Yellow Aura Yoga
Heather Kellogg's Yellow Aura Yoga is a welcoming, boutique-style yoga studio set in the heart of charming downtown Geneva.
When I reached out to Yellow Aura Yoga owner Heather Kellogg, I immediately got an incredible, positive energy from her! I’ve been aching to find a yoga studio in the area that feels like home to me, and when I came across Yellow Aura Yoga, I became super excited!
When I showed up to our chat at the studio, we immediately bonded over our black Hunter boots, layers of black clothing, and Type-A personalities. I hold a special place in my heart for anyone who loves organization and planning like I do!
I took a quick tour of the GORGEOUS boutique studio (more about that later!) and sat down with Heather to learn how this all happened for her. Like most people do (for whatever reason), we started with the “where did you go to college?” question. Heather explained that she went to Illinois State University (like me!) and majored in Public Relations. Upon graduating, Heather knew she wasn’t going to work for a PR firm unless she planned to live in the city, so she gravitated more toward marketing and event planning. Actually, she worked for the Realtor Association of the Fox Valley (which I belong to!) and National Association of Realtors for several years, so we were able to chat a little bit about real estate, also.
Over about 15 years, Heather worked for several businesses, non-profits, and associations, and often was the only marketer on staff. She kept waiting for the moment when work WASN’T stressful, and would be something she looked forward to every day. Well, that moment never came. She started changing companies every eighteen months to two years, desperate for the right fit.
One morning, she was sitting at her kitchen table and read aloud an ad she saw for yoga instructor training at a Yorkville yoga studio she had been attending classes at for the past 5 years. Her husband Chris immediately encouraged her to do it, but Heather found a major problem – it started in just a week or so! Now, if you’re a Type-A personality like us, this means DANGER! You don’t have time to make lists, plan for it, create a back-up plan, etc. She began verbalizing every reason why it wouldn’t work. Chris told her to stop rambling and just see if they had space.
Heather followed Chris’ advice and reached out to Tairi, the owner of the studio, who immediately invited her to join the sold-out training! Heather couldn’t say no at this point, and paid for the class that same day. She worked on her instructor coursework all Spring and Summer and completed her training in October 2016.
However, when Heather was finished, she was a little disappointed. She didn’t immediately fall into a teaching position, and was still stuck at a job that wasn’t leaving her feeling fulfilled. She soon reached out to Stephanie, owner of a yoga studio in Elburn, and scored herself a Saturday teaching job. She loved the flexibility (pun intended) and free reign of format it allowed her, and she built a regular crowd that even began to follow her on Facebook.
She began a new job in June 2017 and two weeks later found out her husband needed a major spinal surgery. When her new job gave her a hard time about taking a whopping 3 days off, she came home crying. Her husband encouraged her to quit, and she took on a consulting job that allowed her to work from home and help Chris with his post-surgery recovery.
Needing to stretch her legs one day after a few stationary hours in her home office, she went for a walk in downtown Geneva. She found herself in front of a building with a “For Lease” sign in the window, peeked in, and immediately texted her husband that she found a perfect spot for a yoga studio! She saw the space that evening, and within just a few days her lease was signed!
They took ownership on October 15th and immediately got to work. She didn’t have to do too much to the interior space as it was already light, bright, and modern from the previous tenant. Her goal was to create a space that was cool and calm with grays, wood tones, and chakra colors. Her main office space has a mid-century feel, and her first purchase for the studio was actually the yellow chairs at her desk.
Heather (with a little help from her family) touched up the flooring, added barn doors, purchased her equipment, and decorated the space. She connected with a graphic designer she had previously worked with to create her logo, and she set to work on the class schedule and website. When choosing retail items for her studio, Heather aimed to stay local. Her apparel is printed by The Hairy Ant in St. Charles, and she carries essential oils from Green Envee in Geneva.
So why the name Yellow Aura Yoga?
Well during her training, Heather taught a free community yoga class that anyone could participate in. An experienced yoga instructor attended this class, and at the conclusion of the hour, Heather asked for her feedback. The instructor said the only thing she noticed was a yellow aura around Heather the entire time she was teaching. Heather had no idea what this meant, smiled politely, and shot a nearby friend a confused look.
After researching this a bit more, Heather learned more about auras (the natural energy fields around your body) and their varying colors. While they can change with your mood, environment, etc., you naturally gravitate towards a certain color. Yellow means creativity, spiritual awareness, leadership, joy and hopefulness. Heather felt like this fit her well and was a great mix of her marketing and yoga worlds!
Many months back, while she was daydreaming at her marketing job about what it would be like to own her own studio, she asked herself what she would name it. Heather wanted “yoga” at the end of the name so that it was very clear what exactly her studio offered, and she figured since she likes alliteration she would likely add another “y” somewhere. She suddenly remembered the conversation about her yellow aura, and put “Yellow Aura Yoga” in the notes application in her phone. After signing the lease for the studio, Heather’s husband asked her what she might name it. She confidently and calmly spit out “Yellow Aura Yoga”, and Chris was stunned she already had this figured out!
You can expect three different class formats on the Yellow Aura Yoga schedule: Beginner, Vinyasa, and Restorative. Beginner classes offer the opportunity to break down postures, learn the lingo, and introduce your mind and body to the practice. Vinyasa follows more of a power yoga format, taught more specifically at an intermediate level at this location. Restorative, as Heather says, is the dessert of their class selection. It is great for those who are pre or post natal, are recovering from injury, or need a complementary practice to their other classes. During our time together, Heather led me through a private yoga class that featured all three formats, essential oils, and relaxing meditation. I loved her teaching style!
Most of the classes will be approximately 60 minutes, with early morning, lunch, and evening offerings. There is a heavy load of classes on Mondays, as Heather recognizes that many restaurants in the area are typically closed on this day. This gives those in the service industry an opportunity to visit, and Heather will be featuring a class that focuses on wrists, low backs, and feet. She has previous experience with the service industry, and knows a little relief is needed after a long weekend of serving or bartending!
You can score a drop in rate of $18, a 10-class package for $140 (with an expiration of 1 year), or unlimited monthly classes for $125. It is easy to choose a package and register for a class in the MINDBODY app or on the Yellow Aura Yoga website, but you can drop-in to see if there is mat space as well.
During my visit I also had the opportunity to connect with the other two instructors at the studio, Becky Litwicki and Katie Kuykendall. Becky, who was on the heels of a yoga festival trip to Florida, started dabbling in yoga about 4 or 5 years ago. She went through instructor training at the same time Heather did, and they actually met at a class. They stayed connected on social media and when Yellow Aura Yoga became a reality, Heather reached out to her to become an instructor. Becky loves that you never have to feel judged when you attend a yoga class – you can come and be chatty or be silent and feel safe.
Katie explained that she was introduced to yoga during high school, but has been practicing regularly for about 4 years. She rediscovered this practice at a time when she was living in an area without a lot of friends or a strong support system, and needed an outlet that would allow her to feel more like herself. Katie was one of Heather’s instructors at the Yorkville studio, and Heather thought she seemed like a perfect fit for Sunday’s classes!
All of the instructors agree that yoga is a multi-dimensional experience and not just about gaining flexibility. Katie explained there’s a lot of non-verbal communication in yoga, and that sometimes just sharing space with someone can create a human connection. Heather added that yoga also helps you start to shut down your mind and find peace and healing. All in all, they want you to feel a part of the Yellow Aura Yoga community!
Yellow Aura Yoga officially opens on Monday, December 4th! Head over to their website and sign up for a class, two, or ten! I can’t wait to continue my practice at this great local spot!
27 N Second Street #101, Geneva, IL 60134
Use back entrance/sidewalk off Hamilton Street