Local yoga studio puts modern spin on traditional yoga

Glow Yoga attendees stretch in seated forward bend position. Amara Yoga & Arts will host Glow Yoga at 7 p.m. Friday.

Photo Courtesy of Andy Hamblin

Glow Yoga attendees stretch in seated forward bend position. Amara Yoga & Arts will host Glow Yoga at 7 p.m. Friday.

By Mara Shapiro, Staff writer

Black lights and DayGlo paint will illuminate the yoga studio at Amara Yoga & Arts on Friday.

The Urbana yoga studio hosts roughly 44 yoga classes throughout the year. From classes for babies and expectant mothers to hot yoga in 98-degree heat, the studio has a class for everybody to feel welcome in. The yoga classes are both freeform and beginner friendly. 

Yoga instructor Andy Hamblin will add even more variety by hosting a Glow Yoga Party and Afterglow event. After the yoga, guests will share in each other’s company and indulge in treats provided by Hamblin. Glow Yoga and Afterglow will run from 7 to 8:15 p.m. The cost is $8 for Amara members and $10 for non-members.

Attendees will given tubes of DayGlo paint and glow rings while performing Vinyasa mixed with Ashtanga style yoga. Black lights are turned to exemplify traditional lighting and enhance the glow coming from the patrons. 

“It’s all on what the eye sees. We focus on our glowing bracelets and all the fun body paint. The black lights add an entirely different dimension. It’s almost like a psychedelic groove that you get into,” Hamblin said. “Like Tantric Yoga where you are mesmerized. It is so much fun. You kind of forget that you are tired or struggling to do a pose.”

Kathryn  Fitzgerald, owner of Amara, agreed with Hamblin that the glow experience is an addition to traditional yoga practices.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“It becomes not just a physical practice in the mind, body and spirit, but it also becomes a visual creative arts performance kind of piece,” Fitzgerald said. “You’re painting each other with the paint, then you have the day glow sticks and you’re moving around. It’s a beautiful visual thing taking part in as a group.”

Hamblin said the event is attractive to University students due to the party-like atmosphere. He said the class has a rave-like ambience, which seems very appropriate for college students; however, anyone is welcome to join. Hamblin also said the class incorporates techno and house music.

Fitzgerald said the class is a good stepping stool into the world of yoga for those less experienced because it makes yoga less intimidating to beginners. She encouraged all yoga attendees to come with an open mind and an excitement to try new things. 

“We don’t expect people to do everything perfectly. It’s open to all levels it’s not about the poses as being in the present moment,” Fitzgerald said.

Hamblin said guests should attend the event as it will be a good way to unwind from the week.

“Friday night is a great time to jump off into the weekend. It’s the perfect opportunity to let your hair down and enjoy life,” Hamblin said.  “And it’s a shared experience, like a 5K or something, where you go through a bit of a trial as well. We will certainly laugh and have fun.”

[email protected]

Correction: This article previously indicated there was an event on Thursday. The first Glow Yoga event will be Friday. The Daily Illini regrets the error.