New to Yoga or wondering what the heck is Bowspring?

Trying something new can be hard and we know all the objections. "I can't even touch my toes" or "My mind races when I slow down" are common for Yoga avoiders. When it comes to the newer practice of Bowspring, its typically: "I'm scared to try something new", "Will I have to give up yoga?" or "Bowspring? Isn't that where you stick your but out?". The answer to the last question is no.

People come to improve flexibility, agility, posture, awareness, breathing, and to learn sustainable healthy practices. Anything new needs to start somewhere and requires openness and a willing to practice. Below are answers to FAQ's about beginning a practice including what to expect and how to prepare for your first class.

Why try it? 

Because it might help. People come looking for pain relief, increased flexibility, weight loss, to improve posture, increase awareness, seeking zen. Many who come for physical reasons often stay for the surprising mental benefits.

First steps 

Come see our cozy studio nestled in the Goose Island / Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, call ahead if you want a little tour. Inquire about rates, classes, etc. or find it all here on our website.

If you are planing your first visit, you can buy and register for your first class online, and fill out the required liability waiver or arrive 10-15 minutes before class to complete forms. We have a $35 intro package for new students so you can try unlimited classes for two weeks beginning on the day of your first class.

Some classes can be modified for beginners but we for the best start we suggest trying classes that include "Beginner", "Foundation", or "Level 1". Please let us know if this is your first class or if you are working with an injury so we can best care for you.

What to wear / bring / etiquette 

Wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to move in and expect your body to warm up and cool down. We have two changing rooms and a shower in the restroom with a few towels and basic toiletries. Bring your own mat or rent one of ours for $1. Small towels are also avaialable to rent for $2. Bring a water bottle or we have bottled water for sale.

We work to maintain a pleasant, clean and calm environment for our community. We ask that you remove shoes upon entering, silence mobile phones or leave outside of class, wipe rented mats with the essential oil cleaner provided, and stack props back neatly where you found them.

Is it hard? How will I feel? 

Your experience will vary so try to be open and patient. You will adjust overtime and with practice. Guidance with props will be offered so you can experience the poses with modifications for your body. Grab one of each prop or you can wait for the teacher's instruction.

Every class consists of students at varying levels of practice. We are all unique so try not to compare. This is about you and your experience. The teacher will demonstrate and walk around to help, at times with an apporpriate hands on adjustment. Let the teacher know if you would prefer nothing hands on. Honor your body wherever it is, never force it or endure pain. Slowing the mind, training the breath, and making new movements will take time to adjust to and over time you'll find ease.

The sum up 

You'll never know until you try. You may be in a yoga class struggling to be present in a hamstring stretch while your mind tries to escape the sensation. Or your mind might be blown in a Bowspring class, as you discover a modern method that is different, challenging, an so freeing all at once. You'll be in good company and we'll be there to remind you to breathe and not to take yourself too seriously.


Namaste is the gesture initiated by a teacher at the end of a yoga class with hands pressed together in front of the heart, head bowed down to the heart. It represents the belief that there is a Divine spark in everyone that resides in the heart. Often accompanied by the spoken word, namaste is a deep form of respect and acknowledgement of the soul in one by the soul in another, free if ego or role of teacher or student. A student often chooses to acknowledge and return the gesture to the teacher but this is not necessary or expected.




First time at Viva Prana? Enjoy exploring various teachers and styles of classes during your first weeks with us!

Offer may be purchased in-studio or online

Valid for 14 days from first class

*First time students only, no other discounts apply

New Student Waiver Form:

All new students at Viva Prana are required to fill out our Agreement of Release and Waiver of Liability form. This form can be filled out and submitted online or in person at the studio.