Meet Nicole Moriarty

Name: Nicole MoriartyBirthplace: Right here, Bebe.
Current Hometown:Glencoe
Nicknames: Nic + on occasion a “Boyar” will squeak out here and there by a former schoolmate of mine ; )
Family: husband, Jamie + four year old daughter, Royce.
Jobs or Life Passion: Travel Consultant by day, (travel is one of my life’s passions too). Other passion? Y-O-G-A naturally.
Favorite Place to Travel: St. Barths. Tell me last minute we have tickets to fly out tomorrow + I’m there.
Hobbies: yoga, fitness, health.
Name 1 moment that completely changed your life: Becoming a mom. Many of y’all can understand that one!
When did you start practicing yoga & why: I was a cardio nut. A gym rat. And then in college first semester we had to take a physical education class for our graduation requirement + I signed up for yoga. And that was it. And I’ve been practicing daily *almost* ever since.
Favorite Pose: Triangle. And standing forward fold. And supta badhakonasana. Ahhh!
Favorite Mantra: Respond don’t react.
Best Advice Ever Given: When you meet the resistance, soften.
Best Advice to Give: Perspective is everything.
Coffe or tea: COFFEE. On repeat.

Reach Student Stephanie Nora White Lists her Top 10 Reasons for Practicing Yoga

I came to yoga about 15 years ago, and wish I had started 15 years before that.  I’ve practiced in cities far and wide.  Yet, I am always struck by the abundance of truly gifted teachers on The North Shore and at ReachYoga in particular.  We are lucky indeed.  Here are the top ten reasons I practice.

1. It’s warm. – Will never go to an air-conditioned gym again.  Ever.

2. It’s musical.  – Samba, an 80s remix, Krishna Das, Buena Vista Social Club. Have expanded my musical horizons without even trying.

3. It’s inspirational. I get some of my best ideas in downward-facing dog.  Seriously.

4. It’s childlike. Where else can you roll around on the floor making animal shapes?

5. It’s freedom. Our bodies moving in space. Cool.

6. It’s chemical. It churns up the joy-producing kind.

7. It’s historical. Love that it’s not fitness du jour, but part of a 2,000-year tradition.  Way cool.

8. It’s spiritual. My yoga intention always reminds me of a higher power and gratitude for my loved ones.

9. It’s community. I’ve met amazing individuals who’ve become cherished friends.

10. It’s humbling and motivating all at once.  It always leaves me humbled that my body still brings it every time I hit the mat and amazed by what happens in those 75, warm minutes. I’m a believer.



Get to Know Reach Instructor Lisa Silverman

Name: Lisa Silverman
Birthplace: Born in Pennsylvania but raised in New York.
Current Hometown: Live in Glencoe.
Family/Pets: Husband, 2 daughters, 2 labradoodles and a cockatiel
Life Passion: I just want everyone to feel loved, healthy, strong, be kind and to never want more than you need.
Favorite Place to Travel: I like to travel and explore new places.  Everywhere I have been has offered a new experience.  
Hobbies: Anything artsy, tennis and golf.
Name 1 moment that completely changed your life: My husband’s career moved us to Illinois 8 years ago.  We knew no one and had never been in the midwest.  I used to say I could live anywhere, but this change put me to the test.  We have since developed an amazing community of friends and have a beautiful life in our adopted city.  
When did you start practicing yoga & why: I started going once a week about 11 years ago for flexibility.  Then about 4 years ago I hurt my ankle and was limited to yoga for exercise.  Practicing daily gave me a deeper understanding of the practice and I became hooked.  It centers me.
Favorite Pose: My favorite pose will truly depend on the day and my state of mind.  I love childs pose first thing in the morning to turn inward and find my breathe, half moon when I feel strong and grounded and twists just feel good.  
Favorite Mantra: Be true to yourself.  Never worry about what other people think.
Best Advice Ever Given: Before you confront someone, think about what you are looking to get out of it.  (That being said, I am not a confrontational person)
Best Advice to Give: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Check out Lisa’s new class Saturdays 11:00-12:00pm Vinyasa Flow Level 1-2

This is Yoga. Meet Jim Fisch.

This handsome man needs no introduction, but he does deserve a standing ovation. Practicing at Reach regularly for the past 4 years, this always “happy to be here”, 85 years young man really is something pretty spectacular. When he’s on the mat beside you, he reminds you why we are all there, and what yoga in this community is all about. Let me allow him to share for himself. 


When I walked into Healing Power Yoga in Highland Park accompanied by a former student I had supervised for the past year doing psychotherapy, she introduced me to Lourdes Paredes, a master teacher and prominent figure in yoga circles. Lourdes greeted me warmly and asked about my prior yoga experience. When I said this was my first practice ever, she gave me a strange look, which I soon came to understand. My student was an experienced yoga practitioner who came to our sessions straight from her yoga practice with Lourdes. She had often suggested I try yoga, which I politely declined…it was too slow, too spiritual, too weird. When our supervision ended she gave me a gift of a yoga mat, so how could I refuse? So, at age 71, I unrolled my mat and prepared to follow instructions. Turns out, this was a master class, and everyone there was a yoga instructor or in training to become one. My student had thought I might be bored by a beginner class, which is probably true, but had neglected to advise me regarding wardrobe and not eating before class, so I arrived in heavy sweats after a full breakfast. I watched, tried to imitate what others were doing, and after a few downward facing dogs I could feel my breakfast starting to return. With the heat building up and the nausea, I came close to throwing up and passing out. Somehow I survived, and when I returned the next week wearing proper yoga clothes and an empty stomach, I really enjoyed it. There was something both peaceful and challenging, the group connection was wonderful, and I’ve kept coming back twice weekly for 14 years.

Having discovered the joys and benefits of yoga it was natural to share it with my family. Now all five kids, their spouses and ten of the grandchildren are practicing yogis, with Noa, the oldest grandchild , now a certified instructor. One of life’s great joys is bringing kids and grandkids to Reach to share the practice with those terrific teachers, and there have been times when seven Fisches are on their mats side by side. I’m glad I took it up when I did, and now the strength, flexibility and balance yoga provides is therapeutic for this aging body.

Replacing the Reach Yoga App

Read this only if you use the Reach Yoga app, with an icon that looks like the one here:

After a few years of supporting the Reach Yoga app, we’ve concluded that the studio and our students will be better served without the app. Our technology provider raised the monthly cost by 700% (that is not a typo). And, you can get the same functionality, plus more, by using the MindBody app. 

So … the Reach Yoga app will disappear as of December 15, 2018.

If you haven’t already, please consider downloading the MindBody app. It looks like this.

From there, set Reach Yoga as a favorite studio.

You can use this app to reserve a spot in class, purchase classes, reserve events, etc. (just as you did in the Reach Yoga app). You can also access other wellness and fitness businesses.

Let us know how we can help!

The One, The Only, Bart Fox!

Have you seen that guy walking from Highland Park to Glencoe with a huge smile and a yoga mat strapped to his back? That’s Reach’s very own Bart Fox! There’s so much more than meets the eye with this guy….the best part?  His many nicknames & daily mantra. Read on for the goods!


1. Nickname/s?

I’ve had 3 nicknames over the years. In high school some called me “Scoop” because I wrote for the school newspaper. My college friends added a French accent on the end of my name and called me Barte (bartay). Now the guys I work with call me Foxy.

2. Favorite book?

My favorite book is Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.  Some people raise an eyebrow when I mention that but I believe, while compromise is vital in many ways, the most pure vision comes from the individual.

3. Favorite Food?

I have too many favorite foods to list just one…  but if I have to list one I’d say sushi.  I think I could eat it every day.

4. Favorite place to visit?

My favorite place to visit is Wrigley Field… and Italy!

5. What was your first job?

One of my first jobs was as a cable puller and runner on ESPN golf tournaments.  I was newly out of college with a degree in journalism and due to the recession I couldn’t get hired by any networks / tv stations / production companies.  The only thing I could get hooked up with was ESPN when they came to Indianapolis for a golf tournament.  I arrived at 8am on Tuesday morning and a technician put a 500-foot coil of thick cable on my shoulder and told me to walk up the fairway and let the cable out as I walked.  At the end of 500 feet there was a guy with another 500-foot coil.  He connected the 2nd to the 1st, put the 2nd on my shoulder, and told me to keep walking.  Several of us set up the whole course with camera and audio cables, and did other manual labor.  I had no idea what this would lead to but apparently I was pretty good at laying cables so I was invited to the tournament the next week in Moline, Illinois.  I wound up driving around the country with a few other guys from tournament to tournament.  It was total manual labor, a lot of fun and made great connections.  I learned the technical side of sports TV by doing this.  I gradually got many breaks along the way and over many years weaved my way into producing the live broadcast of sports events on TV for ESPN, the Big Ten Network and other networks.  I always look back on those days as a cable puller and runner as an invaluable introduction.  And almost 30 years later I still see some of the same guys around the country that I met at that first tournament.  Over the years I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the biggest announcers in sports television and hugely talented production folks.  A great ride…

A couple weeks ago a newspaper writer was embedded with our college football crew for a couple days as we prepared for the Michigan – Rutgers game.  If you’re interested here’s the link to his report.


6. Best advice ever given?

The best advice I was ever given was to just say thank you when given a compliment.  I tended to be self-deprecating and had a hard time taking a compliment.  A guy I worked for took me aside one day and said I’d be better served just saying thank you.  Great advice that I’ve tried to implement.

7. Best advice to give?

The best advice I give is to students that I speak with.  I tell them that it’s certainly ok to finish school without knowing how they’re going to conquer the world.  I find that kids are pressured to figure out their life’s journey by the end of college.  But the reality is that most people work in a field different from what they studied.  So why get narrowly focused and stressed out about it?

8. How do you bring the practice of yoga into your everyday life?

As a TV producer on live sports events (mainly college football and college basketball) it’s easy to see the benefits of yoga.  When we are live on the air the atmosphere floats from controlled mayhem to absolute mayhem.  I really love the highly intense environment and I’ve learned through yoga how to breathe through chaos. It provides a calming influence. Pam Gross uses an expression in her class that has helped put a name to a concept I’ve always used but never had a name for.  Pam says to “embrace the wobble – and make a pattern with it”.  The first time I heard her say that I instantly knew that’s what I do in my professional life.  The challenges of traveling the country to produce games on live TV are intense and “embracing the wobble” is essential.

One other way yoga helps…  many times when I fly home from a game I take the first flight of the day so I can get home in time for the 9:30am class at Reach.  When I have that really tired look it’s usually because I flew home in time to grab my mat and head to Reach.  Whereas the night before I was involved in a really intense work environment, when I get home and make it to Reach the calm is restored.  How’s that for the yin and yang?


9. Favorite Pose?

My favorite pose is triangle on my right side.  For some reason I feel like I’m able to rotate my right side through to the max without getting to the point where I’d fall.  Left side…  not so much…

10. Favorite mantra?

“Embrace the wobble” is my favorite mantra as I wrote above.  I use it in everything I do.

Meet the Mesmerizing Debbie Muraff!

Have you been in class at Reach and wondered who the woman, literally defying gravity while balancing on her hands was? That’s Debbie….If you haven’t met her yet, or been to her classes, you should! On and off her mat, she is well-paced, thoughtful and beautifully balanced (pun intended). Please read on for a fun look into her world outside the studio……

Q. What are you Practicing/Favorite pose?

I am trying to practice more ahimsa – not letting others take away my peace. My favorite pose is handstand, of course, and I love Warrior 1. 

Q. What are you reading?

I’m reading True Yoga: Practicing With the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment by Jennie Lee.

Q. What are you eating/drinking?

My new favorite is the Cali’flour pizzas I order on line, they are tasty and I dress them up with fun toppings! I also love Skinny Joe coffee!

Q. What are you watching? 

As far as TV, I have three faves- game of thrones, shameless, and This is Us. 

Q. Where are you travelling?

I’m going to Arizona next!   Then going on a cruise through the Panama Canal, which I’m really  looking forward to!

Q. Best advice you’ve ever been given? 

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.

Q. How do you bring the practice of yoga into your everyday life?

I practice my yoga  by being the best that I can be on and off my Mat!

Q. How do you like to spend time off the mat? 

I like to visit my daughter Bryn in Madison & spend time with my boyfriend & son. I also have a specialty cookie line called Sideways Cookie Brittle that I sell to local shops and for custom events.

Q. Favorite Mantra?

I’m thankful for my struggle, without it I would not have stumbled upon my strength! 

Check her out on Mondays 6-7am Vinyasa level 1-2 & Wednesdays 8:15-9:15am Vinyasa Level 2

Six Ways to Save Money on Yoga

Everyone wants to maximize the value of their money. And paying for yoga is no exception.

Have you considered all your options to practice yoga economically? Here are six ideas: 

  • Home practice is the least expensive way to go. Invest up front in a mat and a few props, and use a yoga app or even free videos on YouTube to guide you.
  • At Reach and other studios, watch for free community classes, or classes for charity that may ask for a donation of $10 or less per class. You will find these occasionally on our website under Events.
  • Most studios (including ours) feature a special for new students. Some offer a first class free, or a week or more of unlimited yoga for a vastly discounted price. At Reach, we offer two weeks of yoga for only $29 (that’s less than $4/day). (Hint: If you haven’t practiced at a studio for twelve or more months, ask if you can take advantage of the new student special again to sample newer classes on the schedule. You might get a positive response.)
  • Be sure to ask for a senior or student discount if you qualify. At Reach, seniors are 65 or older. Students are 23 or under (whether or not you are enrolled in a school).
  • If you plan to practice up to once each week, at least every month or so, consider buying classes in groups of 20. At Reach, you can save up to 20%, or the equivalent of 4 free classes. And the classes are good for a year. Can you share a group of 20 classes with a family member? Sure you can. Just ask at the desk.
  • If you expect to practice 2 or more times per week, or at least 7 times per month on average, consider our monthly membership for $117/month. That’s less than $4/day. Members also save on yoga gear and gifts from the boutique, and can bring first-time guests for free. Learn more here

If you have feedback or need information or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. We sometimes can arrange special discounts if you can contribute to our community. You can email me at, and I promise I’ll get back to you quickly.

In the meantime, here’s a summary of our payment options. I hope it’s useful.

Dani, Student / Owner, Reach Yoga

Teacher Feature: Colleen Y.

This month’s featured teacher is Colleen Y. Colleen teaches Basics & Beyond on Sundays at 8am, and will be adding a Basics & Beyond class on Thursdays at 11:00am this summer, beginning June 19. Colleen also teaches several yoga classes for children, including a new kids’ summer series on Mondays beginning June 16. 

Q. Why do you practice yoga?

I believe that yoga is a lifestyle, the physical practice or asana being only a piece. I practice yoga to keep a healthy body and a still (or more still) mind. I have found yoga to be an essential life tool and cannot imagine my life without it.

Q. Why do you teach yoga?

I teach yoga because I believe in yoga. I believe in its benefits. I believe that yoga is a tool for healing, personal growth, physical strength and mental clarity. I want everyone to experience these benefits.

Q. How would you describe your teaching style?

Thorough. I like to explain poses and why we do them. I hope to encourage mindfulness of breath throughout the practice and turning inward to listen to the teacher within all of us.

Q. What is your favorite yoga pose, and why?

Triangle pose because so many groups of different muscles are working throughout the body to maintain the shape, there is always room for growth.

Q. What is your advice to people who understand the health benefits of yoga, and would like to start a practice or practice more often, but have difficulty finding time?

Yoga is not just an investment in your physical health, which will definitely improve, but an investment in your emotional and mental health. Yoga benefits the entire person and for this reason, I make mat time a priority. I find that after yoga, many of the things that seemed so important fall away from the main focus. Yoga has a way of putting things into perspective and hence adds hours to the day!

Q. What are your hobbies or pursuits in addition to yoga?

In addition to yoga, my main pursuit is to focus on the awesome blessing that is my family.

Q. What is your favorite yoga quote?

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and to endure what cannot be cured.” BKS Iyengar

The Value & Ease of "Pressing Pause"

Feeling stressed out? Press pause.

What does it really mean to practice mindfulness, be present, focus on the here and now, observe your breath, notice your thoughts, take a pause from doing, and be self aware enough so you can choose how to act under stress, instead of react in ways you regret?  Sometimes these concepts seem like just another thing to do in an already compressed and busy day.

As a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and mindfulness meditator/practitioner, I still experience a sense of being overwhelmed by family challenges, demands from work, regrets, and the stress from feeling “should upon.”  I don’t have all the answers, but here is what I know for sure. I know that I am not perfect. I know that I am not immune from suffering, life’s stressors, and unanticipated challenges. I know that I cannot change someone else, as much as I may try!  I know that life is impermanent and has its own forward momentum; sometimes I am responsible for its direction and sometimes I am not.

I also know that if I periodically pause, throughout the day, take a deep breath or two, and notice where I am in that moment, I feel better and live with greater self control, even in times of stress.

Perhaps give it a try, right now. Just pause.  On the count of one, take a big inhale through the nose, feeling your chest expand; on the count of two, exhale slowly through the mouth, feeling a sense of letting go. Inhale on the count of three; slowly exhale on the count of four. Do this until you count to ten. Repeat this practice as many times as you like, and when you are done, step back, and notice how you feel.

Yoga, conscious breathing, and meditation practices offer a structure for developing body awareness, a necessary skill for regulating your emotional state and mindfully managing your stress.

If you haven’t already signed up for the Mindful Stress Management workshop at REACH Yoga, please do. I will be facilitating this on Saturday, April 19, from 1-3pm, to help you find freedom in stress. Hope to see you there.

With kind regards,

Becky Strauss, MSW, LSW, RYT

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