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Moksha Yoga CenterChicago, IL

Featured Studio

About the Studio

Moksha Yoga Center is the premier yoga studio of Chicago offering an interdisciplinary approach to this ancient practice with a full variety of offerings, including classes, workshops, teacher training, bodywork, kirtan, and our unique boutique fully stocked with props, books, and apparel.

Rooted in classical yoga as described in the ancient Vedic texts, Moksha Yoga Center provides an interdisciplinary approach that includes physical postures, meditation, breathwork and more. Featuring three locations that offer classes seven days a week, we invite you to practice and experiment with multiple styles taught by skilled and intuitive instructors. Revitalize with asana, and dig deeper through our workshops with world-renowned master teachers, expert lectures whose topics range from ayurveda to classical Indian art, and our internationally recognized 200- and 500-hr teacher trainings. We also provide bodywork, a fully-stocked yoga boutique, and a tight-knit community to explore and expand your personal practice.

About the Director

Daren Friesen, director and founder of Moksha, has been an avid student of yoga since starting his practice in 1989. He has traveled to India 13 years in a row and has spent over 30 months there studying yoga, ayurveda, sanskrit, and sutras. During 1998 and 1999, Daren studied at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute (Laksmipuram) with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Drawing upon his studies with revered teachers such as Leeann Carey, Bryan Kest, Shiva Rea, and Seane Corn, and his time with masters in India, Daren developed his own style of Vinyasa flow with an Ashtanga influence.

Today, Daren continues to impart the classical priciples of yoga in a modern setting. Moksha is the Midwest’s largest yoga center and is home to more than 40 teachers, thousands of students, and the next generation of inspired and skilled yoga teachers.

Class Descriptions

Vinyasa in the Ashtanga tradition means breath synchronized movment. The breath is the heart of this discipline, and links asana to asana in a precise order. By synchronizing movement with breathing and practicing mula and uddiyana bandhas (locks), an intense internal heat is produced. This heat purifies muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones and minerals, which can nourish the body when the sweat is massaged back into the skin. The breath regulates the vinyasa and ensures efficient circulation of blood. The result is a light, strong body.

Mysore Ashtanga
Astanga Mysore is a silent practice where students learn each pose of the Astanga yoga practice at their own pace with individual guidance from the teacher. Students may arrive anytime during the class period and begin their practice. The primary method of instruction is through hands-on adjustments and the commitment of showing up on a regular basis. Mysore classes are recommended for all students, both beginner and advanced. The practice of Astanga Mysore is named for Mysore, South India, the place where Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder and proponent, lived and taught.

Your Vinyasa Flow teacher may ask you to “take a vinyasa” during class.  In this case, vinyasa is employed as a noun to describe the sequence of poses of Chaturanga (4 limb stick pose), Up Dog and Down Dog, typically found in the Sun Salutations A & B, and interweaved throughout class to link poses and sequences together;  though this is more correctly termed half-vinyasa as full-vinyasa returns to standing position or tadasana.   In the Astanga tradition, a full vinyasa is synonymous with Sun Salutation A.

Tantric Vinyasa
The word TANTRA (tantric is an adjective which describes something coming from tantra) is made up of two words: TANOTI and TRAYATI. Tanoti means “to expand, to stretch, to extend”, while the word trayati means “to liberate or free”. Therefore Tantra (tan+tra) means to expand one’s experience and awareness of everything, to extend the frontiers of apprehension beyond the material, and hence to attain spiritual knowledge and liberation.

Prenatal Yoga
Yoga provides many tools to ease the body’s transformation during pregnancy, to improve one’s connection to the growing life within, to prepare for childbirth and life postpartum. Learn asana for comfort, strength and to assist in understanding how to look inward into your own changing anatomy and that of the growing baby. Yoga will help a mother-to-be to stay flexible and healthy throughout the pregnancy, remain present during the challenges of labor and delivery, and care for herself during the postpartum period.

Acro Yoga
AcroYoga blends the spiritual wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of Acrobatics and the loving kindness of Thai massage. These three ancient lineages form the foundation of a unique new practice that cultivates trust, connection and playfulness. The word AcroYoga comes from the Greek root Akros = high, and the Sanskrit word Yoga = union. Together they form AcroYoga or High Union. From this place, many amazing physical shapes can be formed, and emotional and spiritual transformations can occur. Our highest aim is to bring individuals into a state of union with themselves, with each other, and with the divine. From this place of mutual support the true self can be realized, honored and shared for the benefit of all. No Partner Necessary.

Anusara’s remarkable popularity is due in large part to its uplifting philosophy, epitomized by a “celebration of the heart,” that looks for the good in all people and all things. Consequently, students of all levels of ability and yoga experience are honored for their unique differences, limitations, and talents. This life-affirming vision sets the basis for a yoga system in which the harmony and joy of a tightly knit community is exulted. Not only is Anusara an elegant system of alignment principles and non-dual philosophy, but it is also a wonderful community of highly trained teachers and fun-loving students. This community feels like it has the tightness of a family, yet the looseness of a merry band of bohemian artists.

Viniyoga is less a style of yoga, but rather a methodology that comes from a tradition of the Nath order of Yogis dating back thousands of years. The term Viniyoga comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and means “using, or applying”. The essence of Viniyoga lies in the adaptation of the practice to the individual and not the application of the individual to the practice.

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Teacher Training

Moksha Yoga offers a variety of teacher training programs at the 200 and 500 hour levels.

This program is one of the most respected in the region and the country.  This program is a foundation for the study of the ancient art and science of yoga rooted in its classical form. The fundamentals and key elements and techniques of asana, pranayama, and teaching skills will be explored. The program is designed to give you a wide variety of topics, class settings, and experiences. It involves classes with not only Daren (the founder of Moksha), but also with a variety of local and national teachers. We are committed to giving you the best learning experience possible. We hope you will enjoy the program and find your life and practice transformed.

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Moksha Riverwest  – 700 North Carpenter Chicago, IL 60642

Moksha Lakeview – 3334 North Clark Chicago, IL 60657

Moksha Logan Square/Bucktown – 2528 West Armitage Chicago, IL 60647

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