Yoga is kind of a big deal in Chicago. But you probably already knew that. It’s almost impossible to walk down the street without passing a studio (or 10) and countless yoga-loving disciples with their mat in tow.
If you’re anxious to get in on the action, you’re in luck. Chicago has a ton of studios and yoga hot spots to try out. So many, in fact, that choosing just one place to practice is a challenge. We help you sort through your options by highlighting the city’s little slices of yoga heaven. Get ready to stretch, sweat, and strength your way through a tour of local yoga studios.
Want a practice that goes beyond a sweat fest? Yogaview focuses on all elements of yoga, not just the physical. While the studio offers conventional Vinyasa classes, you’ll also find other styles of practices, such as self-guided Ashtanga classes, Bow-Spring Method classes, as well as straight-up meditative classes (which are free!). They offer a full slate of classes in Bucktown and the suburb of Wilmette, but no matter what you take, it’s always going to be about you.
They don’t just call someone the Best Yoga Studio of 2015 for nothing. Making waves in the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, and the West Loop, these ultra-chic studios are the kind of places you could imagine bumping elbows with celebrities (besides us, of course.) If you’re not lured in by fancy details like non-toxic, recycled studio flooring, check this place out for the huge variety of classes they offer, from bootcamp-style yoga to deep stretch.
This West Loop studio is owned by Carmen Aguilar, the creator of cYoga. What is cYoga? It’s a style that very rationally moves towards several peak poses that push yogis to new levels. Oh, and boy does it ever. If you want to get into one of those I-never-thought-my-body-could-do-this, you should get to the Lab.
Offering a little bit of everything, Zen is quite possibly Bucktown’s most balanced yoga studio. You’ll find bootcamps, all levels of Vinyasa, Yin yoga, yoga barre, and Buddha Yoga Burn, where you’ll do yoga with weights. True to the name, one of the practice spaces features a glass garage door that looks out at Milwaukee Avenue. At the end of slightly-heated classes, instructors open this garage up just a bit to cool down the room. You’ll be sweaty and tired, and with that rush of cool air, we bet you’ll find your yoga bliss.
Moksha Yoga Center’s set-ups in Bucktown, Lakeview and River West are kind of hubs within the yoga community. In addition to offering a variety of mindful and vigorous flows, Moksha hosts a ton of events, including workshops with nationally-renowned teachers, certification programs, and travel opportunities. Plus, you’ll find bodywork sessions, like acupuncture and massages, to help you get your body right.
If you get bored of the same ol’ flows, the classes at Ganesha are for you. We’re talking about hula hooping away your belly fat and burning calories by dancing to “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Sounds pretty good, huh? But, for those who want some classic Vinyasa classes every once in awhile, this Lincolnwood studio has your tried-and-true favorites too.
Home to some of the city’s top instructors, this family-owned studio is all about making yoga simple, unintimidating, and rewarding. And with classes in every style and level and warm atmosphere, it certainly achieves this.
The name says it all. Chicago’s original Bikram yoga studio is hot. Like, 105 degrees Fahrenheit hot. But when it comes to going through that Bikram flow until you think fainting is a real possibility, this Wicker Park studio is the place to do it. Of course, that’s when you chill in child’s pose.
CorePower is practically a synonym for ‘yoga’ in Chicago. We have 14(!) studios that offer their signature high-intensity power yoga in a modern-chic environment. Count on sweating with a smile on during any of their lively classes. And bring a yoga towel, otherwise your mat will turn into a slip ’n’ slide by the end of class.
This urban sanctuary in Ukranian Village is perfect for beginner and experienced yogis alike. You’ll find all levels of Hatha and Vinyasa flows, as well as several Yoga 101 classes that are perfect for first-time practitioners. And if you think you can handle it, all aboard the emotional rollercoaster that is their Tantric class.
You could say that lululemon understands a thing or two about yoga. And luckily, they’re sharing it with Chicago. The popular yoga brand hosts complimentary in-store yoga practices with a rotation of local yoga instructors once a week. It’s a great way to get to know new instructors. And it’s easy on the wallet…unless you end up buying something.
Yoga Loft is inviting you up for their signature power yoga, but you’ll have to check your stress at the door. It doesn’t exist here. Their River North loft space is the ultimate space to become a yogi – non-judgemental, non-competitive, and they’re definitely not, as they put it, “yoga snobs.” Swing in for any of their energy-packed classes, like Jivamukti Spiritual Warrior, Power Flow Vinyasa, and Busy People Class (they understand us).
At The Yoga Shop, they don’t sell yoga. Instead, they believe in gifting happiness and body-changing challenges. This joy-filled community fixture of Old Irving Park makes yoga possible for all of us. Whether it’s decompressing in a tranquil Candlelight Yoga class or getting the body right with Power Vinyasa before the sun rises, The Yoga Shop crew will hook you up.
Ahimsa isn’t an everyday word. Though, it’s something we could get down with everyday. Meaning “non-harming” – interpreted as “peace” – Ahimsa Yoga Studio in Oak Park (and Berwyn!) will show you what it means to crush workweek stress. Try your hand at a Hatha, Vinyasa, or Anusara session and wave ‘goodbye’ to that thing that had you grinding your teeth.
Village Yoga knows that not everyone can bend over backwards for yoga (literally). Their Lincoln Park studio invites you into their community of Villagers with open arms, and provides classes that fit your ability, comfort level, and intention. Plus, they know you’re busy. So stop in for a Lunch Break! class for that moment when you just really, really need a session.
Okay, that’s funny. But Om on the Range could have still used the word “home” and we’d roll with it. When you walk into their North Center/Lakeview warehouse-turned-yoga hub, it’ll feel like you just walked into your own apartment. And their welcoming community is just as warm as their Baptiste Power Yoga-style flows.
Yoga is more than just an errand, folks. Namaskar YOGA probably understands that better than anyone. They’re about mindset, attitude, and intention, allowing you to be fully present with any of their Vinyasa-style packed schedule of classes. FYI: their cozy studio lights up the Lakeview neighborhood, so when the Cubs play, plan ahead!
Say you’re not particularly flexible, don’t have a taste for kombucha, and typically wear shoes most days. Then this is probably the yoga for you (though, wanderlusting hardcore yogis are welcome too!). Tejas Yoga in Near Southside does its best to “demystify” yoga, developing a practice for the modern-day, urban yogi. The instruction is spot-on, and they’re quick to help you whenever you have that “uh, what?” face on.
TULA in Logan Square isn’t putting on a show. Being real, they claim to be real people with real problems (really) – they never try to take themselves too seriously. But one thing they do take seriously is connecting to yoga – no matter if that’s their Vinyasa, Hatha, or Candlelight Yin classes. That means turning off your brain (and your phone), and forging a mind-body practice. Chill out, breathe, and melt those worries away.
If fun is a must for your yoga practice, go play at Bare Feet Power Yoga. Their West Loop hot spot (hot like 90°) has built a yoga community of fun-loving, powerful yogis. How? It’s their classes. Yeah, they have Power Vinyasa. But classes like Turn It Up Dog – “a dance party on your mat”, the opposite and relaxing Slow It Down Dog, and the perfect partner workout of AcroYoga make yoga so freakin’ fun.
Chicago can get pretty cold. But Be Yoga Andersonville in Northside is always hot. Their Bikram practice stresses the traditional 26 postures and two breathing exercises in their simple, heated studio. Drop in to one of their 90-minute classes to work yourself inside and out…and sweat (emphasis on sweat).
Boy, does Yoga Now love yoga…and its community…and the Earth. Let’s start with their Near North eco-friendly studio, though. Earthen clay plasters the walls, behind them is recycled blue jeans for insulation, and underneath you is a renewable bamboo floor. It’s all in the name of providing a peaceful growing environment for your budding yoga lifestyle. Roll out a mat for any of their 59 classes per week, or get your body in full relaxation mode by scheduling a massage.
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