Yoga in Indianapolis: Something for Everybody
Sep 02, 2013 09:10PM
By Addison Demaree
From paddle boards to acrobatics, meditation to yoga history lectures, Indianapolis is bustling with creative yogis making the practice accessible for all of us. September is National Yoga Month, and we are celebrating this special time by highlighting all of the amazing and diverse events, classes and workshops happening throughout the area.
The Indianapolis metro area provides a rich array of options yearround, with studios offering a wide selection of classes and activities to match every interest, lifestyle, schedule and budget. From the Source Yoga Center, in Fishers, to Evolutions Yoga, in Greenwood, from small studios such as breathlife- yoga to larger spots like CITYOGA, there is something for everyone. Here’s a sampling of some of the exciting opportunities that shape our community.
Last June, nearly 1,000 yogis from throughout the city gathered at Monument Circle for a series of Sun Salutations to welcome the summer, Monumental Yoga. The event built a sense of unity, excitement and curiosity around this ancient discipline plus set the tone for a yoga-inspired summer and fall.
Six new yoga studios are expected to open in Indianapolis this month. Classical Yoga opens its doors to seekers in the heart of Broad Ripple; Invoke has a new yoga and Pilates studio at 86th and Ditch; and Treehouse Yoga opens a hot Vinyasa studio at 16th and Meridian. The Hot Room offers a Bikraminspired studio at 96th and Keystone; Main Street Yoga is the new hub for Speedway yogis; and Peace Through Yoga recently opened a second studio on Main Street in Zionsville. The Yoga Studio has Carmel yogis sweating out their toxins at its new studio in Carmel City Center, sharing space with SpinCycle, an innovative new cycling studio featuring a full mind/body workout — conscious pedaling on a stationary bike.
This summer, there’s been an explosion in popularity for Paddle Board Yoga; yogis are getting their downward doggy on at a lake near you. HTL Yoga Center, Peace Through Yoga and various independent teachers, including Erin Morgan, offer such fun and challenging classes. Yoga on the water brings a sense of serenity, and the paddle board demands balancing to increase concentration and build core muscles.
Acro Yoga has yogis upside down and inside out. Partner workshops combine acrobatics with traditional hatha yoga postures. With one partner serving as the base, the other as the flyer”, and a couple spotters to ensure safety, unique transitions, inversions, back bends and balancing postures are explored under the guidance of a seasoned acro-yogi. These workshops serve as a way to build confidence, strength and the inner playful spirit.
The Yoga of 12 Step Recovery is a national program started by our own Nikki Myers of CITYOGA. Available at various area healing centers, integrating the wisdom of yoga and the practical tools of 12 step programs helps addicts recover and establish a healthy balance in their daily lives. Trainings are also available in Indianapolis and around the country for yogis interested in facilitating these programs.
Ayurveda, often described as the sister science to yoga, is defined as the science of life. This ancient alternative medicinal practice helps us to uncover the specific diet and lifestyle choices that will restore a happy balance in our physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional selves. Workshops and consultations are available at Santosha School, in Nora.
Pranayama (breath) and meditation classes are also available at most area studios. These classes are often offered on a donation basis and allow the curious to begin to cultivate the discipline and peace found through regular practice.
For those curious about the lineage of this 5,000-yearold practice, Yoga History lectures by Sraddha (Christine) Kessler are held at Peace Through Yoga and Classical Yoga. They detail the origins of yoga—from the pre-Vedas to Swami Vivekanda introducing yoga to the West at the World’s Fair in 1893 and beyond. Inner Peace Yoga Center on East 56th Street offers Yoga Sutra discussion meetings, allowing attendees to sink meaningfully into a Niyamas (behavior observances) or Svadyaya (self-study/study of the sacred texts).
Hatha yoga is the umbrella term that includes any and all of the physical postures, breathing techniques and cleansing practices of yoga. It’s most often used to describe gentle, basic classes with no flow between poses, such as restorative, pre-natal, kids and yin yoga. A wide range of hatha yoga is offered at one of the city’s first studios, All People Yoga Center. Evolutions Yoga welcomes beginners and offers a weekly Fun Time Yoga for Kids each Wednesday. Flourish Yoga + wellbeing, in Fishers offers kids’ yoga programs for two age groups, along with a Teen Yoga program.
Got the travel bug? International yoga retreats foster connections to a new culture, solitude, vegetarian food and reconnecting to our deepest selves. The Village Experience offers custom retreat planning for yoga teachers and has several open trips throughout the year for students. Many studios also offer international retreats to destinations ranging from Costa Rica to India.
Lulu Lemon, at Keystone at the Crossing, offers free yoga classes every Saturday morning at 9 a.m., highlighting different teachers and studios around the city. Explore a free practice and find a teacher who resonates with you and your needs. Also, if you enjoy variety in your physical routine, Yoga Monkey + Fitness, in Broad Ripple, and Mindful Movement Studio on West 86th Street, offer yoga and other fitness-based class packages.
Many teacher trainings are available for those ready to take their commitment to higher levels. Peace Through Yoga and Passion Yoga Teacher Training are both launching programs in October. Santosha also has ongoing moduleformatted teacher trainings, ideal for deeply integrating the knowledge into your teachings at a personalized pace. A 200-hour training organized by Melissa Webb of breathlife- yoga will open the heart, and a 500-hour training with Melissa and Eric Banter of Shamrock Wellness will begin in January.
From beaches of New Zealand to ashrams in India, I’ve had the opportunity to practice with teachers from all across the globe. Yet, there is something so special about being a part of a community of urban yogis working hard to discover inner peace—even amongst the hectic nature of city living. Indianapolis is a wonderful place to find community, build a yoga practice and tap into the rich well of teachings sprinkled throughout our beautiful city. Get out there and get your yoga on!