A new yoga joint in Oakland Park offers an intimidation-free zone to practice the power of your Om.

For more than 35 years, Chess Chiropractic Center in Oakland Park was a place people went to feel well. It was a family business, owned Dr. Steven and Karen Chess. Dr. Chess practiced holistic health on more than 16,000 patients over the years. Today, Chess Chiropractic is no longer there – but the building is still in the family.

And it’s still making bodies feel better – albeit in a slightly different way. Today, Lauderdale Yoga Club (LYC) occupies the Oakland Park location. Adam and Ashley Chess, Dr. Steven and Karen’s son and daughter-in-law, have tried to create an oasis amid the bustle.

“We want our students to know that this is a space where they can forget about the stress and noise in their life for just an hour so that they can lead their best lives in mind, body and spirit,” says Adam Chess, who is also an attorney with a background in auto finance.

The couple, who have been together for more than 15 years, both come from different career backgrounds. She is also a pharmacist.

To run the place they brought on Kaila Varano. She can explain things to yoga newbies – right down to that word you might hear.

“‘Om’ is the universal sound that runs through all living beings and is said to be the first sound that was heard when the universe came to exist,” she says. “We chant the word ‘Om’ in yoga because it has the same frequency of all things that exist in nature and therefore connects us with the entire universe.”

Like the Chesses, Varano’s an advocate of the holistic properties of yoga.

“Yoga can benefit your mental, physical and spiritual self. The physical benefits include weight loss, balance, flexibility, lower back pain as well as helping with conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes,” Varano says. “From a mental health perspective, yoga can help with anxiety, depression and coping with stress.”

LYC believes in the inclusion of all types of yogis – from beginners to veterans in all walks of life. “We have instructors who have a background working with children, the elderly and in prenatal,” Varano says. “Too many studios are only inclusive to people who are of a certain demographic or offer only heated classes.”
Varano recommends the beginners’ yoga class for those just looking to get into it. It helps lay down the foundations, correct alignment and lets you ease into the practice without intimidation or judgement.

“There is this false notion that yoga is for the flexible, when truly yoga is accessible to anyone as long as you can breathe.”

To enhance the experience, LYC features custom Zebra Yoga flooring that is padded for comfort, an outstanding sound system and lighting with over 16 million options. “It creates an energy that welcomes beginners to enthusiasts,” shares Ashley.

They even allow their students to experience yoga outside of the studio. For example, they are currently planning a yoga retreat to take place in Costa Rica. It will include daily yoga (at least twice a day), tours and excursions to explore the island’s natural landscape, organic meals and spa options.

Currently, LYC offers vinyasa, hatha, yin, restorative aromatherapy, chakra yoga, beginners’ yoga and midday meditation classes.

For those looking to try an exercise other than yoga, the studio also features tai chi, chi gong, kenpo and belly dancing.

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