About our partner Ganesha Yoga:
We sat with owner Mindy Hanzlik to learn about her personal yoga story and what makes Ganesha Yoga special.
KYOGI: How did you get into yoga?
MH: I started doing yoga in my living room with DVDs, and eventually found the nerve to branch into studios. It started as exercise, and then cross-training, and then I realized that the stress reduction and attitude shift it brings were even more important than the exercise. So now it’s not just something I do, it’s who I am.
KYOGI: Why did you decide to open your studio?
MH: Jane[Musgrave, Co-owner] and I were working out four or five days a week, and we were on our way home from the gym and we started talking about how intimidating it is to try new things, and how fitness facilities are targeted to those who are already fit, which can be off-putting for the people who are just starting out. We decided there needed to be a place where people could push themselves to do yoga and other physically challenging things without worrying about knowing what they’re doing, fitting in or being “good” at it. We wanted to create a studio where students felt welcome and could let down their guard, which makes it easier to really dig in and figure this yoga thing out.
KYOGI: Why Ganesha? Why Lakeview?
MH: Ganesh is the remover of obstacles and helps people see the long range potential instead of the immediate circumstances. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do as a studio where yoga is concerned. Plus he’s fun and playful and eats a lot of candy.
KYOGI: Do you have a meditation practice? If so what is it?
MH: Yes. I meditate in the morning, just sitting quietly and focusing on my breath. And I meditate at night, just for five minutes or so when I get home, because it helps me transition from the world outside to the comfort of my home. I also try to do yoga nidra at least once a week, because it’s amazingly restful and clarifying.
KYOGI: What’s one thing you can’t live without?
MH: There’s nothing I CAN’T live without (see, that’s the yoga talking), but I’d be really sad if I couldn’t have my dogs or my friends and family around me, with some really delicious chocolate once in awhile. I’d say yoga, too, but honestly, yoga is universal, so it’s impossible not to have it.
KYOGI: Do you have a new year’s resolution for yourself or the studio? If so what is it? If not a “resolution” what do you want to do better or work on this year?
MH: I don’t believe in resolutions. Resolutions a) assume you’re not good the way you are, and b) set fixed goals that can keep us from seeing opportunities. I believe we are ever evolving, so instead of defining things I want to work on, I look for ways to be kind, to be healthy, to have a positive influence on the world, and I pursue these chances and see where they take me. It’s not so much a “goal” of aligning my life with my values, it’s more a way to be.
For classes, programs and more information about Ganesha, visit www.ganeshayogachicago.com