Yoga And Chicago: A historic connection

Yoga View Teacher Training Course. Photo : Courtesy

Chicagoans have a lot to be proud of on the International Yoga Day. Was it not in Chicago that Swami Vivekanada made his historical address to the World Parliament of Religions (1893)? Vivekananda was one of those first few who believed that the New World would be more open to the Eastern ideas. He not only brought eastern thought with him, but he also brought India with him, arousing a curiosity about the Indian thought or philosophy. Vivekananda’s contribution to creating an awareness about Indian Philosophy and Yoga is historically known. It was he who translated most of the ancient religious writings including treatises on Yoga into English for the Western world.

And, Chicago has kept up step with that historical moment. A number of institutions have been teaching Yoga and have also been offering Yoga teacher training Certificate courses which have been approved by the accrediting agency, Yoga Alliance. Most of these institutions have also been offering short term courses, online courses and retreats.

Chicago School of Yoga (CSY) (, located at 2442 N. Lincoln Avneue #2415, Chicago, IL, and founded in 2009, has completed 13 years of teaching yoga.

Education at CSY explores topics related to mental and physical health and concentrate on Ashtanga Yoga and its eight elements; Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyna and Samadhi. The certificate course also includes education of Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, Raja yoga, Pranayama, Chanting, Vinyasa and Shavasana and more.

Yoga View (, operating at two locations: at 2211 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago, IL, and at 1231 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette, IL, has been teaching Yoga for over 20 years. Providing both in-person and online classes, Yoga View education offers a fusion of traditional and modern, informed by biomechanical science, and taught by experienced teachers.

Yoga View education focuses on vinyasa yoga, with mindful breathing, intelligent sequencing and skillful alignment. Courses include Introduction to Yoga, Teacher training 200 hours, and informative workshops in yoga and Gong meditation.

Shot of a group of yoga students completing lunges into the warrior pose during a class. Kriya Yoga Teacher Training. Photo : Courtesy

Temple of Kriya Yoga Organization  (, located at 1925 W. Division Street #6, Chicago, IL, is one of the oldest Yoga organizations in Chicago, established more than 30 years ago. Along with education in the philosophy of yoga, it also offers Yoga Alliance approved teacher training 200 hour certificate course. Among other topics, the course also teaches the 8 limbs of yoga. Along with Yoga Teacher training courses, the Temple also teaches Meditation teaching course, professional astrology, and has a seminary for the aspirants to become a sadhu.

The Chicago Yoga Centre ( located in Evanston, IL, focuses on Hatha Yoga in its education and has been teaching and training in yoga since 1984. Providing three-month long intensive in-depth training in the philosophy of yoga and technical understanding of it, through yoga and meditation retreats and theory and practice of yoga. 

Moksha Yoga Center Yoga Education. Photo : Courtesy

Moksha Yoga Center ( ), located at 2528 W. Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL, focuses on traditional yoga philosophy in its education, concentrating on theories, and then linking them to practice.

Their yearlong program includes history of yoga, and contemporary theory.

Nature Yoga Sanctuary ( ) located at 2021 W. Division Street, Chicago, IL, is a Women’s Wellness Collective and also provides Teacher training with a focus on principles of Ayurveda and Tantric practices, Hatha yoga and Vinyasa. A pre-requisite for its six-month long training is a year of practicing yoga before applying and a desire to get more in-depth knowledge of it.



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