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Live Be Yoga ambassadors Jeremy Falk and Aris Seaberg are on a road trip across the country to share real talk with master teachers, explore innovative classes, and so much more—all to illuminate what’s in store for the future of yoga.
Chicago has a vast yoga scene, and this diverse city opened our eyes to the ways yoga is making a bigger impact. When it comes to the future of yoga, Chicago helped us see the bigger picture literally and figuratively.
Chill Yoga Chicago
We love the popular, challenging, and sweaty yang side of yoga, but often people don’t realize that the tranquil, meditative yin side is equally important and an even deeper practice. Our friends at Chill Yoga Chicago know just how to deliver peaceful vibes with a formula that include 30 minutes of gentle hatha yoga and 30 minutes of guided meditation. We truly enjoyed the chance to slow down and get quiet in their studio—which was, well, pretty chill.
360 Sky Yoga
Our practice at 360 Sky Yoga, located atop the iconic John Hancock building along Michigan Avenue, broadened our perspectives, quite literally! Taking in the views of Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan was visceral reminder to step out of our own stories and narratives and always consider the bigger picture, whether it’s through a single deep breath, stepping on our mat—or from the 94th floor of a skyscraper!
Like many men we’ve encountered, Marshawn Feltus always held the viewpoint that “yoga was for skinny white women”—that is, until the prison yoga program at Illinois River Correctional Center opened up his perspective. At 17 years old, Feltus served nearly 20 years in prison for what he calls “senseless street violence” that escalated into a fatal shooting. The prison’s yoga program helped him sleep (a big deal in the big house), reduced his anger, and gave him a path to successfully reintegrate back into society.
Through his program ACT (Awareness, Change, Triumph) Yoga Feltus has dedicated his life in service of others teaching yoga in underserved communities all over Chicago. His story broadened our awareness of just how important prison yoga programs are, not only to the inmates, but society at large. Read more about Feltus’s inspirational journey from inmate to instructor and studio owner here.
I Grow Chicago
We spent an afternoon on the South Side of Chicago with I Grow Chicago, an organization that has a self-described mission to “heal the hood.” It was an an eye-opening experience to see Robbin Carroll’s drive to bring peace to her city. She has built a sanctuary and loving community for the neighborhood, one of the most violent in Chicago, and offers open doors, provides food from the garden, teaches life skills, and hosts free yoga classes in hopes of cultivating more peace from the inside out. She told us how she has witnessed the power of the practice and how taking just one breath can literally save lives. You can get an inside look at the Peace House—where police officers practice yoga next to kids—in this video.
Sat Nam Yoga Chicago
Sat Nam Yoga Chicago expanded our experience to the magic and depth of Kundalini Yoga. When you raise your arms above your head and chant “Sat Nam” for more than 5 minutes, everything from physical discomfort to difficult emotions arise. Kundalini tools offer a simple yet brilliant way to clear energy within and strengthen the mind.
Our class with local DJ and Kundalini teacher Siri Adi Singh was powerful yet balanced. It included pranayama (breathing techniques), asana (physical yoga poses), intention-setting, and mantra (chanting), along with magical Savasana breaks, not only at the end, but sprinkled throughout class. We could feel the energy shifting within us, and by the end we were in complete alignment and balance. You can read more about this transformational class at Sat Nam Yoga Chicago here.
Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower
Our yoga practice expanded unexpectedly during our visit to Willis Tower in downtown Chicago. The 103rd floor of the iconic skyscraper offers unobstructed panoramic views of the Windy City—as well as a glass balcony called The Ledge. While the floor-to-ceiling views of the city are already exhilarating, arm-balancing as you float 1,450 feet above the sidewalk is an extreme exercise in focusing your breath and mind. It was yet another reminder that yoga can be done anywhere!
Special Thanks to Weleda
As yogis on the road, we maintain our wellness with asana, meditation, and healthy eating. Luckily Weleda is along for the ride to remind us of the bigger picture. Wellbeing isn’t just about what you do with your body or the foods you eat, but it’s also about what you feed your largest organ—the skin! Weleda products are certified to a European standard that is beyond organic, and their nourishing creams keep us hydrated and healthy through all of our adventures.