Monday, January 11, 2016

McFetridge Yoga Studio is one of Chicago’s new hidden gems & the frugal choice for yoga lovers

I started writing this blog post to talk about the four yoga classes I now teach on Tuesdays at McFetridge Yoga & Fitness Studio, which are Hatha, Slow Flow and morning and afternoon Gentle Yoga. But I couldn’t do the subject justice without also urging the local yoga enthusiast (or anyone who has yet to attend a yoga class) to explore overall what this newly renovated gem-of-a-studio can really mean to him or her.

McFetridge Yoga Studio is located within the McFetridge Sports Center, 3843 N California Avenue, Chicago. The center is part of California Park, between Irving Park and Addison Avenues.  

When I met someone recently and mentioned the venue to him, he said, “McFetridge? What’s a McFetridge? That’s a mouthful!” Well, it’s far more than that. McFetridge Sports Center, widely known for more than 40 years on Chicago’s north side for its figure skating and hockey ice rink, and indoor tennis courts, has more recently added its significant and serene yoga studio to its offerings for the community.

Taking yoga classes at McFetridge is the frugal choice as each is only $10 for a drop-in, one-hour class. One-month or two-month unlimited memberships are smartly priced, too (see offer below). And if you’re a senior aged 65 or older, it’s half price.

McFetridge is also a frugal choice for the frugal poet or any person who practices the frugality of a simple but elegant, intelligent lifestyle, because of the many perks the venue includes in your yoga experience: for example, you get more individualized attention at McFetridge than at many other venues, in an accepting, non-judgmental, non-competitive atmosphere.

It’s a beautiful, sparkling clean and spacious studio with gentle vaporizers, soft music, an occasional whiff of incense, relaxing lighting and a welcoming spirit. Mats, bolsters,
blocks, blankets and straps are all available for your use at no extra charge.

Even more frugal are the membership deals going on now, January 2016, via Groupon. One month’s unlimited yoga studio membership (regularly $60) is now only $29 with the Groupon. And a two-month unlimited yoga studio membership (regularly $100) is only $49 with the Groupon. That’s for as many yoga classes as you care to take. Not only for the ones I teach, but also for Forrest Yoga, Restorative, Yoga Sculpt (similar to CorePower, using hand weights), Vinyasa Flow and other classes available with a bevy of instructors.

Let’s face it, yoga in general is a frugal choice. It cannot only be performed virtually anywhere, at most anytime, indoors or out, with little to no equipment, but it is also easier on your joints and other body parts than running and therapeutic not only to the body, but also, ultimately, to the mind and emotions. That is, if you’re aware of what you’re doing. Yoga is and can become for many a lifelong learning experience.

Moving beyond the frugality of yoga lovers smartly getting more for their dollar and being kinder and wiser to themselves, I look at the McFetridge Yoga Studio in particular as one of Chicago’s hidden gems. It’s an attractive, down-to-earth venue, yet perched high in its own lofty aerie, a neighborhood getaway still being discovered. My students consider the space as a haven or “safe place” to practice and be oneself.

Many people who haven’t been to the McFetridge Sports Center lately are not only surprised and pleased that it now includes a yoga studio, but also by finding that it’s one that’s fully staffed with specialized, caring instructors, offering a wider range of yoga classes than many other studios do.

All of the classes I personally teach are conducted at room temperature (around 74 to 76 degrees), but a number of other classes at the McFetridge Yoga Studio are heated in a fashion similar to the Bikram Yoga tradition (between 80-90 degrees). There is definitely something for everyone.

I invite you to drop-in to try any of my yoga classes. Stop at the McFetridge front desk first to purchase your $10 drop-in slip and someone will direct you to the yoga studio:

Gentle Yoga on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. is the right choice for anyone who wants a slower-paced class. Poses are practiced seated, standing and lying down, modified with support as needed. Great for seniors, beginners or those recovering from injuries. As well, it’s the perfect compliment to warm-up before or cool-down after skating, hockey or tennis. Breath and relaxation are also emphasized. Take part in our room temperature gentle yoga class regardless of experience, age or body type.

Hatha Yoga on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. comprises a sequence of traditional asanas (poses). This room temperature Level 1 class focuses on breathing, alignment, extension, grounding, strengthening and stretching. Great for beginners to mid-level participants.

Slow Flow on Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. is a room-temperature yoga class comprising slowly paced sun salutations and flow pose sequences, giving you the opportunity to use your breath and subtle movements to calm your mind, find your center and stretch your body.

I am a certified RYT-200 yoga instructor, registered with the Yoga Alliance, and received my teacher training at Bloom Yoga Studio in Chicago.