Saturday, October 27

Living Yoga Center | Urbana, IL

What an amazing yoga moment for me! My mom came to visit for my birthday weekend and asked if we could go to a yoga class. Could we?!?! Of course! You all know my home studio, Living Yoga Center, by now, but to see it through the eyes of someone who has never done yoga, ever, is great! I'm going to let mom do the rest of the review, if I have to pipe in (because we all know I can't keep my mouth shut) it will be in italics from this point on.   
LOCATION: I obviously know where I'm going, but I imagine the first time it's a bit confusing. There isn't a large street sign to get in, and it's on the 2nd level. The easiest way to enter the studio is actually to park on the upper level of the parking garage and enter the door to the building up there. It takes you into a stairwell that you can either go upstairs or downstairs, but the door right there takes you into the studio. If you do enter from street level you walk into a foyer area where you can take an elevator up one level that, with the staircase next to the elevator also, spits you out into Green Yoga Spa's side of level two (which is shared and open with Living Yoga Center). 
STUDIO: I like it, it was nice and open. The space was self-explanatory as far as where to put stuff, where to change, where to get props or put them back. The studio was clean (I liked the shiny floors) and decorated nicely (the curtain rods made from tree branches was fun). The space was noisier than I expected, lots of footsteps outside of the room and clunking around. But that is the wood floors, I'm guessing (Living Yoga had the gas company in checking for leaks, so they were making some noise outside of the room—not a normal occurrence).   
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Gentle This gentle class eases you into yoga at your own pace.  Poses are modified to meet the needs of the participants.  Compassion is our guiding principle as we focus on increasing one’s range of motion, flexibility, and strength, while developing inner peacefulness and acceptance of ourselves. 
INSTRUCTOR: Jodi Adams, RYT, has been practicing yoga since 1991.  Jodi believes in the restorative benefits of yoga.  No matter one’s age or flexibility, she offers a practice to awaken strength, balance, and a mind/body connection. Yoga has served Jodi well through adversity and times of stress, and she is ultimately inspired to empower others to tap into their own inner strength, to find their voice, their breath, and their true Self.

My daughter brought me up to Champaign to celebrate her birthday. She is a girl of many passions, but yoga was one I knew very little about and she was loving it.  It became a part of life... So thought it would be fun to learn a little of this passion with her. Off we went to my first yoga experience. This was an easy comfortable place to enter, Anni knew her way around the studio and had me all set up on the floor with the mat, cushion (bolster), and few other things that could or would make it all easier for me (two blocks, a strap, two bolsters, and a couple sand bags—the props Jodi set us up with was fun—we did one pose, Upavistha Konasana, where we used the sand bags on our upper thighs and folded over two bolsters to relax. More along the lines of yin yoga, where you hold the pose longer to get into the connective tissue, specifically ligaments and tendons in the joints and spine). Everyone at the studio was super nice and welcoming.

The class was small (which I really liked for a first time) and Jodi started us with simple sitting and breathing (guided meditation) and went into alignment and stretching (a lot of soothing neck openers) and then up on the knees (cats & cows—Chakravakasana) and all the way up to butt in the air (not the real name. Lol, that should be the name! But it was downward facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana). I thought the class was great, it was fun to do the first with my daughter, it was relaxing and at the same time I felt the stretch in the muscles and really loved the deeper breathing and concentration. I was concentrating so much that I didn't even notice the people around me, although I did sneak in a couple peeks at the instructor to make sure I was going into a pose correctly.  

I loved the experience with my daughter and would not be afraid to join a beginners class in my home area. Thanks to everyone who welcomed and taught me, and to Anni for sharing her passion.

Thank you, Mom, for trying something out that was out of your comfort zone—which is sometimes the best part about yoga, learning more about yourself, both in humbling and encouraging ways. But most of all, thank you for taking that little adventure with me—it means the world to me and was an excellent birthday present. Love you mom! 

6 responses:

  1. Really really really cool. Good for Mama for being brave and supportive! BKL ;)

  2. That's really great, Anni! Go Mom! I am really in need of some stretching, and I think maybe yoga is a god way for me to get the stretching. However, I tried it years ago for about 20 minutes and got frustrated because I felt like I couldn't do it. Do you think the gentle class at Living Yoga might be a place for me to try again?

    1. Yoga is an excellent way to balance the body through stretching and strengthening—we definitely need both! And, heck yeah, a gentle class or a beginner's class (which usually start at the beginning of each season at LYC) would be even better. But if you just want to check out the studio and see if it's a good fit (because I think that's equally important, and we have a variety of great studios in town), gentle is a wonderful way to go about it. Or a restorative class is even more soothing.

      Hope you check out a class—if you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to ask!!!
      Thank you.

  3. I'm so bummed that I missed this. I would've loved to experience that with you gals!

    1. Do you want to join me for a class some time? We could do a joint review if you're interested??? :)