Drop into a class—in person or online!

Livestream a class wherever you are, or drop in to Chagrin Yoga to take one in person!

Therapeutic Yoga and Pilates

Tuesdays 9:45am

Thursdays 10:45am

Gentle to moderate. Injury prevention and core strengthening from Pilates combined with therapeutic postures, breath, and relaxation from yoga. Options for all.

Slow Flow Yoga

Wednesdays 7:00pm

Moderate pace and intensity. Creative sequences of movement, breath, and stillness. Options for students of all levels of experience.

Power Barre

Tuesdays 5:00pm

Saturdays 11:45am

Vigorous Pilates, plus strength training, plus targeted movements from ballet and modern dance, plus preparations for arm balances from yoga. Faster-paced sections and optional intervals of cardio offered. Options for newer students and plenty of challenge for experienced ones!

Power Yoga

Thursdays 12:00pm

Vigorous yoga (with a little Pilates) in a creative and progressive flow of movement and focused breath. Options for newer students and challenges for experienced ones. Hydrate well in advance.

Register at the Chagrin Yoga website or on the MindBody app. Single class for $18, ten classes for $135, or unlimited for $119/month.

If you're totally brand new to all this, register for our next Yoga Basics: Guided 4-Week Workshop to start from the ground up in a small group of new beginners.

In-person classes have doors open, exhaust fans, UV HVAC filters. Online livestream classes let you turn your video off (for a private practice) or on (letting me see your alignment) PLUS you get take longer savasana whenever you want!

Yoga for Responders

Class is free every Thursday at 4:15pm at Chagrin Yoga for fire, EMS, police, educators, and support staff of Chagrin Falls and our surrounding areas. This class focuses on improving sleep, releasing stress responses, improving breath capacity, and maintaining mobility. To show up in person, arrive 5 minutes early at the studio to register the first time. If you want a Zoom link, email me at yoga@elizabethsilas.com and tell me where you work, and we'll set you up!

You may be wondering—if this is all new to you—what are these ways of moving and breathing?

What Are These Ways of Moving and Breathing?

What is yoga?

Most yoga in America combines specific positions (called asana [ah-sa-na]) with conscious, slow breathing (pranayama) and some form of awareness or meditation instruction. We:

• strengthen and stretch muscles

• stabilize and actively align joints

• improve balance

• gradually expand breathing capacity and cardiovascular endurance

• develop mental focus and clarity

• cultivate a sense of physical and mental well-being

A steady, continuous flow of these postures and breathing is often called vinyasa yoga or power yoga. Vinyasa yoga can be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, making you sweat more than you ever have before. But it does not have to be! A slow, gentle sequence can have all the qualities of vinyasa, allowing you to focus on your breath and the postures. Find the style and pace that works for you.

Therapeutic yoga or yoga therapy begins with the intention to focus on using the techniques of yoga to promote health and well-being. It usually requires one-on-one or small-group interaction at first so that each individual's needs, inquiries, limitations, and habits can be addressed, particularly when the student is dealing with specific illnesses, injuries, or conditions. However, nothing need be "wrong" in order to take the therapeutic approach. We all benefit from examining how we think, breathe, and move in subtle and obvious ways and then expanding from there into other options and ways of being.

Keep in mind, yoga has more branches than just the physical one we tend to focus on in America—you can also practice karma yoga (service), bhakti yoga (devotion), jnana yoga (self-knowledge and meditation).

What is Pilates?

Pilates [pih-lah-teez] is a set of exercises that increases core strength. A strong core is key for good posture and spinal health. It makes you look taller and helps keep your back, hips, and shoulders pain-free. The deep core area includes:

• on top: the respiratory diaphragm

• on bottom: the muscles and connective tissue of the pelvic bowl

• in between, a cylinder of four layers of abdominal muscles (transversus, internal obliques, external obliques, rectus)and many back muscles (multifidi, erectors, and more!)

The core really extends beyond those deep central areas—the glute max, other hip muscles, and many upper back and neck muscles contribute. I call that the extended core, and it’s really the whole trunk—everything from pelvis to ribcage to head!

Pilates isolates each area, in turn, to develop body awareness, strength, and mobility. My classes combine the classical Pilates mat exercises with creative innovations that target the precise areas where we tend to lose strength over time.

What is barre?

Barre is a fusion class, combining movement traditions, so it can vary greatly depending upon where you practice it. My barre classes emphasize Pilates, full-body strength training, and targeted movements from dance. We use hand weights, resistance bands, unstable surfaces like rollers and balls, and bodyweight resistance to build strength from the deep core outward. I do not emphasize the "tucked pelvis" or "imprinted low back" of classical Pilates and Berk-style barre—instead, you'll have the option to use it when it is useful, and, at other times, cultivate neutral pelvis and low back.

Moves from ballet, jazz, and modern dance are brought in to isolate and strengthen areas that yoga often stretches (such as hamstrings and glutes), so it’s a great complement to a regular yoga practice. Foam rollers and balls are used as unstable surfaces to challenge balance and core stability. We often prep for and play with arm balances, such as side plank variations and handstands at the wall. Building confidence in our own bodies, along with awareness of how to safely move and deeply breathe, are the key elements.

How Should I Begin?

For many people, the best way to begin moving with the breath is in classes or workshops designed for beginners or in private sessions. Look for “Intro,” “Basics,” or “Level 1.” These sessions will group you with other new beginners and offer you the fundamental actions of each posture, transition, breathing practice, and concentration technique, step by step.

If you have experience with movement practices—dance, gymnastics, meditation, martial arts, gyrotonics, etc.—you may want to drop into classes called “Mixed Level” or “Slow Flow” or “Moderate” or “Vinyasa” or "Power" or “Level 1-2.” This will immerse you in the practice with students who have been practicing a while. Some people find this invigorating, and others find it bewildering!

Just be sure that some of your classes emphasize “alignment” or “technique.” If you only take classes that flow from beginning to end, you may never learn to work safely and avoid injury by learning the deeper and more subtle actions that align the body’s bones and muscles. Be sure to set yourself up for a lifetime of injury-free, joyous movement!

My number one suggestion to brand-new beginners: Take many classes with different teachers, in different schools, in different styles of yoga. You will not believe the variety—in the pace of the breath, in the speed of the movement, in what teachers emphasize, in how they explain things, in whether or not they demonstrate, in music that’s played, in whether or not they assist you physically, in which movements they teach and the order they teach them—and each student responds differently to these factors.

Observe how you feel before, during, and after the practice. Look for sessions that bring out the best in you and make you feel like you can give that back and pay it forward as you walk off your mat.