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Our Story

Established in 2004 in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, Nature Sanctuary has been a bright light in the yoga community for over a decade. Students will feel right at home with our experienced, welcoming yoga teachers and staff. Please join us for a class or workshop any time and stay for tea or to browse in our storefront boutique.

 

Our Locations

Our Wicker Park location, located just west of Damen on Division has a dedicated yoga room and a beautiful retail space. Our location offers a variety of yoga classes, workshops, special events, and teacher training opportunities along with a well-stocked retail area of practice supplies, home goods, and personal care products. Our Oak Park location, open since 2004, closed permanently in 2018.

 

Our Staff

The team at Nature Yoga Sanctuary is varied and skilled. From our teachers to desk staff, cafe staff, and managers, we hope you will feel welcomed and right at home during your time with us. Unique in our industry, our entire staff is made up of paid employees. We highly value the work that people put in to make our space special and strive to treat everyone who works for us fairly. By classifying our staff as employees rather than independent contractors or "trade for" volunteers, tax burdens are distributed more fairly and our staff benefits from existing labor laws including sick time and more. This leads to much higher operating costs for us than some other similar businesses, but is something that we feel strongly about continuing.

 

Our Values

Whoever you are, we hope that you will feel so welcome at Nature Yoga Sanctuary. We strive to create a space that is safe and comfortable for everyone who walks in the door. We have a unisex/all gender single-stall bathrooms and our Prenatal Yoga classes are open to all pregnant persons regardless of gender identity. The language that we employ strives to remain free from body shaming or health shaming. We employ the use of "adjustment consent cards" in all of our classes so that clear communication is simple and students who wish not to be touched for any reason will have no difficulty in making their needs known. You will only ever find vegan and cruelty free products for sale in our shop. We are open to new ways of approaching and addressing issues of diversity and welcome any feedback that you may be willing to offer in this regard.

 

Our Owner

Gopi Om is first and foremost a student of yoga, studying primarily with her Guru, Sri Dharma Mittra. In addition to owning and operating Nature Yoga Sanctuary, Gopi works full time as the Vice President of international natural foods company, Upton's Naturals, which is owned by her boyfriend, Daniel Staackmann. Gopi and Dan spend nearly all of their waking hours together and share ideas, responsibilities, and a strong work ethic that has led them to jointly operate Upton's Naturals, vegan restaurant Upton's Breakroom and Nature Yoga Sanctuary. This family of businesses is focused on spreading compassion through compassion and ethical treatment of all.