This week's BOOP (Best of Oak Park) is 105 Yoga, Oak Park's new Bikram Yoga studio.

How lucky are we in Oak Park? We now have our own BikramYoga Oak Park studio! Nancy Kalinowski opened her studio in November and the address is easy to remember. 105 Yoga is at 105 N. Oak Park Ave. I’ve been curious about Bikram Yoga ever since hearing my friend Adam rave about it in the 90’s. I finally decided to try it out at Oak Park’s new hot spot. Let’s just say that there is no way to describe it – you have to JUST DO IT!

I was excited to challenge myself for the 90-minute, 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. I read Nancy’s website, “no prerequisites for beginning your yoga practice….it’s never too late, it’s never too bad and you’re never too old or too sick to start from scratch again.”

Nancy has thought of everything. Her studio is beautiful with showers, changing area, plenty of hydrating options, towels, mats and even hair bands! I asked my friend Julia to accompany me since she had just taken some Bikram classes. She warned me to hydrate and prepare to SWEAT! I went to Nancy’s 6 a.m. class and quickly felt right at home in the 105°/40% humidity room. YES! Bring it on – especially on a cold morning! I was venturing into the unknown but Nancy was so supportive, encouraging, helpful – showing me how to adjust my position and change my posture and poses, even when I was a sweaty mess.

I was hoping to be a “glistening” student, but let’s face it, I was drenched in sweat. At one point, I looked at my feet to see sweat bubbles in places I never knew I had pores. I’d say that 45 minutes into the class I thought, “What is happening to my body?” It was fantastic torture and spiritually refreshing probably because my circulation was flowing unlike ever before! At one point, I did feel overcome with sickness (thank you Julia for warning me about that), which apparently is normal. I left the class feeling wonderful, although I admit my body was starving for water. For the first hour after the class, I thought I would only drink water for the rest of my life!

It was exhilarating and extremely challenging. The benefits of Bikram Yoga are endless: reduces stress, weight loss, flexibility, strength, increased lung capacity, muscle tone, improved posture, endurance, stronger mental focus, emotional balance, improved circulation to name a few things….who doesn’t need one/all of these?

The best part is that you too can check out the studio!

Nancy’s Grand Opening/Renaming Party is this Saturday, Jan. 15 with a reception from 6 – 8 p.m. Refreshments, snacks, music and chair massages are all part of the party. Why not double your karma points and bring a friend (that would be YOU!) to Bikram Yoga at 4 p.m. You can also make a donation and proceeds will go to Oak Park’s own Sarah’s Inn (restoring and preserving the dignity and self-sufficiency of battered women and their families). Your donation doesn’t have to be monetary (food, hygiene products, household items, diapers, etc.)

Space for that class is limited so sign up online: or call 708.613.6055 for more information.

Nancy has 2 and 4 week discounts – perfect for those who need to check it out a few times and let their mind and body adjust. I look forward to melting this snow away with Bikram Yoga Oak Park!

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Lourdes Nicholls

Chances are that if you don't know Lourdes, you don't really know Oak Park. This Oak Park mom of three can't walk a village block without running into someone she knows. She's about as effervescent as...

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