Yoga is commonly known as a form of exercise and stretching. This form is called hatha yoga (or physical practices), which uses asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) as the focus, and is one small aspect of what yoga is.
Yoga means "Union", and there are four major paths of yoga: Karma yoga-Yoga through selfless action (selfless service to others); Bhakti yoga-Yoga through devotion (to God or gods); Rhaja yoga-Yoga via scientific practices (where hatha yoga is a sub-branch); Jnana yoga-Yoga through wisdom, intellectual and philosophical processes
At Alternative Health Group LLC, we teach "Yoga of Union" set by Swami Sivananda. The Sivananda lineage is a traditional teaching that leads us to ourselves through the four paths of yoga. This lineage teaches us to follow all the paths and make the one that is most familiar and natural our predominant path but teaches us not to forget and practice the others. The classes are predominantly Hatha yoga.
Sivananda Yoga - An ancient lineage of yoga integrating all four paths of yoga: Bhakti, Karma, Raja & Jnana. This class is relaxing, meditative, core strengthening, & very spiritual. Stress relief for mind, body & spirit.
~ taught by Timothy Suh, DAOM, L.Ac., RYT on Friday mornings 8:15-9:30 am
Ashtanga-Inspired Vinyasa Yoga - Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic series of postures that flow one into another. Providing a high energy workout whose therapeutic effects align and purify the body. By synchronizing movement with the breath, this ancient system of yoga awakens the inner fire to cleanse and strengthen the body. The use of the breath in this practice oxygenates the blood helping circulation and bringing more blood to the brain in order to maximize clear thinking and full creativity. With an eclectic combination of pranayama, standing and sitting asanas, Ashtanga serves as a path to health, flexibility, strength, inner peace and balance through deep concentration.
~ taught by Siga Vasaitis on Tuesday evenings 6:00-7:15 pm, and Thursday mornings 6:30-7:30 am
Hatha Yoga (All Levels) - Olinka’s hatha yoga is a great class for anybody who wants to strengthen their body in a gentle way. Traditional yoga asanas weaved together with elements of Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) and other modalities give beautiful results of building a strong body and calming the mind. Any level of yoga student of any age and body type are welcome to this class, as modifications are provided.
~ taught by Olinka Mytsiura on Monday evenings 7:15-8:15 pm, and Wednesday evenings 6:00-7:15 pm
Gentle Hatha Yoga (Beginner/All Levels) - This class focuses on slower, dynamic movement synchronized with pranayama (breath) to allow for the alignment of body and mind. The class structure is designed to strengthen and stretch the body, promoting balance and flexibility, while deepening awareness and relaxation.
~ taught by Amy Patel on Monday/Wednesday/Thursday mornings 8:15-9:30 am; and by Hannah Keene on Tuesday mornings 8:15-9:15 am
Hatha Yoga & Yoga Nidra (All Levels) - A traditional hatha yoga practice complete with asanas (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing). You will experience slow to moderate-speed movements with time to melt into certain postures. Pranayama includes nadi shodana (alternate nostril breathing), which serves to soothe the nervous system. The last 20 minutes of class are devoted to a yoga nidra practice, which is a deeply relaxing guided meditation. You will leave class feeling accomplished, relaxed, and energized. Open to all levels.
~ taught by Amy Patel on Sunday mornings 10:00-11:30 am
Restorative Yoga (All Levels) - This restorative practice is designed to offer deep relaxation and is a perfect complement to a more active yoga practice, as well as a perfect antidote to a stressful, frenetic lifestyle.
~ taught by Lyndsae Rinio on Saturday afternoons 12:00-1:15 pm
Beginner/Intermediate Yoga - These classes are slightly more slow-paced and therefore perfect for first-timers wanting to explore yoga. Classes have a balance of strengthening and stretching postures, which vary depending on the students' needs on any particular day.
~ taught by Hannah Keene on Monday evenings 6:00-7:00 pm; and Lyndsae Rinio on Tuesday evenings 7:15-8:15 pm & Saturday mornings 10:00-11:30 am
Meditative Flow Yoga (All Levels) - Learn to awaken awareness of the inner body by bringing mindfulness into every posture and breathing exercise. A slow-paced, inwardly focused class for all levels!
~ taught by Andrew Fleisher on Friday evenings 6:00-7:30 pm
YOGA TEACHER BIOS:
Timothy I. Suh, DAOM, L. Ac., RYT
Korean born and raised in the states to a Tae Kwon Do Master father Oriental Medicine was not new to me. My draw to studying Oriental Medicine came after my mother died after two years of fighting cancer. She fought long and hard but the allopathic medicine and cancer took its toll. I wished there was more I could do and but did not have the tools at the time to do it. I now have more of the tools and use all that I can to help my patients with as many alternatives that I can. Thus my focus is on quality of life and pain management.
I have over 35 years of martial arts experience, 15 years practicing Tai Chi, and 15 years practicing yoga. I have lived in Spain and Korea and have been exposed to many cultures and am confident that I can guide anyone to their ultimate health.
Join Tim for Sivananda Yoga on Friday mornings 8:15-9:30 am.
Lyndsae Rinio, RYT
Lyndsae Rinio was introduced to yoga in early childhood by her mother, and has continued independent practice throughout her life. She was once scolded by her first grade teacher for doing shoulder-stand during recess. Her formal studies began in 2000 at the public library in her home state of Alaska. As a trained dancer, she built her yoga practice on her knowledge of movement and anatomy, as well as her long-standing interest in meditation. After relocating to Chicago, she served as manager of Nature Yoga Sanctuary for four years before becoming a full-time yoga and meditation instructor.
Lyndsae's classes offer a blend of hatha and vinyasa flow, with an emphasis on intelligent muscular and skeletal alignment. She is registered with the Yoga Alliance at the 200-hour level, and also holds certification in teaching yoga for cancer recovery.
As a cancer survivor herself, Lyndsae found yoga to be an invaluable part of her recovery process. This has fueled her deep interest in yoga's therapeutic ability to shape and rehabilitate the body and mind. Lyndsae believes that a yoga practice is an exercise in self-observation. She encourages her students to find the integrity of each pose within their own body, rather than some external ideal.
Join Lyndsae for:
~ Beginner/Intermediate Yoga on Tuesday evenings 7:15-8:15 pm & Saturday mornings 10:00-11:30 am
~ Restorative Yoga on Saturday afternoons 12:00-1:15 pm
Olinka Mytsiura, RYT
As a brain tumor survivor, Olinka’s teaching style is mindful and gentle. Her focus is on strengthening the body in a healthy way while maintaining the spiritual aspect of yoga, which drew her to this practice in the first place. Olinka’s teaching combines different yoga lineages, health systems, martial arts and Muscle Activation Techniques. Maintaining a beginner’s mind is essential to Olinka’s practice as she continues to look for new ways to improve her own health and the well-being of her students.
Join Olinka for Hatha Yoga on Monday evenings 7:15-8:15 pm, and Wednesday evenings 6:00-7:15 pm.
Siga Vasaitis, RYT
I finished my certification with Rhiannon Kirby, an Ashtanga Vinyasa trained teacher. I have been practicing yoga for almost 9 years, and in addition to teaching at Alternative Health Group, I work at the American Medical Association, where I am working on bringing national awareness to the condition of pre-diabetes and helping implement lifestyle-change programs throughout the country to help people prevent type 2 diabetes. Prior to that, I worked in the community health setting as a Project Manager at a nonprofit federally qualified health center, Access Community Health Network. My goal is to help integrate the practice of yoga into healthcare. The idea of overall wellness in healthcare goes hand in hand with every aspect of yoga. My own personal style of yoga teaching is an Ashtanga Vinyasa-inspired one, where heat and strength will be built throughout the practice.
Join Siga for Ashtanga-Inspired Vinyasa Yoga on Tuesday evenings 6:00-7:15 pm, and Thursday mornings 6:30-7:30 am.
Amy Patel, RYT
Over 10 years ago, Amy went to her first yoga class out of sheer curiosity. She felt uncomfortable taking her socks off, so they stayed on. The class was difficult physically and mentally, yet there was something special about it. She couldn’t quite understand what it was.
Amy went back to class again and again and eventually took her socks off. With time she realized the specialness that she felt from class was actually coming from within herself. She was in love.
Over the next 10 years, Amy diligently practiced hatha, vinyasa, and sivananda styles. In 2015, she took a flight to India to begin her teacher training.
Using a nurturing yet firm teaching style, Amy emphasizes the healing effects that yoga offers. Drawing from her experience practicing physical therapy, she confidently guides those with achy or stiff bodies through a safe and effective practice. It’s common for students to leave Amy’s classes with more relaxation, less stiffness, and more energy. Under her guidance, you will experience the deeply healing effects of mindful movement paired with proper breathing.
In 2016, Amy completed her 500-hr RYT training in classical hatha yoga in Rishikesh, India. She feels so grateful and humbled that life has brought her so many powerful teachers on her yogic path. When her yoga mat is rolled up, Amy finds joy listening to spiritual lectures and letting go through dance.
Join Amy for:
~ Gentle Hatha Yoga on Monday/Wednesday/Thursday mornings 8:15-9:30 am
~ Hatha Yoga & Yoga Nidra on Sunday mornings 10:00-11:30 am
Andrew Fleisher, RYT
Andrew was introduced to yoga in 2012 through his college's Bhakti Yoga club, led by a group of monks teaching meditation, chanting, philosophy and devotion. This inspired a growing interest to understand himself and his spirituality, and the devotion stuck as he continued exploring yogic practices. Vipassanameditation became the foundation of his practice after attending his first silent retreat, and its emphasis on awareness and equanimity has shaped his approach to yoga and to living. Over the last few years he has studied many styles of yoga, focusing on the Ashtanga and Iyengar traditions, and taking workshops and retreats around the U.S. and India.
In spring 2016, Andrew completed his 200-hr teacher training through Moksha Yoga Center while teaching and studying at Stonehouse Farms retreat center over two summers. Working continuously to explore and integrate yoga and meditation into his life, he has seen it bring immense physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Andrew strives to teach accessible, alignment-based classes rooted in classical yogic tradition in order to share yoga’s countless benefits with all of his students.
Join Andrew for Meditative Flow Yoga on Friday evenings 6:00-7:30 pm.
Hannah Keene, RYT
After finishing a Master’s of Fine Art in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, my body wandered into the world of yoga. The resilience I gained through practice opened up the possibility to become more deeply connected to mind and body, which awakened a new sense of body awareness and emotional clarity. As a teacher, I believe in empowering students by encouraging free and expressive movement, while guiding a mindful, focused, and alignment based class. Each practice is led with intention to slow down mind and body and to move with diligence to gain relief of deep tension and stress.
I received my RYT 200-hr certification from Tula in 2017. Main influences for my practice come from the teachings of Natalie McGreal, Nathan Paulus, and Rhiannon Kirby.
When I’m not practicing, I am likely reading with my cats.
Join Hannah for:
~ Gentle Hatha Yoga on Tuesday mornings 8:15-9:15 am
~ Beginner/Intermediate Yoga on Monday evenings 6:00-7:00 pm