Jenny Klein Teaches Yoga
at Heaven Meets Earth
People have been practicing yoga for thousands of years for its physical, spiritual and personal benefits. Heaven Meets Earth, a yoga studio and center for conscious living in Evanston, is a place where students can move their practice forward and connect with others. Founder Lisa Faremouth Weber opened the studio in 2006 as a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship in yoga, wellness and the healing arts. “Through the integration of the art and science of yoga, mindfulness and related healing practices, we support our clients in self-reflection, personal growth, health and well-being,” says Weber.
The studio offers a variety of classes, workshops and retreats, including hatha, prenatal, vinyasa and ashtanga yoga; Nia, reiki and Thai bodywork; special events like a Full Moon Fire Ceremony and teacher training courses; and classes for children, teens and even families. “Our program is rooted in vinyasa and kundalini yoga systems, with an emphasis on asana, pranayama and meditation,” adds Weber.
The next retreat, facilitated by Weber and instructor Jenny Klein, is scheduled from November 17 to 19 in Union Pier, Michigan. While it is already sold out, there is a waiting list, and people can call the studio for more information about future events. “Retreats are an opportunity to get out of your routine and open up to new ways of engaging. They are a time for discovery and exploration. We create a really positive energy in a group with like-minded people. We spend time journaling, reading and in meditation. Each retreat has a theme, and this year we are focusing on the throat chakra,” says Klein.
Klein, who has been teaching classes at Heaven Meets Earth since 2007, combines her knowledge of the asanas, or poses, with a blend of meditation and spiritually. “I think most people originally come to yoga for the physical practice, but I encourage students to explore what else yoga can offer. My students come in all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds, and I try to make the classes challenging, while reminding them to honor how their body feels on that particular day. It’s about respecting yourself,” she says.
The studio is a safe place for people to take care of themselves. “While our main focus is yoga, we tie in meditation, music, dance, gongs, singing bowls and other corresponding modalities that complement healing. When they feel supported and surrounded by love, people start to make other small lifestyle changes that promote self-care. For example, they might notice that eating a sugary breakfast or having a second cup of coffee in the morning makes them jittery during their practice, so they start to cut back on sweets and caffeine,” says Klein.
While Klein begins each class with a blueprint in mind of how it’s going to progress, she leaves room for improvisation and adaptation. “I like to have a general outline in place, but I’m mindful to check in with my students and see where their energy is on any particular day. If I want to try a new pose but the flow seems to be going in a different direction, that’s okay. I also like to weave a theme throughout the classes, for example—respect, honor or gratitude. I usually try to keep it uplifting, but this is also a place where it’s safe to think about things that aren’t so positive. Ponder your fear or uncertainty for a little while, then let it go,” advises Klein.
Klein sees yoga as a way to cross the bridge from fear to faith, which might have a different interpretation for any of her students. “I think of yoga as maintenance. It’s an hour where you completely take care of yourself and check in with your mind, body and spirit. I tell my students to congratulate themselves for coming to class, because it means they’re taking steps toward healing and compassion,” she says. “By loving yourself and taking good care of yourself, you’re more able to be available for others. It’s not selfish at all.”
Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.