Studio: The Lab, 167 N. Racine Ave, 2nd Floor Suite 159-2
Class Focus: cYoga is a form of yoga created by the owner of The Lab, Carmen Aguilar. It focuses on holding and getting deeper into poses – the teachers are very hands-on to assist students in getting poses right.
Cost per class: $17
Money saving offers:
- $20 for 3 sessions for new students
The Fab Fit take:
Nestled in the West Loop near Harpo studios, The Lab’s huge space is a zen escape in the city. The industrial building hides a peaceful space with three yoga studios, one that is larger than my entire apartment and two more intimate studios.
I’ve been a yoga dabbler for over a decade, (I’ve never gone regularly enough to say I “practice”), mostly getting into hot powerful yoga. cYoga follows a very rational progression, but you won’t see the sun salutations or repetitive flows of Vinyasa flow yoga. Each class has a focus – for my class, the focus was forward bends and side bends. With that focus in mind, the class works towards one or two “peak” poses or position.
Between forward and side bends, we gave the hips a good opening. When I say a good opening, I mean never in my life have my hips hurt so good. I had to stay out of yoga and classes in general for about three weeks (doctor’s orders … ) and I was doing almost all cardio during that time (it was terrible). Apparently my hips have been neglected, but between full pigeon and half pigeon, I’m almost human again.
The peak poses for my class were things I’ve never attempted before or never trusted myself to attempt. First, we took archer pose a little deeper by taking the bent leg behind the head. And I emerged a contortionist. Not really, but (I know you’re not supposed to look around in a yoga class) everyone else in the class was pulling this off with ease, while I looked 50% ridiculous and 50% like I was in labor. I was actually excited to see other people do better than I did – it gave me hope that with practice, these deeper poses will come more easily.
The second peak pose was a fully extended hand stand, with the help of the wall. The instructor helped me get into my first attempt and after trying a few more times, I was able to get into and hold a full headstand, which was coupled with the thought of, “OMG am I doing this?” I tell you this not to brag, but to show with the hands-on instruction of Sonora, I was able to defy my own expectations.
Between the deeper poses and the instructor’s reminders to use the yoga breathing, I didn’t notice that there wasn’t any music playing. I didn’t even think about it until I was driving away. So clearly, cYoga’s emphasis on the practice and art of yoga made me focus on the poses instead of the music.
I loved cYoga and slept like a baby after my 8 pm class. but you can always follow a class with brunch at Little Goat to make it the perfect little Saturday.
Date taken: 3/12/2013