden in Japan. “This 8oo-yearold garden spoke of equanimity in a very profound way,” says Stusser, who apprenticed himself to a Japanese master gardener for a year and later partnered with Japanese garden expert Robert Ketchell to design the Osmosis garden.
“It’s very hard for people in our society to build a strong meditation practice because we don’t have physical environments that inform the experience,” Stusser says. Today the Osmosis garden is open to all, and a sitting group meets there weekly for meditation and a dharma talk. As for my garden, it’s coming along in fits and starts, much like my yoga and meditation practices. I must admit it’s taken a lot of effort, since most of Delane/s suggestions involved change and letting go of attachment, two things I’m not exactly good at.
Take, for instance, the potted roses that lined my deck. “Why would you want your usable space enclosed by plants you can’t touch?” she asked. “Move them back behind the railing where you can see them but be protected from the thorns.” I knew she was right as soon as she said it, but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy— they’re heirloom roses that I’ve collected over many years. So I’ve moved them one by one, taking time to find each a home, either in my garden or with a neighbor. And there’s been an unexpected benefitwithout the mulberry tree, roses that before were spindly and sun-starved are leafing out happily. Like me, they’re turning toward the light, eager to bloom.