Nature Yoga

Originally published on LiveJournal, 8.7.08

(This article is part of a series of reviews I call Taste of Chicago Yoga

Today I went to Nature Yoga, a tiny little studio in Wicker Park (they have another studio called Second Nature in Lincoln Park). Nature Yoga feels like a smaller version of Bloom, providing a low-profile, relaxed environment for vinyasa and “hatha” classes. Even the design and decor is reminiscent of Bloom: hardwood floors and soft colors, though Bloom tends to somewhat childish pastels, while Nature is more wooden and earthy. All carefully designed to be inoffensive to yuppies and other creatures of fragile disposition, but in any case a good calming down of the noisy city outside.

My teacher was Wade Gotwals, who was sweet, fun, helpful and wonderfully creative. He gave us excellent guidance on getting into a pretty tricky asymmetrical arm balance, and was very responsive to the various levels of students (it was a level 1-3 class). I’d love to take more classes with him.

And, generally, I recommend both Bloom and Nature Yoga for those looking for a more relaxed environment to practice vinyasa in Chicago. Higher-profile, more pretentious studios, such as Yoga View and Moksha, can get competitive and stressful, but unless you’re seeking a truly famous teacher with decades of experience (someone like Gabriel Halpern, there’s a good chance you’ll find more helpful teachers in the smaller boutiques.