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3 not to miss

Chicago Acro Yoga, noon-1 p.m.: Billed as “Montreal style,” this type of yoga mixes acrobatics and dance with the wisdom and consciousness of yoga. Expect to see some incredible displays of physical balance and flexibility in this demonstration class.

Intro to Vinyasa & Meditation,
3:30-5 p.m.:
This twofer class is perfect for newbies with its combo of Vinyasa yoga, also known as “flow yoga” for the smooth way it goes from one pose to another, with meditation.

Yoga Nidra and Divine Purification, 6-7:30 p.m.: This workshop is perfect for those looking for a way to calm the mind, and alleviate anxiety and tension — that’s pretty much everyone, right? — with its active, lying down style of meditation dubbed “yogi sleep.” Sweet dreams, indeed.

Updated: October 27, 2013 6:08AM



Some ideas are born out of months of detailed research. Others are right there in front of you. After attending a yoga conference in San Francisco a few years ago, Mark B. Weiss returned home wondering why there wasn’t something similar in Chicago. It didn’t take long for him to do something about that, launching the first We Love Yoga Festival last year.

Weiss is no stranger to taking an idea and running with it. At the age of 18, he openedUncle Dan’s, and for the last 25 years he’s been in the real estate business. In fact, it was when one of his building’s tenants decided to leave that Weiss got the idea to bring in a yoga studio to the space. But when he couldn’t find any takers, Weiss, a yoga devotee for some eight years, created one himself, The Chicago School of Yoga, three years ago in Lincoln Park, which was the location for last year’s inaugural We Love Yoga Festival.

This year the daylong festival is Sunday at DePaul University and coincides with National Yoga Month.

From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., yoginis of all levels have the opportunity to experience a variety of workshops and classes (see sidebar for three of our picks). The $69 registration fee allows for festivalgoers to sign up for six classes online (weloveyogafestival.com). “It’s a wonderful way to experience many styles and types of yoga in one spot,” says Weiss. To create the 11 workshops, Weiss tapped into those who know best: the local yoga community. “Many yoga festivals bring in superstars who have books or DVDs,” says Weiss. “We have a lot of yoga talent right here in Chicago that work hard everyday.”

In addition to the workshops and classes, the festival features a bazaar with yoga- and health-centric vendors and live music. Can’t make the Sunday event? No worries, says Weiss, since another festival is already in the works for the end of February.

“By having the festival twice a year, we can have a lot of fun with it,” he says. “And creating a fun environment is the most important thing.”

Lisa Shames is a local freelance writer.



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