The 80/20 Rule For Your Yoga Practice

This is a guest post by yoga teacher Shalaka Tamhane. Shalaka teaches “Yoga for Working Stiffs” on Wednesday evenings, 6:30-7:30pm. Sign Up For Class

We all tend to spend more time on things we are good at and therefore we get better at those things. But you’ve heard every teacher say it – the pose you hate the most is the one you need the most. When I first started practicing, I disliked certain poses. Sometimes I found the pose boring and sometimes I found it hard. Now I know that if a pose is boring I’m probably missing something about it. I used to find parsvottanasana (pyramid pose) to be boring, but then realized I was folding more to the inside of the front leg and not squaring my hips to fold over that leg. Once I made that slight adjustment, it fired up the stretch in the IT band and added more sensation to the pose. If you hate squats as I did because my inner thighs and ankles were tight and knees were sore, maybe doing them more often or using a prop to support the pose will begin to open up those tight areas.

It is often the case with our weaknesses that more practice or exposure can help us improve. But we also don’t need to spend all our time on things we hate or find challenging because then we are making life more of a struggle than it needs to be. You don’t want a job that depends on being good at your weaknesses. You don’t take a job in sales if you are quiet and introverted, no matter how much it might push you out of your shell, because you will be miserable and may not succeed. So we have to find a balance in our yoga practice between practicing those poses that we naturally gravitate towards and give us greater joy, and still improving our weaknesses so our bodies are more balanced.

I had a mentor who suggested the 80/20 rule for balancing out strengths and weaknesses. Spend 80% of your time doing things you’re good at in your job, and 20% of your time working on areas of opportunity. I thought that was a great perspective. If we spend too much time on things we’re good at, we are limited. If we spend too much time trying to do things we’re not good at, it can be slow and discouraging and not at all motivating. Soit goes in your yoga practice. Spend time strengthening those weak areas and stretching those tight muscles. Then take a class that makes you feel great about yourself. Seeking that balance keeps us coming back to the mat to work on our weaknesses while still finding joy in the practice.

Feeling Well

This guest blog post is by yoga teacher Pam Gross. Pam teaches Warm Vinyasa Flow level 2 on Sundays, 9:30-10:45am. 

What does healthy mean to you?

It’s a question I pose to all my health-coaching clients, and then I wait as I watch their eyes spin through images in their mind like a high-speed wellness rolodex. When they stop at the realization that the healthy they are seeking now is more than skin deep, I can see it in their gaze.

“I’ll know I’m healthy when I feel balanced.”

“For me, health is about peace. I just want peace.”

“I want to feel like wonder woman – joyful, fit and serene.”

They never answer me in numbers… 120 lbs, size 4 jeans, 1200 calories, less than 100 grams of carbs. It’s further proof to me that “healthy” comes from a deep feeling within and is more about gaining new connections to self than losing weight.

Getting healthy is about getting well. It’s healing from the inside out. It’s why the calories in and calories out method doesn’t work for long. Food and exercise are only part of the process. You need to change your relationship to self to change the way you feel.

For the New Year, I ask my clients to focus on their intention, not resolutions. Goal and outcome oriented, resolutions tend to create more stress and disappointment when we fall short. An intention, though, is about a feeling and the journey we take with that feeling as our guide. I begin every yoga class I teach asking my students to find their intention… Why did you show up? What do you want to feel? When they find it, we practice using our intention is the beacon that we shoot for as we move.

Truly, though, it’s a practice for life off the mat. Can you stay connected to how you want to feel as you move through your day? Whether it’s something you eat or a business decision to make, can you put your thoughts aside and move down to your heart for guidance?

As you settle into the New Year with a clean-slate start, take a moment to ask yourself why you showed up. What do you want to feel? As you practice honoring your intention, “your healthy” will come into focus and you’ll begin see the way to simply feel well is to simply just feel.

Discover new soulful ways to self-care in Pam’s upcoming wellness program, The 30 Journey™, starting January 22. Private meetings are scheduled for the week of 1/15. Visit for more information or email with questions.

Newest Updates on Life of Bailey Shea

Bailey Shea has done everything for Reach Yoga over the years. She’s been a front desk team member, and then a manager. She’s designed communications and flyers. She rocked our merchandise buying for a while. She was the technology queen! And, of course, she’s a fabulous yoga teacher.

If you haven’t tried Bailey’s class yet, you’ll find her class to be a soulful, smoothly paced, balanced flow–and she is always so sunny and positive that taking her class sets a terrific mood for your weekend. Find out for yourself, Saturdays, 12:30-1:30pm. And read on to learn more about Bailey.

Q. How do you occupy your time outside of yoga?

I have 3 kids and the oldest one is 2.5. I am a busy, busy mom these days. It’s super fun but very challenging at times. Yoga keeps me sane. I try to do a little bit everyday, even if it’s just child’s pose with a child climbing on my back!

Q. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Winnetka. After college I lived on the east coast for a while but moved back to the north shore about 5 years ago. I love being able to raise my kids in the same place that I grew up.

Q. When did you know you wanted to be a yoga teacher?

After graduating from college I really committed to my yoga practice. I was taking about 5 classes per week and it felt AMAZING. I wanted to share that feeling with others and decided to take my first teacher training.

Q. What makes you nostalgic?

The movie Home Alone.  It was on TV last week and it was one of my favorites as a child (If you haven’t seen it, the movie was filmed on the north shore). My mom took me and my brother to see part of it being filmed in Hubbard Woods park. Every time the movie comes on it brings back childhood memories of the holiday season.

Q. What was your first job?

When I was 16, Missy Hebson hired me to work at her clothing store in Winnetka. Years later, when I walked into Reach I saw her and we reconnected. It’s funny to now be working together again in a totally different capacity.

Q. Does your spouse practice yoga?

Before he was my spouse he did! When Mark and I were dating he would always come to yoga with me.  The day we got engaged he stopped coming to class … he’s missing out.

Q. What’s your favorite season? Why?

Summer! I love warm weather and sunshine. I don’t like being cooped up inside when it’s cold.

Q. What TV show are you guilty of binge-watching? Or what show are you currently enjoying?

The last show that I binged watched was Ozark. It’s a Netflix show and I couldn’t stop watching it!


Meet Members Lisa & Jonathan Rosenfeld

In a fun twist, we decided to interview a couple of yogis who just happen to be married to one another.

Lisa and Jonathan Rosenfeld can often be seen practicing yoga at Reach, both separately and together. Reading their interviews (which they answered separately), it’s clear that they would be big winners on the newlywed game.

Thanks Jonathan and Lisa for being great yoga students, letting our community get to know you, and most of all for practicing at Reach!

Q. Why do you practice yoga? How does it benefit you?

Jonathan: I was originally drawn to yoga for the physical practice and stretching as a way to recover from other activities. But I have since learned it also helps me calm down and focus. It has sort of become addicting.

Lisa: I started practicing yoga for two reasons: to get some time to myself after the birth of my second child and to become more flexible (I could not touch my toes!). The reason I practice has evolved and now serves as time for myself, to listen to my breath, to stop and slow down, remain flexible as I age, and try to remain calm through the ups and the downs of life, marriage, children, etc. I believe in yoga and believe it helps me become a better version of myself.

Q. How often do you typically practice yoga?

Jonathan: Three times a week.

Lisa: I like to tell myself I practice all the time (off the mat). I try to take the breathing, gratefulness, and calmness into my life in as many ways possible. But, I am human and all I can do is try! I practice physical asana practice 5-6 days a week.

Q. How do you occupy your time outside of Reach Yoga?

Jonathan: I am busy running a personal injury law firm and taking care of my family.

Lisa: I am a mom, wife, and friend. I help my husband with his law practice. I enjoy running and walking, alone and with friends. I like reading a good book. I volunteer at the kids school. I love to travel and see and experience new places.​

Q. What was your first job?

Jonathan: Lifeguard at Gilson Beach… it was awesome.

Lisa: My first job was at Misericordia in Chicago.

Q. What city, anywhere in the world, would you recommend everyone visit?

Jonathan: Sanibel Island, FL (but please … not too many people go)!

Lisa: Rome, Italy … so much history, easily walkable, amazing food, amazing language, amazing people.

Q. What is you favorite food to cook or eat?

Jonathan: I pretty much like pizza and salad, prepared well.

Lisa: I don’t cook. Jonathan does and does it well! I love his version of bibimbop, pizza, and eggplant milanese.

Q. What was the last live performance (concert, play, etc.) you attended? How was it?

Jonathan: John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett – it was great, but too late, even leaving before it was half over was too late.

Lisa: We saw Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt acoustic! It was great, but we do not stay out late or up late, so we left after an hour and 15 minutes. Perfect for us!

Q. Do you participate in any sports or fitness activities other than yoga?

Jonathan: I swim, run, bike… anything to avoid sitting still.

Lisa: Yes! I run daily and go to Shred415 once or twice a week.

Q. Coffee or tea?

Jonathan: Coffee. All forms and lots of it.

Lisa: Coffee for sure! Good coffee.

Night Moves … by Kathy Pace

This blog post is offered by yoga instructor Kathy Pace. These rewards for evening classes are offered in addition to the Reach Yoga Holiday Challenge. Participate in either challenge or both–anything you do counts in both places. 

Ah, December. That month we always vow to “be more relaxed next year….”

Reach Yoga gets it and wants you to stay whole and calm during the holiday season. So during December, when it’s especially challenging to take time out for self-care, Reach is offering you a FREE CLASS PASS (or 40% off one apparel item from the lovely Reach Boutique) if you come to at least four (4) late-afternoon/evening classes in December.

ALSO, if you bring someone who is brand new to Reach to one of these classes, you’ll get another FREE CLASS PASS or 40% off one apparel item in the boutique (limit one per week). 

But wait, there’s more! The person who attends the most late-afternoon/evening classes in December will receive a goody bag full of amazing prizes including–yes–a FREE CLASS PASS or 40% off a boutique item!

Please join us on the mat to unwind after your busy December day. Sign up for class here. Namaste!

Friday, December 1

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: Basics & Beyond with Allison H.

Saturday, December 2

5:30 pm – 6:15 pm: Meditation All Levels with Judy C.

Sunday, December 3

4:15 pm – 5:30 pm: Vinyasa Flow Level 1-2 with Megan M.

Monday, December 4

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: Vinyasa Flow Level 1-2 with Mia P.

6:30 pm – 7:45 pm: Vinyasa Flow All Levels with Cheri W.

Tuesday, December 5

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: Vinyasa Flow Level 1 with Judy R.

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Yoga for Working Stiffs with Kathy P. subbing for Jeremy C

7:45 pm – 8:45 pm: Candlelight Deep Stretch with Kathy P.

Wednesday, December 6

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: Vinyasa Flow Level 1-2 with Megan M.

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Yoga for Working Stiffs with Shalaka T.

7:45 pm – 8:45 pm: Relax & Restore with Laura F.

Thursday, December 7

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: Vinyasa Flow Level 1-2 with Diane P.

Friday, December 8

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: Basics & Beyond with Allison H.

Saturday, December 9

5:30 pm – 6:15 pm: Meditation All Levels with Judy C.

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