Forrest Yoga

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with the founder of Forrest Yoga, Ana Forrest.  She is very passionate about her yoga practice and bringing Chicago Forrest Yoga.

What is Forrest Yoga?

Forrest Yoga isn’t like your typical yoga.  According to Ana’s website, it stresses and challenges, both physical and emotional. It uses intense pose sequences, compassionately taught, to develop skills in awakening each of the senses.  Forrest Yoga pays special attention to abdominal work and breathing. Vigorous sequences of poses are intended to build heat in order to sweat out toxins and release emotions stored in the body.  The main difference from “regular” yoga…the physicial and emotional tie.  You are asked to go inside yourself and work through your personal issues while working your body. 

Ana Forrest invented this type of yoga by drawing upon her personal history of abuse, epilepsy, alcoholism, and bulimia to create an intensely physical vinyasa-style (the type of yoga people think of when they do typical yoga)  practice that aims to heal psychic wounds. Thus the emotional aspect to this type of practice.

Is Forrest Yoga for You?

Forrest Yoga appeals to those who want a strong physical and emotional practice.   For those interested in taking a Forrest Yoga class here or there, be prepared to sweat and have it hurt when you laugh the next day!  This is the yoga class to give you bathing suit abs.  It also can emotional help you work through issues from the day, week or your life.

According to the Forrest Yoga website, “Forrest Yoga does not require strength or flexibility; it only requires that you bring a willingness to learn how to feel authentically and respond honestly. As you advance in Forrest Yoga, step-by-step, you learn to intelligently ride your breath into the exhilarating advanced poses. In addition, you learn to exercise your emotional body through the full spectrum of feeling.”

Where to take Forrest Yoga in Chicago

Stay tuned to find out how YOU can take a Forrest Yoga class taught by Ana Forrest herself FREE in November!!


Rooftop Yoga-You are invited!

Healthy In Chicago readers are invited to lululemon athletica’s complimentary Rooftop Yoga class and event on Wednesday, July 28th from 6-9pm at the Whole Foods in Lincoln Park.

The class, taught by the fantastic Allison English will be held from 7-8pm.  Come early or stay after to visit with vendors and receive free snacks, drinks, chair massages and more!  Live music too! All FREE for you to enjoy summer and your health.

If raining, the event will be held in the mezzanine at Whole Foods!  RSVP here!

See you there!

Catch the Spirit- How to Exercise Like a Blackhawk

There is one thing that Chicagoans cannot escape today- the anticipation and excitement for game six of the Stanley Cup finals because of the potential that our very own Blackhawks could bring the Cup home TONIGHT. I have to admit, I am a bandwagon-jumper. I’ve always been an avid baseball and football fan, but like many Chicagoans, the Blackhawks are something new to me. Of course, I always known what hockey was, but I never truly understood the intensity of the game. The strength, speed, and agility of a hockey player are arguably the most fine-tuned compared to any other professional athlete.  For three periods lasting 20 minutes each, these players are on their game, sprinting, on ICE, barreling their bodies into each other while being shoved with full force into the walls, while thousands of fans cheer on. So how do these professional hockey players stay in this incredible shape? Listed below are some of their workouts (the easier ones of course), so that you can turn that Blackhawk spirit into a workout!

  • In the regular season, the quick off-the-ice circuit workouts can be as follows:
    • Burpees 10 repetitions
    • Crunches: 10 repetitions
    • Step ups: 10 repetitions, each leg
    • Plank: 1 minute
    • Push ups: 10 repetitions
    • Rest for one minute after a round, and repeat another 3 or 4 times.
    • In the off-season, most hockey players try to get outside after being inside on the ice. Perfect for Chicagoans in the summer!
      • Biking, Cycling, Jogging, hiking and swimming
      • This is constant for 30-90 minutes a day, three times a week
      • Each time you go out, try to increase the length and intensity
      • On and off the ice, short spurts of sprinting can have many health benefitsIf your workout consists of long, slow jogs, adding sprints in and changing into interval training (lengths of running intermixed with sprinting) can help if you’ve reached a plateau of leanness. Sprinting requires maximal recruitment of muscles, which basically means you are using many muscles for a short time.
        • This can strengthen the cardiovascular system. Fast sprints make your heart work hard for a short period of time.
        • Remember that most people are not born with speed; it needs to be developed, so increase your speed slowly.
        • Many hockey players take yoga to increase flexibility, build core and increase blood supply to reduce the likelihood of injury
          • George Laraque of the Montreal Canadians is a strong believer in yoga, “Most guys that fight use the weights, weights, and weights, and they’re so big in their bodies that the muscle doesn’t matter, yoga helps your core strength and that is way better than weights. I’m not the strongest guy weight-wise with enforcers in the NHL, but I’m strong, but not because I bench press six plates. If you do yoga, you don’t need to do weights that much because it’s like a weight exercise, but instead of using weights, you’re using your body.”
          • Increase your intake of vitamin D
            • The Blackhawks began being treated for vitamin D deficiency around 18 months ago.
              • According to a study published in February 2009 by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, “adolescents with higher levels of vitamin D can jump higher, quicker, and with greater power than those with lower vitamin D levels”.
              • Vitamin D is supposed to lead to improved athletic performance, while reducing the severity and amount of not only flu and cold viruses but also the number and gravity of repetitive use injuries.


We would like to introduce our summer intern, Madeline. Born and raised in Chicago, she is an avid Chicago sports fan and is a seasoned lacrosse player. She loves to run and eat healthy, but has a sweet tooth and her lazy days. She is a communications major at Elon University in North Carolina and an experienced writer. She wrote the past couple of blogs including “Take Me Out to The Ball Game” and “The Detox”, and she will continue writing blogs for us throughout the summer. Questions for our intern? Email her at

AntiGravity/Fly Yoga

What is Fly Yoga or AntiGravity Yoga?

According to i.d. Gym’s website, “Fly Yoga is a unique yoga experience using specialized hammocks that enable your spirit to reach new limits.” 

While in class, one is suspended from silk hammocks while practicing traditional yoga poses along with Pilates, dance and strength-conditioning exercises.  Think Pink’s performance at the Grammy’s or Cirque Du Soleil. 
Healthy in Chicago had the opportunity to take a Fly Yoga class this week and not only was it a workout, but it was FUN!  This class is for all fitness levels, and incorporates yoga, Pilates, stretching, dance, strength training and acrobatics.  You execute traditional yoga poses like warrior, but push yourself further into the pose using the silk hammock.  You also can, if you are comfortable, hang and twirl upside down! 
Benefits of Fly Yoga/AntiGravity Yoga
  • Decompress tight joints, relieving pressure while aligning the vertebrae of the spine
  • Perform advanced yoga inversions without neck or back compressions
  • Hold challenging yoga postures longer and in correct alignment
  • Stretch further with less strain
  • Create better body awareness while increasing overall agility

Where You Can Take a Class

Sources: i.d Gym, Timeout Chicago, AntiGravity Yoga


Healthy Weekend Happenings (May 7th-9th)

Friday, May 7th

 World Trade Day Daley Plaza

Cinco De Mayo Festival (May 7-9th)


Saturday, May 8th

May 8-9 Celtic Fest (FREE)

Chicago River Day.  Volunteer to help clean up our river! 

Every Saturday in May.  FREE yoga with Exhale Spa at Lululemon Rush and Walton.  9-10am

Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike.  9:45am-1pm Start Montrose Harbor $15 includes tee-shirt

Baby Food Making Class.   10-11am FREE.  Whole Foods-Sauganash Learn how to make, store, and serve baby food that is full of fruits and vegetables.  Register call 773.205.1100

Kids’ Photography Workshop 9:30am. FREE Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Register at (required) Participants should bring their own digital camera to the class

Sunday, May 9th

Sunday Salutations Mothers’ day yoga with Core Power Yoga at Lululemon Halsted (Lincoln Park) 10-11 a.m. FREE  Mother’s and Child yoga classes, snacks, spa services and more!


Every Sunday in May.  FREE yoga with Bend Studio at Lululemon Bucktown.  10-11am

Every Sunday in May.  FREE fitness classes with Dare to be Fit at Lululemon Michigan Avenue 11am-12pm

Walk to Empower hosted by the Breast Cancer Support Network. 1 or 3 mile walk or 5K run. Grant Park

Upcoming Happenings next week

May 10th Chicago Moves Day (FREE) Daley Plaza

Monday, May 10th FREE asthma screenings at Advocate Good Sam hospital’s Wellness Center 5-8pm call 1800-3-ADVOCATE

May 10th Free Wine Tasting at Bin 36 6:30-9pm

May 11.  Chicago Marathon Training Tips.  6:30pm REI Lincoln Park. Click link to register. FREE

May 12. Right Plant, Right Place: 630 p.m. to 8 p.m Unearth the secret to selecting plants that will work with your soil, your light conditions, and your garden. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Cost: $10/member or $12/ non-member e-mail

May 13.  Blue Gold: World Water Wars Film Screening 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  FREE

Every Monday Morning 10am-11am Tai Chi with Lincoln Park Village $15 per class. FREE first class.  Whole Foods-Lincoln Park call the Village office 773-248-8700 or visit to register

Every Tuesday.  FREE stroller fitness with Bubbles Academy at Lululemon Bucktown.  9-10am just bring your baby and buggy!

Wednesdays May 5 – 29, (7:30 to 8:45 a.m. and Saturdays May 5 – 29, 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.) Haven Yoga at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  Cost: $15/per class or $48/series. Space is limited and registration required. To register, visit for a registration form or call 773-755-5111 ext. 6.

April 1-June 30th  FREE yoga or Core Fusion class at Exhale Spa Chicago (get $20 facial or 60 min. massage too)

Weekend Healthy Happenings

Green City Market Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – 2430 N. Cannon Drive. Saturday, 2/27 8am-1pm.  This weekend’s offerings

Spring Flower Show at Lincoln Park Conservatory. FREE

Taking Charge of You.  Last day; February 28th.  Museum of Science and Industry the interactive exhibit aims to increase awareness about healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise and eating habits, provides information about asthma, diabetes and obesity, and also celebrates the achievements of African-Americans in the field of medicine.  FREE with admission into the museum

 “North Face” Movie Screenings. FREE with rsvp at REI Lincoln Park 312-951-6020.  6:30-8:30pm. See Philipp Stolzl’s 2008 drama “Nordwand” (just released in the U.S.) based on a true story about a dangerous 1936 climbing expedition in the Alps. Includes free popcorn.

Pets are good for your health2010 International Kennel Club Cluster of Dog Shows.  McCormick Place 8am-5pm ($17) More than 10,000 purebred dogs from 161 breeds compete daily for the title of “best in show.” Also features dog-related vendors, educational seminars, performance events, canine demonstrations and more.

Tuned up your bike for Spring. Saturday, February 27 12pm-6pm West Town Bikes 2459 W. Division St.  DIY tune up’s with experts on hand to show you the ropes.

 Music Flow Yoga.  10:30am Saturday and Sunday Exhale Spa 945 N. State St Practice vinyasa (“flow” yoga) poses to the sounds of rock, reggae, hip-hop, blues and world beat. All levels welcome; includes free mat rental. $20

Vegetarian cooking class.  Saturday, February 27th 12pm $10 Whole Foods Lakeview. RSVP  773.244.4200 Learn how to make flavorful, healthy and meatless meals that you and your family will enjoy.  Four recipes include: Chinese tofu salad, roasted tomato & three bean soup, nutty couscous salad, spicy spaghetti & broccoli. 

Chicago’s 2010 Restaurant week.  NOW UNTIL MARCH 6th! Over 170 of Chicago’s best restaurants are offering a specially priced 3 course dinner and lunch menus.  Enjoy Chicago’s (and surrounding suburbs) best foods, while still watching your waistline.  Read how here.

Want to enjoy the weather?  This weekend is Chicago Winter Dance, at Millenium Park.  Free ice skating & dance lessons are available.

 Spa, wellness and fitness discounts are still available until the end of the month through Pretty City’s “Love You” February program.

The Art Institute is offering FREE admission all month.  Is art good for your health?  YES, learn how!

Thinking of joining a gym?  Chicago Athletic Clubs are offering a $49 enrollment special until 2/29.  Want to try it out for a day?  Free guest passes available.

Have a great weekend Chicago!