Yoga mat strapped to my back, I tapped my foot impatiently as the Brown Line train I was riding crept along. It probably knew that I had a noon class to make it to. I got off the train 5 minutes before yoga was supposed to begin. I didn’t want to be that girl who walked late into a zen environment only to ruin the calm vibe with the plopping down of her mat and water bottle. Sigh. No yoga for me–to Trader Joe’s I go. While going to put more money on my CTA card, I saw a sign for Yoga House. I had heard this studio opened only a few weeks before and was looking forward to trying it but wasn’t sure exactly where it was located. Well, here is was–740 N. Franklin. And there was even a class starting right that second. It was too much of a sign to not go in and see what Yoga House was all about.
Yoga House is the rebirth of the Melanee Cooper Gallery. Melanee was in the art business for over 20 years and started practicing yoga 10 years ago. Suddenly, she found herself structuring her work around her practice. She had this beautiful space, felt yoga was art in itself and wanted to share that passion with others. Yoga House was born.
Their mantra is “Every Body Needs a Home” and that’s exactly what it felt like–home. I’d been having a hard time quieting down the “busyness” in my head that day–work stuff, to-do lists, more to-do lists, should I be feeding my cat organic cat food, should I be drinking more water, you know–hamster wheel brain. But going into that studio felt like I had found the most silent space in Chicago. The quiet rumble of the train. a lone fountain in the studio and some pranayama breathing later and I had lassoed in the stillness and contentment I had so been craving. I was fortunate to have Melanee lead my practice. The class was fantastic–practicing yoga in a former art gallery is now my new favorite thing. Beautiful hardwood floors, perfect lighting, amazing art still on the walls, a lovely little fountain that convinces you that the hustle and bustle you see outside on the street is nothing but an illusion–Yoga House is on to something. Probably because it is so evident that Melanee is living her passion and you can’t help but feel good being around that, ya know?
By the time I got home, Melanee had emailed my descriptions of all of her teachers and I cannot wait to try their classes as well. You should too. I’ll see you there–I’ll be the girl in the corner who doesn’t want to leave. 740 N. Franklin, Chicago, IL 60654 www.yogahousechicago.com