The first feature of the new year in my monthly series of local gyms/fitness studios in Champaign-Urbana is Hatha Yoga & Fitness. Hatha is located on South Neil in Champaign next to Hada Cosmetics. It is a fairly new studio to our community opening just last year. Over the last couple of weeks, I've had the opportunity of visiting Hatha and I have to tell you, this place is amazing! The classes offered are awesome and the staff is so welcoming and friendly especially to a newcomer to the studio like me!

As someone who craves balance, Hatha Yoga & Fitness is literally just that. In fact, it is exactly what the name Ha-tha in Sanskrit suggests. Straight from Hatha's website itself, 'At Hatha, we encourage a cultivation of balance in mind and body, through physical and mental practices of movement, breath, meditation and self-study. Through recognition of the power of opposites we can develop our own strength, mobility, and flexibility both inside and out, to reinforce a more balanced being'. I could not have said it better.

Hatha has a dedicated space for yoga and meditation as well as a fitness floor where they conduct Barre and HIIT classes as well as personal training sessions. In addition the studio has two Peloton bikes that you can book and use yourself and a Woodway Curve treadmill (which is awesome and my favorite treadmill brand, by the way!).

The classes at Hatha are leveled 1, 2 or 3 so you have an idea before class what type of intensity the class will offer. They also have classes that meet nearly all the levels offered so you can start at a level 1 and work your way into level 3 classes. That being said, you can take modifications in any class to make it work for you and the instructors will help guide you along. Don't be intimated by a class level rating. Trying a new group fitness class is all about getting out of your comfort zone anyway so why not go all in!

There are a variety of yoga classes offered including flow, sculpt, warm and hot yoga. I attended flow, sculpt flow and candlelight. One of my favorite classes I attended was candlelight yoga. This class was amazing. The other classes were amazing too, but there is something so very special about yoga in the evening after a long, busy day in a candlelit ambience. It was a very calming, yet energetic practice and as a runner all the stretches were everything I needed at the time. Beyond yoga, you can take Barre and HIIT classes that are offered in the fitness floor space. I was able to take both of these classes and loved them! Whether you are looking to ground yourself through meditation, try out and/or further your yoga practice, or get a butt-kicking cardio interval sweat session, you can do that all at Hatha Yoga &  Fitness.

The team at Hatha led by Kristina Reese, lead teacher, and Maria Ludeke, lead trainer are awesome. Both Kristina and Maria are experienced in their respective areas and bring a great deal of knowledge as well as fun to all the classes. I only got to meet a couple of the other teachers during my visit but everyone I met was super nice and is great at what they do!

Hatha has a two week unlimited trial available for new and prospective clients. This is a really fantastic way to get a taste of all the class offerings at Hatha. The price of the two week trial is $28 which I think is a great value especially if you can really take advantage of those two weeks and get to the studio frequently to try the different classes. Beyond that, you can sign up for class packs of five to ten or enroll in one of two types of monthly membership plans. Last but not least, if you are just the type to drop in randomly every now and again, you can do that too! Hatha offers a drop-in price so you can attend any class anytime!

You can view the current schedule for Hatha Yoga & Fitness on their website or if you have the MINDBODY app you'll also find a listing of their schedule available there.

Oh, and how could I forget another pretty sweet addition at Hatha. They sell Lululemon! Yes, Lulu in Champaign! Hatha is an authorized seller of Lululemon and unless you roadtrip to Chicago or Indy you won't find it anywhere else in central Illinois. Pretty awesome.

If you missed November's highlight of Stephen's Family YMCA or December's highlight of Pursuit Fitness & Performance Institute, definitely check them out. For February I'll be visiting The Refinery so be sure to check back in for that!