Saturday, June 11

Essence of Life | Shorewood, IL

LOCATION: Well, if you put Rt 30 into your Tom Tom it doesn't know what you're talking about, but if you put the local name of Lincoln Highway it plops you in another area that is W. Jefferson St, but there's no such thing as number 1142. Thank you iPhone for saving the day and pointing me in the right direction... and thank myself for actually leaving early to find a studio. (Parking was free.)
COST: Drop-in fee was $15 (credit cards accepted)

STUDIO: The space is really beautiful with front desk for check in, a narrow way to the yoga space filled with great merch, a side room for a more western version of working out.
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Every body is unique, and our classes are designed so that everybody will benefit, yet participants are free to follow along at their own pace. Each of us are at different levels of strength and flexibility, thus, we do not expect everybody to be able to perform every technique.
INSTRUCTOR: Ed—I couldn't find a bio for him.
CONTACT: Essence of Life

I've always wondered and worried what I would do when I had a bad class. I just don't want to put any evil mojo out there... fearful that I was just having a rough day or taking a class that wasn't for me. I normally just comforted myself with, "It's yoga, how can you have a bad experience?!" Oh contraire mon frere! My drive home from this class was stressful, I just didn't know how to approach this review... searching for something positive to say. I can't.

There were 6-7 students in the room, one woman was advanced in her poses, but 3-4 people were quite a bit less experienced (a couple there for their second time of yoga ever). One person had really tight hips. None of us were asked if we had any injuries or concerns. Warm up had us quickly going into twists and poses we weren't warmed up for, and then we only held them for seconds. Never was attention brought to our alignment, how to adjust the pelvis, where hips should be facing. We were asked to do balancing poses with the lights so low, it was like trying balancing poses with our eyes closed (which is a sure-fire way to fall over if you don't have great balance that day). I was seriously concerned for everyone in the room—including the teacher. The "instruction" was empty and lacked the thoroughness needed for the levels in the room. It was truly upsetting, and if I wasn't feeling so responsible for following through on this review, I would have left.

As I was leaving the class (at the scheduled time), more tense than when I arrived, I overheard the couple talking to the owner of the studio, saying how hard the class was... which is when I learned it was only their second class. Once we were outside I almost walked up to them to recommend other classes or give them my blog card, but that just felt too ballsy. So (under the advice of a good friend) I pose this question:
If you were new to a class I was taking with you—would you want me to share my knowledge with you? 
The friend I am staying with has a co-worker who goes here, but she only takes classes with the owner, Jodie, who I met and was quite lovely. I hope her class is different, but because she allows this other teacher to be teaching in her studio, I can't support her... I can't even bring myself to say I will go back and check out her class. I'm sorry.

9 responses:

  1. What a nice job of reviewing a not so nice experience. I would want the input from others when thinking of taking a class, may still take the class...but the opinions of others would come into play on the decision on whether to stay with that class or not.

  2. Sounds like the nicest way to describe an unfortunate experience. I'd suggest striking up a conversation with the new-to-yoga couple, if something like this happens again - I bet they would like to know that it is not supposed to be this hard. Love the blog!

  3. Thank you ladies! I really wish I just gave them my card, but lesson learned, right? See, there's a good thing that came out of this experience!

  4. You're honest, have integrity, and are very kind.....enough said....continue your great blog!

  5. Keep it up. Oh and give advice. If not one on one, at least give the person asking for advise your blogspot address so they can read what you think.

  6. Good for you... honest, thoughtful, and really may help some people out.

  7. Thank you so much everyone!

  8. Thank you for this review. I am looking for a good yoga studio in the general Joliet metropolitan area, and this one is very close to home. The other studio I was looking at was Bikram Yoga in Plainfied; I might go with this one just due to this review. Thanks for your honesty!

    1. Glad I could help! Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

      I've done a couple other reviews around the Joliet area. I highly recommend Bridgit at Innerpeace Natural Healthcare (and she travels around a bit to teach):

      Just Breathe was nice too: