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There’s a new yoga studio in town, and if you’re at all familiar with the fitness scene in Chicago, you know this isn’t breaking news. But the fact that it just so happens to be Ritual Hot Yoga, the third of its kind in the entire country (besides two in San Francisco), is one of the many reasons it’s worth getting excited about.
Why? Well, to even the most advanced yogis out there, these rituals aren’t like any you’ve experienced before.
The intimate studio in River North offers two different classes: Ritual Yin Yoga and their signature Ritual Hot Yoga. Ritual Hot Yoga’s classes are fast-paced, dark, and loud, which is exactly what found Lindsey Kaalberg is aiming for. And even though Ritual Yin is slower paced, yogis of all levels are encouraged to try both.
Each 50-minute class is minimally lit by candlelight with motivating playlists and an instructor who quickly cues each posture as an assistant provides demonstrations. Oh, and if hands-on assists are your thing, you won’t have to worry about never getting any — in fact, you’ll get them numerous times throughout class.
You’ll also never get bored since every class has a different sequence that is set to a new playlist each time. The music is essential to Ritual Hot Yoga, in that breath is not only linked to movement, but to the beat as well. And if this sounds similar to one of Chi-town’s favorite cycling studios, that’s because it is.
“Lindsey really wants to revolutionize the way people think about yoga. She was actually in a SoulCycle class when she realized that she wanted to apply the same concept of moving to the beat of the music, but in a yoga class,” said Garrett Roth, Ritual’s Marketing Director, of Kaalberg.
Because it usually takes 2–3 classes for yogis to get the hang of such a unique format, the studio offers a complimentary 15-minute private session for beginners who purchase the “10-Day Preview” package. Members can also purchase private sessions to work on poses outside of class. The sequences include 52 different postures, and many students make it their goal to “master” (at their own accord) each pose within a year.
It might be hard to believe that 98 degrees could ever feel luxurious, but Ritual Hot Yoga makes it easy. Every class comes with a complimentary mat, mat towel, sweat towel (you’ll need it), eucalyptus cold towel (you’ll love it), blocks, bands, and bottled water. Showers and an entire area dedicated to getting ready for life off the mat are also accessible as soon as you finish class.
For as calm as the studio is before and after class, the intense 50 minutes of hard work is anything but relaxed. But between the sense of community you feel when greeted at the door, and the rush of endorphins that take over as you leave, Ritual Hot Yoga makes every drop of sweat worth it.
The studio landed right off the Chicago brownline stop and offers seven classes a day throughout the week, and four classes every Saturday and Sunday, making it incredibly easy for this kind of yoga to become your new, everyday ritual.
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