Ohm Sweet Ohm

North Shore Moms Find Healthy Highs At Highwood Yoga Studio
Sanctuary Yoga co-owners are Ilse Sidles of Lake Forest, John Jaksich of Highland Park and Kelli Moorhead of Lake Forest


There’s a dream of serenity in moving to the North Shore—leaving the city’s frenetic pace, stepping out of high pressure jobs to watch kids grow up and soak it all in. Then there’s the reality: On the North Shore, life can go by in a blur.

But you can capture a sliver of that elusive calmness in a new local yoga studio. Sanctuary Yoga in Highwood, which opened in April, provides challenging yet peaceful workouts for busy North Shore residents.

“The world moves fast for most people. We wanted to create a place to shut that down for an hour,” says John Jaksich, a teacher and co-owner of Sanctuary.

Jaksich and his partners, Ilse Sidles and Kelli Moorhead of Lake Forest, know all about relentless paces from their past lives: Jaksich in investment banking, Sidles with McKinsey and Lehman Brothers, and Moorhead in sales. Between the three of them, they now have eight children.

Their goal is to make Highwood a destination not just for dining, but also for downward-facing dog. Sanctuary runs 22 classes a week, some of which really turn up the heat—to 103 degrees.

Yoga apparel and mats are on sale in Sanctuary’s common area. Handmade jewelry and works of art are coming soon.

Can’t do a sun salutation to save your life? Beginners are more than welcome. Classes are designed for all levels, and teachers often modify poses for novices.

Tricia Sweet, a Lake Forest stay-at-home mom with three little ones, attended her first-ever yoga class at Sanctuary in April, and has been going two or three times a week ever since. “I didn’t realize I could bend that much,” she says.

But the peacefulness of Sanctuary seems to be what students cherish most. “I can really tune into my breathing and my body,” says Frances Murchison, a holistic nutrition and life coach in Lake Forest who has been practicing yoga for more than ten years. “There’s no [loud] music to pull us out of ourselves—[the teachers] make us go deep.”

“I feel like I’ve gotten a great workout, but I also feel like I didn’t even give the things in my day-to-day life a thought,” says Sweet.

As for starting a new business in a recession, Sanctuary’s owners say the classes just keep growing. “When times get tough, [yoga] is what you need,” Jaksich says. Namaste!

A full list of classes and more information is available on the Sanctuary Yoga Web site.

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