By Tom Holmes
If you think that yoga is just sitting in a lotus position and chanting "ohm" for an hour, prepare to be surprised by Local Yoga, a new studio that opens at 7234 Madison Street on April 13.
"By the end of the class you'll be dripping with sweat, not because it's hot in the room but because you'll be building internal heat," said Jill Jerome, co-owner. "This type of yoga builds strength and flexibility, and because it's cardiovascular, you'll be sweating."
Jerome, of Oak Park, teaches Vinyasa Yoga, which she said is not a sleepy, gentle yoga but a powerful, athletic workout. Classes start with a brief chanting of "ohm"—what she referred to as a prayer of gratitude for the present—and then segue into a series of postures intended to link body movement and breathing and "get you out of your head."
"Then, you are in a state where you can meditate without fidgeting," she said. "The movement you were doing gets you to a place where you can sit quietly."
Jerome got into teaching yoga by accident. Now 47, she said she worked in corporate America for 12 years and, in her free time, liked to run and compete in triathlons. But, the competitive sports caused her to sustain multiple injuries. A friend suggested she try yoga as a way of healing, and she became hooked after the first class.
"It opened up a whole new world for me," she said. "A few years after that I started thinking seriously about incorporating it more into my life, and a few years after that I took a leap and became a teacher myself."
Jerome is now a certified yoga teacher and registered with an organization called the Yoga Alliance, International, a nonprofit advocacy organization that trains teachers and supports yoga schools. Jerome then went on to open her first studio in 2012 in Chicago, and later opened another called Yoga Loft in Oak Park.
At Local Yoga, she said she plans to feature Vinyasa Yoga at most classes, but will also offer some sessions of Ashtanga Yoga, which offers a slower sequence of postures and focuses more on meditation. Every other Friday she plans to host live cello or guitar players to perform while attendees bend and stretch.
Jerome and her business partner Angela Corvo said they intend to charge $17 per class and less than $100 for a monthly membership of unlimited classes. The first 25 people who sign up will get a membership for $75. Jerome said she plans to offer businesses in town a special rate of $50 for a monthly membership.