Cydney Crain Post was born and raised in Milwaukee and then moved to the East Coast, but it never quite felt right. “I always felt like a Midwesterner in Manhattan,” she said.
Crain Post and her husband decided to move back to the Midwest and while choosing a suburb near Chicago, they came across Evanston. They fell in love with the City and knew it had to be their next home.
Mental and physical health has always been a large part of Crain Post’s life, so it was natural she began practicing yoga at a young age. When she moved back to the Midwest, Crain Post taught yoga at small boutiques and large franchises but opening a studio of her own was always in the back of her mind.
“As a white woman in wellness, I understand that I have a responsibility to not make my voice the loudest in the room, but to simply provide an opportunity for everyone to be their best selves so they can go out in the world and do good,” she said.
Once a spot opened on Central Street, she made the leap she had always been dreaming of and The Yoga Post was born.
The Yoga Post will begin offering classes Sept. 8. Accessibility is a key pillar of Crain Post’s work, as well as examining her practices as a yoga instructor.
She made the choice not to say the Hindu salutation “Namaste” at the end of her sessions or burn Palo Santo wood, used by indigenous communities, as part of her class practice. She didn’t practice in India, nor does she speak Sanskrit.
Crain Post acknowledges that sometimes the practice of yoga is co-opted by thin white women, but says that won’t be the case at The Yoga Post. In fact, she will be taking a decolonizing yoga workshop in November and hopes to bring what she learns back into her studio.
“My hope is that The Yoga Post is home to all different kinds of people and that we dismantle [the idea] that yoga is for white women,” Crain Post said. “I think based on the people that come to my classes, that’s where I use my judgment: If I am attracting people who aren’t like-minded, they’ll show up to the mats in a way that doesn’t feel right.”
She has also applied this goal to her hiring process while trying to find instructors that fit the image she is curating so each class is consistent. Every instructor and participant must be vaccinated.
The classes won’t feel like intense boot camps, Crain Post said, and she doesn’t want participants to feel any hesitation signing up – she wants all to feel like they belong.
“I have an opportunity to hold space for all bodies, for all humans, and it’s part of how I teach,” she said. “I don’t teach to ‘squeeze those glutes, get in shape,’ I speak to the internal. I speak to how we show up for ourselves and others; there’s a responsibility to not appropriate.”
Besides multiple group classes a day, The Yoga Post will offer “pay as you can” community classes. A portion of proceeds will be donated to different community organizations with the first theme of helping children who are aging out of the foster care system.
For more information, visit https://www.theyogapostchicago.com/