Who’s On That Mat? Meet Janet Schiff

Janet Schiff has been practicing yoga at Reach since the beginning … so almost six years now. We thought other yoga students might enjoy learning a bit about Janet. When you next see her, ask about Banjo! 

I first was introduced to yoga through my daughter Melanie when she was 22 years old. I took a ride down to Moksha and had my first class. That was almost twenty years ago. I initially practiced Iyengar and Hatha  Yoga. After that, I also practiced Vinyasa.

Prior to practicing yoga, I did weights and the stairclimber religiously while working full time as an attorney and then a realtor, in addition to raising three children.

As the years pass, I find it more and more important that I practice yoga, for well being, strength and balance.  I try to go at least three times a week currently.

I still am working as a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Glencoe.  I enjoy my grandchildren long distance in Los Angeles, my family here, including my husband Pepper and my adoring pup Banjo who you see around town with me from time to time.

I am a longtime resident of Glencoe, over thirty-five years, and am very fortunate to have a studio with fine instructors at Reach Yoga.

I find different instructors focus on different things but have learned through them to know my own body, work at your own pace. It’s not a race. Colleen, Zoe and Deb W are just a few that have truly impressed me.


Four Unexpected Reasons to Practice Yoga

Yoga practice continues to spread and grow in the United States. Classes are held at just about every gym, and yoga studios continue to proliferate.

But just what makes yoga such a popular practice? Many people start a yoga practice because they want to develop more flexibility. But flexibility isn’t the only benefit people find. And it may be the unexpected benefits that keep students coming to classes for years or decades.

Here are four reasons to do yoga that you might not have considered.

  1. Develop Strength: Yoga not only improves flexibility; it can build strength, including in specific core muscles that might be neglected by a typical cardio or strength training routine. You might or might not be sweating like a grease monkey after a yoga workout, but either way your muscles will thank you later.
  2. Cultivate Peace: Yoga can be good for the mind, body and soul. Depending on which class you choose, you might experience different effects. Some classes are a combination of relaxing and energizing. Others are vigorous and leave you pleasantly drained. A restorative class might make you feel like you just had a great massage or a nap! Whichever class you choose, it likely will create a more peaceful mindset for the rest of your day or evening.
  3. Detox. Moving and twisting and stretching can move toxins out of your muscles and speed their exit from your body, leaving you feeling lighter and cleaner.
  4. Meet New Friends: Another benefit of yoga is that it gets you out of your home, away from the ever-present screens and keyboards, and opens the door to meeting new friends. Think of your yoga classes as a community of people who share an interest in slowing down and getting healthy.

About Judy Lichtenstein of Good Karma Tees

Judy Lichtenstein’s Good Karma t-shirts have been featured at Reach Yoga on-and-off for almost six years. Check out current inventory–available for only a limited time, including during this weekend’s sidewalk sale.  

Q: When did you start designing your own clothing/ where did your passion for design begin?

My path in art and design started when I went to college. I was an illustration major in art school at Washington University in St. Louis. I loved fabric and did any of my projects that I could on fabric. That is where my path in art began. As it was, anything that I made in art school I could sell.

So after college, I went home to Pittsburgh, which is where I am from, and started my business. At the time, I was painting on fabric and doing soft sculpture. That is what was in, in the late 70’s. So while I was in Pittsburgh, I met another woman who was an artist kinda doing what I was doing. We made objects that we sold to stores and galleries. She took me to New York my first time to try to sell my work.

While on that trip trying to sell, I ended up getting a New York rep with a showroom who would represent me and my work. I was very lucky. That was the beginning of my business 40 years ago.

Q: What inspires you when creating designs for your clothes?

Healthy everyday lifestyle and happy memories are my greatest inspiration. Starting from waking up in the morning very early, seeing the sunrise is my everyday start. I get on the floor and do my yoga stretches every morning to start my day; then I feed and walk my dog.

Being outside in nature also inspires me. I see the possibilities for designs everywhere.

Q: What are some of your favorite t-shirt designs from your Good Karma Tees line?

I love the lotus, tranquility trees, happy buddha, Ganesh with border, the henna hand and chakra chart to name a few.

Q: How does yoga help your creativity?

Starting my everyday getting on the floor and doing my yoga stretches and poses energizes me so I can meet the day’s challenges.

Q: What advice would you give someone who is struggling to find creative inspiration?

To help someone who was trying to start a business in the artistic field making a product to sell, my advice to them would be: Pick a store or gallery where you think your work would fit in. Call up the store and ask who does the buying and make an appointment to show them your work.

There is a good amount of rejection that goes along with being an artist. It is hard to not take what people say about your work personal. I have been very lucky in my years of business to end up selling to many great places. When I was 23, Barney’s New York invited me to be in all of their stores and I sold to them for over 15 years.

What really did help me was the woman who did what I did, but made different products. She was older and really was a mentor. I never would have gone to New York on my own for the first time and hit the streets trying to sell my products. A mentor who is willing to give you advice  is really quite helpful.

Glencoe Sidewalk Sale 2018

The Glencoe sidewalk sale this Friday and Saturday. This is your chance to buy some yogic apparel and gifts (mostly deeply discounted).

This year we’ll also host a popup shop that includes Judy Lichtenstein tees (Good Karma) and some tie-dyed items from irose custom designs.

They are out in the boutique already (or will be soon), so take a look!

Hope to see you this Friday and Saturday.

Hi There Inner Critic … Nice to Meet You!

This is a guest post by yoga teacher Sonya Taylor, RYT 500 in Advanced Yoga Psychology. Sonya teaches Vigorous Vinyasa on Mondays, 9:45-10:45am, at the Takiff Center. Beginning July 10, Sonya will teach Core Flow (All Levels) on Tuesday evenings, 6:30-7:30pm, and Vinyasa Flow 2 on Thursdays, 11:30am-12:30pm. 

Have you met your Inner Critic?!

Many of us are so externally focused on what we need to do, if everyone is happy, everyone to school, work etc on time!… that we are unaware of the dialogue inside our head. The citta or mind chatter is the constant internal messaging that forms much of our experience of life, yet we rarely take time to stop and examine it! Do you know the repeated phrases inside your own head? Are they positive? Negative? Do they pressure you and judge you? Are they rooted in fear?

This past year I met my Inner Critic face-to-face and let me tell you… she is a nasty, slippery, conniving creature that is out to get me!

I took time to pause… truly look at and begin to recognize her voice and I developed a process to invalidate each and every thing she says! Don’t get me wrong, I still hear her! Sometimes often, sometimes few and far between. However, now I am adept at recognizing Her Voice is not My Voice!

Ready to dive in for battle?!…

Quieting Your Inner Critic!

As we are seeking to re-program the voice, hold compassion as these are usually deep seeded beliefs that we are challenging. Take pen to paper and write as you tune into…

-notice the voice of the inner critic

-write it down in the 2nd person “you…”

-who does the voice sound line?

-connect the inner voice to actions

-how does it influence your behavior

-events and situations that trigger these thoughts/voice of the inner critic

-self-limiting patterns

This process often takes time over several days or weeks to identify and clarify what the inner critic voice is saying and its resulting self-limiting patterns. Our tendency is to avoid really facing the voice and its root cause, leaving it lurking in the shadows. Recognizing and clearly identifying the dynamic of the inner critic is a vital first step.

Re-programming… Take pen to paper and re-write the voice.

What is the reality when you step out of the moment and really look at what the facts are? Write and affirmation, or positive statement in the present moment that re-writes the voice of the inner critic and completely in-validates what it says. Remember our inner dialogue and the thoughts or beliefs we allow to have the most ‘air time’ create and shape our experience. If we allow the inner critic to be the loudest voice… we will experience life in line with its negative, diminishing message.


Inner Critic – I am never going to make enough money, people don’t like me and my classes, I really messed that up, I don’t know what I’m talking about, no one is going to sign up for my workshop because they don’t like me and don’t want to hear about yoga psychology, no one gets me…. On and on and on…

Write it down- You are never going to make enough money. People don’t like you. You really messed up… etc

Re- Write – I am strong, successful and intelligent. The passion I have for yoga and its many healing processes guides me, sustains me, and draws many clients to my services. I am financially, emotionally and spiritually aligned.

Work toward awareness of the voice of the inner critic in daily life. Do you notice any patterns? Does the voice get louder or more frequent based on certain circumstances? I tend to hear the voice more when things are unsteady or changing. When I’m tired or have had a particularly challenging week. Noticing the pattern helps me be ready to fight back!

Repeat the positive ‘I’ message whenever you hear the voice of the inner critic. Take a few long, deep exhales. You might also try the practice of Viloma or a 3 part breath.

Viloma ~ Take a cleansing breath. Begin to inhale through the nose filling all the way up. Pause at the top of the inhale. Exhale through the nose in 3 parts deflating the chest, pause, the mid ribs, pause, the low belly, pause feeling totally empty… begin to inhale again and proceed through five or more rounds.

As you practice Viloma imagine the exhale carrying away the voice of the inner critic. Visualize it getting further and further away with each exhale so that you can barely hear it. Repeat the new thought pattern or affirmation five or more times (ideally looking in your own eyes reflected in the mirror).

Interested in working through my entire Inner Critic Process virtually or in person?!… Click here and let’s connect!

Sonya teaches Vigorous Vinyasa on Mondays, 9:45-10:45am, at the Takiff Center. To try Sonya’s class, you can use a Reach Yoga membership or classes on file, or pay the Park District at their front desk. View class schedule

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