Weekly Classes @ Ganesha Yoga:

All are welcome to attend regardless of experience or current level of fitness. If you believe you may require modifications in order to participate, please consider contacting the studio/instructor in advance so we can best prepare to accommodate your needs.

Mind Body Awakening, Mondays 10:30am-11:30am

Mind Body Awakening (MBA) draws from a range of practices including mindfulness, breathwork, Pilates, myofascial release, yoga, rehabilitative science, therapeutic neuroscience education, and somatics to offer an experience that moves you. More than a work-out, we think of MBA as a “work-in”--an opportunity to be fully present in your body and notice what comes up for you, cultivating self-awareness and interoception. As you move through a physical practice of strengthening, flexibility, balance, and moderate cardiovascular exercise, learn to listen to physical sensations that arise as useful informants and transform those messengers into positive and meaningful
action. Join us for MBA to get a higher education in wellness, allowing you to feel more connected, vibrant and empowered.

Ganesha Rx, Tuesdays 10:30am-11:30am 

Yoga truly is good for what ails you.  This is a therapeutic class where you can bring all of your aches and pains, conditions and challenges, and emerge from class feeling refreshed, stable, and at ease within your body. Classes will accommodate a variety of levels and needs, with props and modifications offered so that you can explore what serves you best.  Expect flowing movements to warm the body from within, mobility work to find fluidity, and restorative poses to create space for introspection and cultivating inner peace. 

Register ahead, or check the schedule in advance for any last-minute changes if you plan to drop-in.


Upcoming Workshops:

December 1, 2018 2:30-4:30pm @ Yoga Tree, 5238 N Clark St Chicago

Join Dr. Catherine Lewan, PT, DPT, C-IAYT, E-RYT 200 to explore integrative restoration yoga nidra, commonly known as iRest. iRest is a form of guided meditation that was developed by yogic scholar and clinical psychotherapist Richard Miller, Ph.D., co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. In clinical research trials, iRest has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress, trauma, and addiction. Catherine has found it to be an incredibly transformative practice that informs her role as a physical therapist /yoga therapist. She recommends iRest to anyone open to exploring the role of mind-body practices to ease distressing symptoms and enhance wellness. This workshop includes:

  • a discussion led by Catherine that offers essential components of current neuroscience that may help you understand your own symptoms and how to support neuroplasticity, or transformation of the nervous system and brain
  • an introduction to the iRest format, so that you can get the most of this unique combination of ancient yogic techniques and Western evidence-based science
  • a guided practice that may include inner resourcing; setting your heartfelt desire/intention; body scanning; breath sensing and pranayama; laterality practice; creative imagery; welcoming and acceptance of all aspects of ourselves
  • an audio recording of the practice so that you can continue to practice independently and further your growth

Please note that all aspects of the practice are self-led and trauma-informed. You are invited to explore any aspects of the practice that serve you. No lotus sitting required-- choose a position that suits you best throughout the discussion and practice, and change positions as needed. Blankets, bolsters, etc. will be provided, and you are welcome to bring your own props/pillows as well to enhance a sense of comfort and ease. If you anticipate you may need special accommodations, please contact Catherine in advance. 

Register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/312002679526834/

More information on iRest can be found here.


Previous yoga workshops/CE offerings include the following. Please contact Catherine if you have an interest in running/hosting one of these specialty workshops:

Finding Balance in Your Practice

Ever wonder why you wobble? Join Catherine to learn the physiology of balance, and how a certain amount of wobble is a good sign you are appropriately challenging yourself! This workshop will explore the mechanisms that allow us to sense our bodies in space and stay centered and balanced as we move through a physical yoga practice and through life. Beginner through advanced balance challenges will be provided so that all participants can safely challenge and strengthen their balance as part of a yoga practice.

Catherine helps you to create a safe space for this practice by helping you understand how balance works so that you can choose intelligent and appropriately challenging modifications. By getting grounded in your body, as often as possible, you can train your brain to be less reactive over time.

Explore yogic tools for managing fear of falling and identify parameters for a safe and effective practice to improve your sense of steadiness. Be prepared for an all-level practice utilizing dharana (concentration, focus,) pratyahara (withdrawal of senses) and creative application of asana (physical poses.)

Creative use of Props: Chair Yoga

Using a chair as a prop can make yoga accessible for individuals who have difficulty with sitting on the floor, need support for standing balance poses, and also allows options for mid-workday yoga for those who are sitting all day.  But the most common feedback offered after one of Catherine's chair yoga classes is, "that was really hard!" We tend to think a chair will make poses easier, so many are unprepared for the ways that this prop will challenge you to dig deep and explore different aspects of your practice and your self.

Heart and Shoulder Opening

Discover ways to work with posture and breath by opening up the chest and shoulder area to create space and a sense of ease.  We will review basic anatomy of the neck, rib cage, and shoulder area and discuss factors that contribute to pain and stiffness in these areas.  Guided yoga practice will integrate active and restorative poses that create space and balance around the heart, chest, upper back and shoulders.

Yoga for Hips and Pelvis

A review of the anatomy of the pelvis provides a better understanding of how your yoga practice can prevent/reduce pain and dysfunction at the spine, pelvis, and knees.  Guided practice including active and restorative postures and breathing techniques will strengthen and stretch all four quadrants of the hips, bringing balance to the pelvis. This workshop is appropriate for all levels and is especially therapeutic for those who are prone to pelvic, hip, knee or low back pain.

Core and Pelvic Floor

This workshop is designed for those who are interested in learning how yoga practices can support the pelvic floor and core. Catherine will de-mystify the pelvic floor by reviewing its anatomy and physiology, and helping you understand how it supports the health of the following systems:

  • sexual/reproductive
  • urinary health and continence
  • regular elimination of toxins
  • core strength and prevention of low back or pelvic pain
  • support for internal organs and prevention of pelvic organ prolapse

This workshop is appropriate for all levels, and for pre/postnatal participants. No previous yoga experience required, just bring an open mind, your core and your pelvic floor!

Physiology of Breath

Breath is quite literally our life force-- it nourishes us and keeps us alive.  You may think that you already know the in’s and out’s of breathing (pun intended,) but from a Physical Therapy perspective, we often find that poor breathing contributes to abnormal mechanics, stiffness, tension, anxiety and pain.  Research shows that Yogic breathing can improve pulmonary function, blood pressure, fatigue, cognitive function, anxiety and stress. This workshop will highlight breath physiology and pranayama techniques as they relate to one’s ability to:

  • calm or excite the central nervous system, depending on the breath technique (pranayama) used
  • improve posture/alignment and the ability to activate core muscles to improve support for joints and balance
  • improve mobility throughout the thoracic spine and rib cage, thus reducing abnormal wear and at the low back, neck, and shoulder

Restorative Workshops

This series of workshops will guide you through a discussion that covers anatomy, physiology and self-care tools that are relevant to the topic/theme of the workshop. You can expect some gentle flowing movements to warm the whole body, with a focus on supported restorative poses that will leave you feeling relaxed and restored in body, mind and spirit.

Changing the Pain Game-- Neuroscience, Mindfulness and iRest Yoga Nidra

iRest is a form of guided meditation that was developed by yogic scholar and clinical psychotherapist Richard Miller, Ph.D., who is a co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. In clinical research trials, iRest has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress, trauma, and addiction. Catherine has found it to be an incredibly transformative practice that informs her work in the clinic and as a yoga therapist. This workshop includes:

Women's Health

Catherine also teaches specialty women’s health classes/workshops on an as-needed basis. Contact her if you have a group that is interested in Prenatal or Postnatal Yoga/Pilates, or Yoga for Childbirth Preparation (for soon-to-be moms and their partners.)


Catherine kept the material fun to learn throughout the whole day! She is an impressive presenter! The whole course was well organized and had great handouts.

– Anna L

I have worked with Catherine after each of my vaginal births, and also during one of my pregnancies. Her knowledge of the body’s systems is unparalleled. Each time I met with Catherine, I had multiple new tools and realizations about myself to work with on my own. She helped me heal from a mild bladder prolapse and reduce my diastasis recti to a subclinical level. I refer patients to Catherine on a weekly basis because I know she will have some ideas and skills to impart to just about anyone imaginable! Thank you, Catherine!

– Lela Beem, studio owner Grateful Yoga of Evanston, co-founder of The Amala School of Prenatal Yoga

This instructor is great! I will be taking more courses with her. She has the ability to communicate information in an interesting manner. I think this is the best instructor I have ever taken a (continuing education) class with!

– Janet L

I was in a lot of pain with mobility issues. Catherine Lewan, DPT, was very understanding and made me feel comfortable about discussing all the ways that the pain was interfering with my daily activities. Cat employed several modalities to address my pain as well as muscle weaknesses (and areas of tightness!) that I hadn’t noticed before but to which my body was reacting. Cat provided me with options to consider regarding my plan of care and included my goals in each step of the treatment.  She listened well and came up with a plan tailored to my needs. I now am more knowledgeable about my body and if my pain returns, I have some tools to use to try to address it. I know too that she is available in case my pain persists, and I need a re-evaluation. Working with Cat has convinced me that physical therapists can address the whole patient, not just a joint or limb that is in pain. Finally, Cat was always positive and encouraging. I could not have achieved my great results without her!

Kim– student PTA and experienced personal trainer and exercise instructor

Catherine and her class (the environment she creates) are great examples of warmth and competence in action.  Catherine is open, kind, gracious, generous, smart and very good at what she does.


Excellent speaker with a nice balance of lecture, lab, and shared case scenarios.

-Julie D

If you are looking for a solid, intense workout lead by a positive, passionate, and totally well-informed instructor, you need to attend Catherine Lewan’s classes. As a dedicated yoga student of Catherine’s for over 5 years, I can attest she has positively changed my life. She shows you the way to think about your body in a different perspective and provides the instructions on how to make it better. She has variety in each class, gives excellent queues, hands-on adjustments (at your discretion), and insightful thoughts to help you with truly understanding the practice of yoga. Best of all, she loves life and it shows.

-Carolyn S

Catherine tailors her classes to the needs of  participants of all ages and conditions. She uses props to enhance each movement, and modifications that offer me the opportunity to take care of my body using weekly Pilates and Yoga group classes. I also see her in the clinic for treatment of my arthritis, and I have found her expertise, respect for the human body and her personal centeredness to be an extraordinary resource.


Very clear, inspirational and motivational. Passionate about her subject. Great teacher and course!

-Beth B

I took a course from you a couple years ago about using pilates/yoga with geriatric patients. You presented the material in a smooth, understandable, and engaging way. I was just getting into yoga at the time, and you helped spur me onward into that wonderful realm. I am currently going over, again, the workbook from that course. Just wanted you to know that you helped to re-energize an old physical therapist’s practice of his profession, and continue to influence in a very positive way the outcomes of all my patient interactions. I offer you my sincere gratitude.

– Stan