The Aurora Yoga Center walked in the 4th of July parade downtown Aurora and it was a good time! We handed out class schedule postcards with glow-sticks attached. We wore AYC logo t-shirts and carried a big American flag. We danced & smiled & waved!
The Aurora Yoga Center’s humble beginnings were in our basement. Upon moving back to Aurora, after living several years on the West Coast, Jeff was anxious to get some yoga classes started. This was January 2006, he was teaching in a couple of area gyms and not satisfied with the studio spaces and lack of yoga props and a rope wall. The prop collection begins! Since Jeff’s yoga teachings are alignment based, props are very important. For example: if you can’t reach the floor, you bring the floor to you – put your hands on blocks or chairs in order to keep your spine in alignment.
Pictured above are students at the rope wall in our basement studio. Notice all the hand-dyed Yoga Bones shirts all the students are wearing! So great! These dedicated students followed Jeff to the current yoga studio on Terry Ave.
(Students relaxing with help from the rope wall at the new studio, July 2009.)
Jeff found the perfect location for a studio, walking distance from home was a great perk too. 514 Terry Avenue is a one story, brown, brick building we rent from John McEnroe – no, not the high-tempered tennis player you are thinking of – but, the kind, local realtor whose Remax office is right next door to the studio. John may have been skeptical of yoga at first, but his love of exercise and curiosity got the better of him – he’s been walking over for class a couple of times per week for years now.
It was so great to have a much bigger studio and a public space with a parking lot. Not to mention, Lisa and the kids didn’t have to worry about their noise level at home anymore! The Aurora Yoga Center opened up July 1, 2009. However, the inaugural class was actually a workshop the last weekend in June 2009, taught by one of Jeff’s mentors: Gabriel Halpern of Chicago’s Yoga Circle.
Gabriel has returned several times to teach inspiring workshops at the AYC.
In the basement, yoga classes were simply called ‘yoga class’ with Jeff Manning. However, when the studio moved to it’s current location, it was named the Aurora Yoga Center. This name pays homage to the Moscow Yoga Center where Jeff and Lisa first began their yoga training with Jeri Hudak while living in Moscow, Idaho. Jeri is an amazing teacher who has traveled from Idaho to Illinois a couple of times to teach weekend long workshops at the Aurora Yoga Center.
(Jeri teaching a workshop at the AYC)
From it’s humble beginnings in the basement 8 years ago, the Aurora Yoga Center has grown and served more students. The current location at 514 Terry Ave, in Aurora, IL has been going strong for 55 months! – let’s hope that many more students make yoga a part of their lives and can reap the benefits of a regular practice at the AYC.
Peace & Love,
Jeff & Lisa