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Sharyn Galindo, owner of North Shore Yoga in Northfield, says she has always related to the spirit and energy that is Evanston. So when the opportunity came along to expand her yoga business into Evanston, she jumped at the chance.
“Evanston has a culture all its own,” says Ms. Galindo. “It has that hip feel that only a college town can have, but it’s the people I enjoy the most.”
North Shore Yoga’s Evanston studio, located at 1407 Greenleaf, opened in January. Ms. Galindo is renting the space from Art Wise, a professional photographer and long-time practitioner of the martial art of Aikido. Mr. Wise says he plans to teach Aikido in the space.
Some local yoga practitioners might remember Ms. Galindo from the studio’s original location on Green Bay Road in Wilmette. Prior to relocating to Northfield four years ago, Ms. Galindo owned and operated North Shore Yoga & Fitness in the neighboring town to the north, beginning in 1996.
“When we were in Wilmette, a lot of my students and teachers came from Evanston,” says Ms. Galindo. “Much of that market didn’t follow me to Northfield. Now I am having so much fun reconnecting with the Evanston crowd.”
Ms. Galindo was working in the corporate world when she decided to combine her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for exercise and nutrition. What began as a personal training and spinning fitness studio in 1996 eventually morphed into the yoga studio it is today.
A triathlete, Ms. Galindo says years of competing began to take a toll on her body and overall health. That’s when she started incorporating yoga into her own exercise routine.
“Yoga helped me heal physically and mentally,” says Ms. Galindo. “I soon started offering it at my studio and eventually it became the sole focus.”
The focus Ms. Galindo refers to is not just yoga, but a specific style of yoga. About 95 percent of the classes taught at North Shore Yoga are either Ashtanga, a set series of postures that have been handed down for generations, or Vinyasa Flow, a more fluid sequence of similar postures often set to music.
“There are many styles of yoga, but this style is what we do, and hopefully we do it well,” says Ms. Galindo.
A certified yoga instructor, she has traveled several times to Mysore, India, to study at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute and at the Atma Vikasa Center of Yogic Sciences. She travels every year to Thailand to study with Paul Dallaghan of Ashtanga Yoga Thailand whom she considers her primary teacher.
In an effort to pass on the knowledge gained from her studies abroad, Ms. Galindo offers a Teacher Training Program, which the majority of the teachers at North Shore Yoga have completed. The 200-hour certification program is overseen by the Yoga Alliance, an organization offering a set of standards and a community of support.
The Evanston location is currently offering one to two classes every day of the week.
“Opening the Evanston studio has been a real joy and has added a new energy and feel to the business,” says Ms. Galindo.
When asked about the location at Greenleaf Street and Wesley Avenue, Ms. Galindo says the fact that the studio is not located in the heart of downtown is not a concern.
“I like to think of this place as a hidden gem,” says Ms. Galindo. “A place people can discover and hopefully enjoy as much as I do.”
Holly Brady, who teaches Ashtanga at the Evanston studio on Mondays and Wednesdays, says she hopes it does not take too long for people to discover the studio.
“I believe Sharyn’s studio and philosophy fit perfectly into the community,” says Ms. Brady. “The traditional style of yoga we teach is authentic and grounded in lineage, and I believe Evanstonians who practice yoga can appreciate that.”