Om for Others

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This spring was all about service, community building, healthy habits and giving back to our local schools.  Om is surrounded by many vibrant neighborhoods and in partnership with local, volunteer school leaders,  we came together for good vibes & good fundraising.  We love and thank the parent communities that helped us co-create Coonley Karma, ZenFest and yogaBELLooza!  These collaborations truly warm our hearts.  Almost $1,000 was raised for each school.  

Yoga Fore Golfers

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There’s a natural connection between your golf swing and vinyasa flow.   And that is at the heart of Terry’s annual Yoga Fore Golfers workshop.   Each spring, he brings his two passions together so that students can bridge smooth vinyasa flow directly into their golf practice.  Kinesthetic awareness and moment-to-moment awareness abound in both disciplines!  

While this has typically been a male-centric event for the past decade, the 2018 workshop had a new twist with over a dozen ladies and just a handful of gents.   But there is a universal truth for all and that is that yoga, like golf, can sustain your interest for decades. The more you study, the more interesting and connected they are.

#tulum2018

Tulum —  healing vortex, natural wonder, peaceful atmosphere, ancient Mayan energy, water so blue, city of dawn — it’s all true.    Beth is just back from leading a retreat there and she can’t seem to stop humming about it.    It’s more than daily yoga & meditation with Om yogis and new friends.  It’s more than sunshine, wellness, barefeet, healthy meals, beach living, new adventures & experiences at Amansala eco-resort.   How do you wrap that up in one word?  Tulum.  (Note: planning for #tulum2019 is underway)

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Our Valentine’s Day Tradition

We marked the studio’s 16th anniversary today!    And in keeping with tradition, we hosted Om’s annual Valentine’s Partner’s Yoga fundraiser.  We’ve taught more than a hundred couples through the years and all for charity.  It’s always a fun, peaceful & healthy way to connect with a loved one.  Plus, thousands has been raised for local charities that are doing important work in Chicago.

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New Year Celebration of Om Teachers

Cheers to the New Year!  Cheers to the Om Teachers’ Annual Gathering!  Cheers to the wisdom of our teachers who range in age from 20 “something” to 60+!  Cheers to this post-brunch photo! Cheers to these amazing teachers that are our heart & soul!  Cheers to 15 years of Om on the Range...and counting!

 (Missing:   Jill, Leah, Stacia & Whitney)

(Missing:   Jill, Leah, Stacia & Whitney)

Annie's Ceramics

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You know its holiday time at Om when Annie’s handmade ceramics arrive.  She has a new collection each season and this year’s included bright ornaments & other functional accents for the home.  Annie spends months working on ABC (Annie Barclay Ceramics) for the studio and everyone loves them.  We do, too!

That Friend Who Brought You to Your First Yoga Class

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In our case, it was our college buddy Paul.  Everyone loved visiting Paul Toliuszis (rhymes with delicious) when he moved to South Beach after graduating from University of Illinois.  Yoga came into his orbit and then into ours.  He took us to our first class and became our first/now “forever” yoga teacher.  Paul’s taught classes at Om through the years (maybe you were at Transformational Breathing Class way back when or that insanely crazy, fun vinyasa flow class at the old Bucktown studio).  He came back to Om to practice today.  It meant so much to us; we are forever grateful to our dear friend and yoga buddy.   

Young Yogis

We love it.... teenagers in the Yoga Studio!    We’ve shared this practice most recently with the Lane Tech College Prep Cross Country Team.   And we have connected with teenagers at Whitney Young and Lakeview High School in years past,  too. Nothing like a little de-stressing, mood improvement and rejuvenation to end the school day!     Science is studying the teen brain and how mindfulness practices (like yoga) hone their “executive function” as well as help with anxiety. Psychology Today has more info in this article  

PS:  If you want to introduce your Teen to yoga, send them along to the Basics Class (currently scheduled at Noon on Sunday and Wednesday at 6pm).   Or connect with Beth and maybe we can host a special class here or at your child’s school.  Parents Unite!   Yoga for Our Teens!  

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Chicago, IL

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Our uniquely-shaped state and this fine city were home to the 1893 World Parliament of Religions, the first formal gathering of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.   Today, this gathering is recognized as the birth of formal inter-religious dialogue in the world.  Unity and tolerance and understanding were at the heart of this interfaith gathering.  124 years later, we are here in Chicago practicing and encouraging unity on our mat and beyond.

Interested in more on this gathering and the introduction of raja yoga/yoga of the mind?   Read Swami Vivekananda's Sept 1893 addresses. 

Summer in the City

Yoga is everywhere this summer!  And we're happy to be invited back to lead a session at Navy Pier's Vibe Up Sunset Yoga series.  With almost 100 yogis from all over the city & world, it was mega fun on a perfect Chicago night.   We love to bring a little Om on the Road into the community.

Milestones

It's a milestone day for us.   We are celebrating our oldest son Will's 8th grade graduation.   Our desire in opening up the studio 15 years ago was to do the work we love -- building community, fostering connection and health through yoga/mindfulness -- and raise a family.   Today, that all came together in a big way!  To all the Om students who shared parenting tips, tales and laughs through the years, we thank you.  To our Will, we love you & are proud of the young man you are.  

Coonley Karma

Indigo Girls, Justin Bieber,  Hall & Oats....these were some of the tunes that the Parents of Coonley Elementary School students asked to hear at their yoga fundraiser.   Everyone had a gas at this yoga party and community gathering!   Around $750 was raised for this local grade school that has been around for 100 years.    A big Om shout out to Christine, Christina, Tracy, Susannah and Robin for being co-hosts, for the delicious breakfast treats and for spreading the power of yoga -- especially after drop-off.  

Liz V (+) Yin = Yiz

Sunday/a bolster or pillows/plenty of quiet/just the right amount of warmth/mellow floor poses for two hours.  Yup, we're hooked!  And that's what these quarterly yin workshops with Liz V (aka Yiz) are all about.  Especially perfect on this rainy spring day.

yogaBELLooza

Nothing like a gathering of parents coming together to focus on yoga, health and fellowship! That's what the Bell Elementary School community got up to at the one & only yogaBELLooza. This is the third  time hosting this Om fundraiser and almost $1000 was raised.   The yoga class playlist was inspired by our kids' favorite songs as well as songs in the recent Bell play production.  That can sure make you smile during class!   And so did the yoga brunch that came together after.  So happy to be a part of our neighborhood!

(Note:  we would love to be a part of your school/church/non-profit community too;  let Beth know if you want to partner up)

Om Teacher Gathering

We have a special teacher tradition at Om on the first Saturday of the new year.   It has just the right ingredients for new beginnings...a yoga practice that we create in real time by taking turns teaching a part of it, an eclectic playlist of a few fav songs from each teacher and then fellowship over lunch and a hysterical white elephant holiday gift swap.  At the end of it all, we are energized and recommitted to each other & what we do at Om.   Yes, we love this team of Om teachers!

(Missing from photos:  Liz Gill, Kelly Moore & Nina Shariff)

Magical Mornings for Deaf Yogis

When the teachers of Bell School's deaf students tell us that Wednesdays are THE BEST day of the week because yoga starts the day, we smile big.  Days are smoother, students and teachers are happier and it is a real highlight of the school week.  This program really serves these students!  The Culminating Class for the winter session included making meditation bead bracelets, some mandala coloring and craft time.   And thanks to the full funding of this Yoga Residency from lululemon athletica and it's Here to Be Grant, there will be another Deaf Yoga Residency in Winter/Spring session in 2017.    Namaste to that!

HERE to BE!

We got the biggest yoga surprise ever! So heart-warming that we got a bit teary.   Our lululemon friends selected us for a HERE to BE Ambassador Grant.  And this grant funds a special program -- the Yoga Residency for Deaf Students at Bell School.

How did it all happen?   As lululemon ambassadors, we were invited to submit a grant request earlier in the year.  The HERE to BE grant parameters are clear:  bring yoga to underserved communities.  What a perfect fit with our efforts at Bell!    

We co-founded this program in 2011 and, along with yogi friends, got the residency funded through numerous gifts from a variety of sources.   So, this grant is a real & powerful acknowledgement of yoga in the community.   There will be two residencies underwritten during the 2016/2017, plus lululemon topped it off by shipping new mats and blocks for students!  

Hats off to HERE to BE and lululemon.   And our gratitude to those who helped start this with us.... Bonnie & Rufus &Irene/Katherine & Anita/ Ba & David, Sheila, Kathy & Susie, Katie/Amanda/Andrea/Brooke, everyone at Bell, Wish List supporters like Steve/PIE, Eboni & Peggy & Mary Frances, Teri and the Om community.