Please scroll down to see the latest entry.
We will be open for classes starting:
Please refer to schedule for class times.
NOTE: Please anticipate a modified Thanksgiving Schedule TBA.
Once again... Thank you for your patience & your supportive eMaills!! It's all GREATLY appreciated! SG
Opening Update: 10/27/2008
First and foremost...
Thank you for your patience!!! :-)
What a strange beast, this reality of opening a Bikram Yoga studio. So many major factors have to come together in order to invite people in the door. If youíre opening a shoe store, you need inventory, lights, heat/AC and a cash register. This venture requires some major projects (two separate HVAC systems, Plumbing/Showers) and of course everything must be to ďCodeĒ before the city will give you permission to open. Beyond the basics of opening up a Bikram Yoga studio, there are the ďbasicsĒ that had to take place for Bikram Yoga Evanston.
I have been teaching this yoga for more than 5 years and practicing even longer. After my first 6 months of practice, I knew I needed to teach this to folks. The juxtaposition of working on a daily basis as a counselor in a Mental Health/Crisis Respite facility and being immersed in my new found yoga practice was perfect in my eyes. The yoga worked and the Mental Health world seemed far less effective. Something was missing from many peopleís lives and Yoga, specifically Bikram Yoga, seemed to provide it. It wasnít just me; all my new friends in my Yoga community agreed. Not to mention, we were all looking and feeling the best weíd ever felt in our lives!
I went to training with the full intention of one day opening a studio, but the task at hand was to make myself an outstanding teacher. That had to happen first. After training, I moved to South Florida where the highest concentration in the world of Senior Teachers exits. I was surrounded by wonderful teachers who had been teaching this yoga for a minimum of 10 years; most of them had been teaching for 15-25 years. Quite a resource. I shut my mouth for a year, and just took in all I could at the feet of teachers who had seen and worked with tens of thousands of students through the years in this medium. I taught 12 Ė 16 classes a week. Itís kindaí like playing scales when youíre learning an instrument. You do it a lot and then you get good at it.
When I left South Florida, I moved back to New England and taught all over the place. I traveled to visit friends and practice/teach all around the U.S. Meanwhile, friends of mine were opening up studios around the world and I have drawn from their knowledge and experience via email & phone calls. For the past 2 years, Iíve been teaching in the Chicago area and the suburbs. This has also allowed me to get to know all the teachers in the Chicago and outlying areas.
So all this information leads us to this: I have been traveling & teaching all over the place just so I can see what works and what doesnít. What heating systems, studio configurations, locations, demographics, teaching styles, management styles, colors, dťcor, light fixtures, flooring, locker rooms... The list goes on. The good news for you is, itís all in your honor! :-)
Hereís a blurb Iíve included in our brochure that sums it up nicely:
ďAlthough the Bikram method of yoga is uniform in itís program, not all Bikram Yoga studios are alike. Here at BYE, we strive to create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for you to practice in. Our space is not only beautiful but we have employed the best in technology and attention to detail to assure you that the over-all cleanliness and ďenvironmental healthĒ of the facility is second to none. Our carpets are extracted a minimum of every two weeks, with regular cleaning & maintenance in between. Our ďIn-Floor Radiant HeatĒ is a one-of-a-kind in the Chicago area. The Yoga Room floor is actually heated so it dries out within 20 minutes of class or cleaning. We use Neo-Floor Carpeting by Lees. Itís completely water proof, anti-bacterial & anti-microbial. A CO2 sensor will infuse the Yoga Room with warm fresh air/Oxygen when CO2 levels are too high. State of the art makes a difference. If your Yoga practice is your foundation, why accept anything less than exceptional?Ē
Along every step of the way, there has been an attention to detail here that Iím hoping will translate directly to your experience when you join us at Bikram Yoga Evanston. The culmination of a long process is about to take place and now it really is all about you. We are about to create an exceptional community. On behalf of myself and the entire teaching staff of BYE, we canít wait to get to know you!
So, hereís the update:
This Monday we hope to turn on the gas on, provided everything is up to Nicorís standards. We will also be putting down the NeoFloor Carpeting in the Yoga Room. Iím waiting to hear back from a gentleman who will hopefully be applying an epoxy flooring to 1/2 of the Common Area floor and we are ready to carpet the other half, but the Epoxy has to go down first. After all the flooring is down, we will test the HVAC (Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning) system in the Yoga Room. Mirrors will be going up after the carpet is laid down and after everything is double checked, we will then request a Final Inspections from the Town of Evanston.
There is an outside chance I can open the doors Sunday November 9th. (Not gonna' happen! ;-) If that isnít possible, than Saturday November 15th should do the trick. (All systems are go at the moment!! :-)
So just a few matters left to attend to, but Final Inspections are the culmination of the whole process. Iíve received so many emails and thank you guys for being understanding. As challenging as it has been for some of you to be waiting for BYE to open itís doors, I hope you can imagine what it was like to move here from Western Massachusetts almost exactly two years ago and the only thing I was sure of was that I had 6 months to find a location and sign a lease in Evanston, IL per my agreement with Bikram Yoga International Headquarters.
As Iíve mentioned in my emails to some of you, once we open the doors, youíre stuck with me! Words cannot express how excited I am to meet you all, practice this amazing series together and forge wonderful new friendships.
Keep checking back here. I will now update the site on every few days as we progress.
Thanks once again, we're REALLY close! SG
Opening Update: 11/2/2008
We turned on the heating system in the yoga room and it fired up beautifully! The floor heated up. The intake drew in fresh air and the exhaust sent the old air back out to Evanston! All the flooring should happen this week. That will give me a week to get all the furniture in, shower rods & curtains up, soap dispensers in, beverage cooler in, towel service up & running, music, wireless headset, computers, registration forms... all the little stuff. The good news is, all of the teachers here at BYE know how to teach & practice and we're excited to share this series with you. Also I anticipate many friends from the area coming by to share their practice and really good energy with all of us. "Sangha" in sanskrit is translated as "Community". In any language, I think it's a lost art. Let's all get together on a regular basis, have fun, work hard, feel great, respect eachother, be humbled, be inspired and sweat!
Yes, November 15th looks very good, although I can't promise until we have inspections. Keep checking back here. Words can't express how excited I am to meet you all. If you're squeamish about hugs, you better email me and let me know before you walk in the door! ;-) Enjoy your Sunday! SG
Opening Update: 11/9/2008
Iím sitting here in the Yoga Room amidst a couple of couches, assorted desks a few office chairs, 3 rolls of carpet (that will be installed in the Yoga Room floor on Wed.), a couple of filing cabinets and assorted other odds & ends. The epoxy flooring is down in a couple of area and the carpet in the hallways and the Common Area is installed. I still have lots of odds and ends to attend to: shower curtain rods, shower curtains, waste baskets, sound system... Then thereís the big stuff: Mirrors (Mon), Inspections (Mon), Yoga Room Floor Prep (Tu), Yoga Room Carpet (Wed). Oh, did I neglect to mention I still have to get stall doors for the toilets. They are unusually expensive. Would you guys mind if I just put up beaded curtains?! ;-) OK, it was just a joke!! Iíll buy the doors!!
So as soon as I get the word from the inspections Iíll let you know. Iím still focused on Saturday as the opening day, but check in with me here. As soon as I know for sure, Iíll send out and email with an official announcement and weíll make it happen!
Weíre almost there and Iím BEYOND excited to meet everyone!
Have a great week and start hydrating! :-)
Opening Update: 11/13/2008
We will be open for Classes this Sunday 11/16/2008! (10am & 3pm)
Doors open 30 minutes before class.
Come in the front door and turn left. Take the elevator downstairs and walk down a long corridor to our front door.
I almost can't believe I'm writing this email, but here we go!
It's 1:10am and I just got done staining 40 wooden 1/2 dowels for our Rental
Yoga Mat cleaning station. I'm about to drive home to Park Ridge and get
some sleep, but it's time to pull the trigger.
I was hoping to be open this Saturday, but I'd rather use the extra day to
make sure we're all the basics are covered. Not surprisingly, there turned
out to be a bunch of paperwork that the state needs that I had never heard
about until this week. The learning curve keeps on curvin'!
I will activate our online store sometime tomorrow and I encourage all of
you to create an account and get your contact info in the system. It will
save us all time and energy. When you create an account you'll be able to
monitor your account and make purchases online. Not only will this save you
time but also money. If you purchase your package online, there is a 5%
discount on any package other than the Beginners Specials and the
Student/Senior Specials. Bikram Yoga is good. Saving money is good. It's
all good! My apologies to those of you who have been waiting for so long, but the wait
Point of Interest: We have full bathrooms in the hallway before you enter
the studio. I'm pointing this out because each one of the Locker Rooms has
a toilet also. Plenty to go around, but we are still waiting for the doors
for the Locker Room Toilets to arrive. I'm not sure if they will be here
for "Opening Day". So fear not! This isn't some New Age tradition! ;-)
Use the restrooms in the hallway if you need privacy.
There is a 10a and a 3p on Sunday. I'll be teaching the 10a and my good
buddy Justin will be teaching the 3p. (I will be taking class! :-)
Come join us and I personally can't wait to see/meet ya'!
Opening Update: 11/15/2008
WE ARE OPENING THIS SUNDAY 11/16/2008. 10AM & 3PM CLASSES!
OK, we gottaí get this studio open, because Iím tired of vacuuming up construction dust. Itís become an obsession. Just when Iím done, I look behind me and the floor I just vacuumed is an absolute mess. I need to get back to teaching Bikram Yoga. Besides, I love teaching Bikram Yoga and Iím not feeling quite so enthusiastic about my vacuum cleaner. I think you get the picture.
I want to apologize about inflicting 300 plus email addresses on everyone. I update my own we site, and have been on a computer since before the Golden Age of the Mac Plus. I was so tired that eve and so out of my mind from lack of sleep and inhaling wood stain fumes, that as soon as I sent the email I cringed! Iíve been doing everything I can to not make a mistake during the creation of this studio, and there it wasÖ THE MISTAKE!
So, I can relax now.
Iím so looking forward to getting back to the Yoga, and in order to do so, I ask for your patience as we get things off the ground. I could have waited another week to make sure all systems were perfected, but the Yoga is ready and so are we. Give me a few days and weíll have doors on the toilet stalls! ;-)
Iíve had a few folks inquire about the parking situation. There is a Northwestern parking lot right across the street and itís available throughout the weekends and from 4pm on every weekday. Thereís metered parking and 2 hour non-metered parking all around the building and as a last resort, the municipal Parking lot is across the street. So with regard to the Evanston parking conundrum, we have possibly the most outstanding options in town.
Please come early, because weíll have to get everybody registered. Also, in fairness to everyone with a tight schedule we will be starting right on time. Please donít be late. For safety reasons, I canít start on time and keep the doors unlocked. More importantly, we start on time and the doors are locked at the beginning of class.
Lastly, you guys are always invited to bring clean plastic shopping bags for us to use for wet yoga clothes and towels. This is a great way to recycle the bags and not contribute more plastic bags to the environment. Evanston doesnít currently have plastic recycling for commercial pick up. I would love it if we could all bring our empty bottles home to be recycled until I can come up with a better plan. Thank you guys for being exceptional enough to do the right thing.
Iíll see everyone on Sunday. Youíve got 2 options 10am and 3pm. Iím so excited to see you all.
Be well and stay healthy!
Opening Update: 11/16/2008
It's 6:46am and I'm a bit... scared. I've played big music shows and big Baseball / Basketball games before, but this is different - in many ways the culmination of a lifetime of experiences. As I'm writing this, Iím simply reminded that the presence of this yoga in my life has changed EVERYTHING. I'm a much better / happier / kinder / healthier person because of my Bikram Yoga practice. I am also so fortunate to have met some of the most wonderful people in the world throughout my life all of whom practice their Yoga in their own very powerful way. Like many of us, it's pretty easy to feel alone in this world. That's probably unnecessary. In my case it's downright foolish.
Thank you to my dear friends and wonderful family for your support. I am beyond blessed. I only seem like a "tough guy" in the room for obvious reasons. We all know better.
I personally only use this term very sparingly: Namaste.