I’ve always wanted to try yoga but felt intimidated, picturing a room full of Gwyneth Paltrow types who only eat vegan and do the downward dog in their sleep. Not so at Namaskar Yoga in Lakeview, where snobbery seemingly doesn’t exist and the atmosphere is welcoming to yoga novices and kids alike.
An accepting place for newcomers is a key philosophy at Namaskar and it goes like this: “Yoga accepts you as you are. Yoga doesn’t care how flexible you are, how old you are, how athletic (or not) you are, how Zen (or not) you are. Yoga meets you where you’re at and intends to leave you feeling better at the end of class than you did at the start. Where you are, right now, in your body and mind is the perfect place to take your first step.”
That was encouragement enough for me. First-timers should start with one of the classes appropriate for beginners such as Basics, Mindful Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga. Some of the monthly workshops are also a good primer such as April’s Meditation, Breathing& Deep Relaxation Practice or the Heart& Hip Opening Workshop which promises to leave attendees with “infinite love and gratitude for yourself.”
Instructor Cathy Beres runs the monthly mother-daughter yoga workshops and innovative tween program, incorporating music, crafts, readings and stress management techniques for children to instill a lifelong love of yoga.
Of course advanced yoga enthusiasts will find challenging classes and workshops as well, such as Advanced Flow and Hour Yoga, both geared toward true yogis.
There are a variety of schedules, including two weeks of unlimited classes for first-time students for . Packages of classes also include 30 days of unlimited classes for 0 and 20 classes for 0. Seniors and full-time students received substantial discounts.
On a really tight budget? Go for the once-per-week yoga class where all proceeds go to charity.
- 3946 N. Southport Ave., Chicago