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Be at one with new universes, take yoga at Adler Planetarium

John Moore~Getty Images

John Moore~Getty Images

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‘Sun Salutations: Yoga Under the Sky at the Adler Planetarium’

When: 8:30 a.m March 22, 29 and April 5; participants must be 10 and older and bring their own mat.

Cost: $12. Museum admission included.


Updated: March 20, 2014 7:05PM

You can do it at the park, in a museum and even on water. It’s yoga — and more classes are moving out of the studio and off the mat to spaces not typically associated with the popular activity.

The Adler Planetarium is home to the latest program for yogis. Bridget Basta of Yoga By Degrees in Wheaton is leading a Saturday morning class (March 22, 29 and April 5) that intertwines lessons in astronomy with sun salutations.

Basta, who has a background in museum studies, explained how science and yoga share similar principles.

“We’ll take time to gaze up and recognize how close we are to universe,” she said. “It’s all very science and astronomy but it’s also very yoga to recognize that you’re part of something big and beautiful.”

Lately instructors have been introducing different ways to practice the poses. At Air gyms in Lincoln Park and River North, exercisers hold yoga postures midair while suspended in aerial silk hammocks. When summer strikes, Jaclynn Kay Szczepaniec of Royal Pigeon Yoga leads classes on paddle boards at the 31st Street Harbor.

She’s found the benefits of yoga are magnified when practiced on the lake.“It’s also calming because water has that effect,” Szczepaniec said.

Yoga itself is an exploration, she said, adding that the ancient practice wasn’t always done indoors on colorful foam mats. “There are some people who never wanted to do yoga in a studio,” she said. “But then they experience it outside and it’s an ‘aha’ moment that speaks to them.”

Offering classes at places where people already are, or want to be, allows them to release tension and quiet the mind without the hassle of an extra trip. The positive nature of the practice can also help build community.

“The root of yoga is your mind, body and spirit all connected,” she said. “The idea to bring it into your everyday day life makes a lot of sense.”

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