Friday, June 10

Innerpeace Natural Healthcare | Joliet, IL

LOCATION: This was pretty easy to find... but I tell you what, it's been a rough weekend of searching in Joliet, for me and my Tom Tom. I wish yoga studios could put signs out on the street that say "LOOK HERE! LOOK HERE! YOGA! TURN!"—possibly in neon—blinking—and fireworks. Parking was free, and they did a great job explaining that you go to the back of the parking lot to find the location (once you know which building you're driving behind).
COST: Drop-in fee was $15 (credit cards accepted)
STUDIO: This location is set up for natural health care (chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists... very cool). And they only offer yoga on Thursday nights, so it's a little bit like walking into a doctor's office instead of a yoga studio. But they are very friendly at the front desk, and made me feel very comfortable to ask questions. The room (pictured above) is sweet, which maybe sounds insulting, but they're taking a healthcare setting and turning it into a yoga studio. I think they did a great job.
CLASS DESCRIPTION: We will practice Tantric Hatha/Vinyasa style of Yoga.

INSTRUCTOR: Bridgit has been practicing both Yoga and Pilates since 2004 with pilates teacher training under David Englund of Ultimate Fitness in Evanston, IL, and yoga teacher training under Daren Fiesen of Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago, IL. She loves serving others and is passionate about work-life balance and cultivating healthy lifestyle choices in herself and her students [be sure to read her full bio on the link, she has a lovely childhood story with her mother in Zimbabwe].

So, my first choice for yoga on my Joliet excursion was to check out Bikram Yoga Plainfield. The first night I got into town too late and missed the class... so the next morning I woke up nice and early to catch me some hot yoga. Well, we had a TON of rain all night and it was still going, so my adventure lead me to ten... 10!!!... road blocks of streets flooded over. I couldn't get to that building for nothing. So, I decided the world was telling me I should not attempt hot yoga this week, and really, I wasn't going to complain because hot yoga kicks my butt. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to compare the authentic Bikram class to the previous hot yoga class I tried in Indy. But! I'm not here to review Bikram Yoga, am I? No... no the world wanted me to take a class on Thursday night at Innerpeace. And I'm SO glad I listened.

There were four students in the room, each of us with different skills... I think two of the students were regulars and us other two were new. Brigit was very nice, we all talked about our yoga experience, including Brigit. She actually travels quite a bit from one location to the next all week long teaching 21 classes... some pilates, but mostly yoga. That's a lot of classes, and A LOT of driving. The other newbie in the room said Brigit came highly recommended... I was happy to hear that, since I didn't do any research of this place before I walked in.

Brigit was a breath of fresh air. We opened the class with one om, warmed up a little, and did a few modified sun A's and one full sun A (surya namaskar A):

When we went to focus on our standing poses, Brigit took us to the wall for warrior two (Virabhadrasana II) and extended side angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana). This was great! We used a block that we had to hold with our bent knee against the wall, then try to roll our opposite hip back to also touch the wall, and then shoulder blades going down and touching the wall. Both these poses I've been doing for a couple years now, but I will never look down on a chance to really break down a pose and learn it all over again. And I really did learn it all over again. 

We worked on our shoulders next for a little bit, took it to the mat to cool down with further stretches, and then on to sivasana. Brigit came around and adjusted all of us, ending it with a sweep of her hands... as if she was drawing out and releasing all the tension in our bodies. When we found ourselves back to our sitting position we did a technique where we would hum on our exhale, sounding like a hive of bees inside our head (Bharamari). I did this once before when I was on my retreat with Harmony Yoga, and it's fun... because everyone has different breath patterns, it quickly sounds like the bees are swarming. It is suppose to have 
a calming effect on the entire nervous system, especially it stimulates the parasympathetic nervouse system, which induces muscular relaxation and is very effective in stress management. So this pranayama is very effective for relaxation of body and mind. 
We ended class with one more om, and a personal namaste for each of us with Brigit. I really can't say enough great things about Brigit. If you're in the Chicago-land area, I would look up one of the many classes she teaches and check it out, you won't regret it!

4 responses:

  1. Thanks Anni for the lovely Review!

    You summarized the class very well. sounds like a lot happened to bring your to Innerpeace. I am personally glad and honored that you blessed us with your presence. I will be in San Francisco the week of the Midwest Yoga Journal Conference in Lake Geneva so I will miss you. I hope that our paths will cross again sometime. If you get a chance to take a class with Jim Bennitt at the conference you will love it, he is one of the teachers I apprenticed with while I was studying at Moksha. He is an amazing teacher! Until the next time...


  2. Thank YOU, Bridgit, for the wonderful class. I'm pretty sure our paths will cross again, just because I look forward to more classes with you in the future!

    I think I requested at least one class with Jim Bennitt, hopefully I get in. I'll let you know how it goes!

    Safe travels—have fun in San Francisco... are you teaching out there? I have a friend in SF who would enjoy taking one of your classes. Or, hopefully, you're just having a relaxing vacation to yourself :)


  3. Thanks for informative blog.It's given perfect ratio for the effectiveness of pilates exercises.Great thinking about it,,,

  4. In the art of peace,there is no contest there is only inner contentment