[Repost from May 5, 2014]
Thank you to all who joined us on Saturday, May 3 for UYC's Grand Opening Event, and to everyone that had a hand in making the space what it is:
The participation and generosity that came from our community was totally unexpected and touched our hearts beyond words. Urban Yoga Chicago is truly a space built out of community, from the flowers and plants (Nancy Mattei) to the glasses, bowls, dishes, utensils (Denise Babicz) and gorgeous wood cutting boards (Jenilyn Francis), to the text messages of well wishes from those who could not make it (you know who you are), to UYC tees (Reuven Gitter) to the string of lights and the labor of love put into making the upstairs loft space as beautiful as it is (Jeff Stitely) to the incredible paint job on the walls of the Tratakum Cove (Laurel W and Madie D), and to the hands that labeled all the spice jars and folded all of the brochures from 10 pm to midnight of opening day with her 4 month old beside her (Irene Rojas)... thank you!
Amanda Wultz opened with one hour of the Miracle Mantra Meditation. In all the years that I have practiced meditation, this was the fastest, most impactful one-hour meditation I had ever experienced. Was it the new space? Was it Amanda? Was it the company? Was it the Miracle Mantra? Does it matter?
Jodh Kaur then led an 11 minute gong session, going between two gongs (a 24" and a Neptune gong) that arrived on loan, and with love, by Surinderjeet Kaur.
Laura Briscoe led us in one of our favorite community activities-- vegetarian cook together. It included kitcherie by Matt Lavoie and Laura Keil and Solstice Soup by Adam Braun. Sait Kinay made his famous grilled eggplant "salsa". Mary Waldon brought over a delicious home-made gluten free bread, and Robbie Bogard a divine dish of homemade chocolate pudding (vegan!). Robbie also made a satisfying quinoa salad which I think everyone asked for the recipe. Our talented graphics designer, Jeff Lacdan poured his labor of love into the root vegetable salad, and Jeff Stitely into his delicious citrus salad-- that dressing is a keeper (and so is Jeff)!
After a wonderful meal, Jeff Stitely led us in a perfect-for-after-a full-meal-and-to-ease-into-self-expression drum circle. What an experience! We are hoping that Jeff will lead this again and again.
Then I led our 2nd 11-minute gong session with our 34" Paiste house gong. Good time for it to let us know it needed some strengthening of the screws before our triple gong bath to come...
GuruNischan led the yoga kriya, "Renew Your Nervous System and Build Stamina." If you aren't familiar with this one-- keep coming to class! It's bound to come up again. It's intense pranayam with moving mudras to open you up and expand your capacity, followed by wild dancing to bhangra music.
Good news-- we learned we could fit many more people in the upstairs space than we originally thought!
The layout was a 31-minute triple gong bath played by me, Surinderjeet and Jodh Kaur. The feedback was that it felt like one unified gong, out of this world, and "how did we do that"; we must have practiced for hours... we'll take it!
Then back downstairs for a surprise treat: dark chocolate covered organic strawberries hand-picked and dipped by Irene Rojas! Yes, we had flourless chocolate and chocolate mousse, but they had to bow down to the hand-dipped strawberries, hands down the winner. Then a light dinner of left-overs and a fresh serving of lentil salad compliments of Arshiya Khan.
What, don't you have dessert first at your house?
Our spice cabinet:
Kundalini Yoga Quotes:
“I’d never felt anything like it; it was just an opening of energy and a feeling of such liberation.” -Marika Bethel, owner, Glowing House