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Wellness Weekend: Chicago


ChicagoYogaEven if it didn’t land the Olympics, it turns out Chicago is great host city to those in need of a little sports medicine. Well+Good uncovered the soulful side of this sensible Midwestern city, which teems with healing practitioners, wow-factor yoga classes, organic spa treatments, and more. In fact, the overall holistic vibe of the Windy City—and 120 miles of bike lanes—kind of blew our minds. Here are our picks for what to do and where to stay on a weekend here.

One-Stop Shop for Yoga and Pilates
A melting pot of yoga styles are taught at Soulistic, a 4,500 square-foot studio and spa, from Mysore and Ashtanga to a Universal Yoga-inspired Vinyasa class that uses two crossed mats. (You’ll be adding jump-outs to your jump-backs.) By comparison the tough Pilates reformer classes are blessedly predictable. Consider adding a spell in the infrared sauna and a good green spa treatment after class: Thai yoga therapy and Eminence Organics facials are the ones to get. 805 N. Milwaukee Ave, at Ogden Ave., River West, 312-226-7685, www.soulisticstudiospa.com

RubyRoom_spa
The Ruby Room spa relax room.

A Seriously Healing Spa
The Ruby Room is destination-style spa in the city, which favors healers, from Aura Readers to Chakrassage therapists, and has a yoga studio, hair salon, a fantastic bookstore and Chinese Herb Bar, as well as eight of simple guestrooms (in the ballpark of $150 per night). Bonus: Owner Kate Leydon’s product-savvy makes the spa shop one of the city’s best for niche brands like Arcona from Los Angeles and Susan Posnick mineral makeup. 1743-45 W. Division St., near N. Ashland, Wicker Park, 773-235-2323, www.rubyroom.com

You won't be drinking Lake Michigan swill in the Trump Spa Rooms.
You won't be drinking Lake Michigan swill in the Trump Spa Rooms.

An Unlikely Wellness Hotel
What’s wholesome about Trump Chicago? Its 53 Spa Rooms (priced in the $350 range). They’re stocked with yoga mats, TechnoGym weights, and a toaster-oven–like contraption in the closet that keeps your aromatherapy eye and neck pillows warm. (Unless you’re traveling solo, just make sure it’s stocked with two of each, an oversight on my visit.) The three types of mineral water and healthy minibar snacks are not included. The extra bath products for the deep soaking tub are. 401 North Wabash Ave., at E. Kinzie St., River North/the Loop, 312-588-8000, www.trumpchicagohotel.com

The Healing Samurai, Eric Huffman, is one of Chicago's dedicated practitioners. In his case, to your feet.
The Healing Samurai is one of Chicago's dedicated practitioners. In his case, to your feet.

The Healing Samurai
Feet are the focus of Eric Huffman, a Japanese foot reflex specialist who trained for 10 months with Ando Haruki, a master of this modality, in Japan. (Hence Huffman’s nickname, the Healing Samurai.) His magnificent hour-long foot massages with acupressure and sleep-inducing strokes are worth the trek to his feng shui’d Ravenswood apartment. 4502 N. Maplewood Ave., at W. Sunnyside Ave., Ravenswood, 773-895-4415, www.healingsamurai.net

You can roll your rental bike up the stairs at the McDonald's Cycle Center.
You can roll your rental bike up the stairs at the McDonald's Cycle Center.

Lakefront Bike Path
Chicago is inching its way toward becoming a biking city with 120 miles of city bike lanes, including the 20-mile paved “commuter” path that runs along Lake Michigan, passing the city’s beaches, piers, parks, into the Loop. Though it’s a not a winter sport. McDonald’s Cycle Center (at Randolph St. and Columbus Dr.), in the 24.5-acre Millennium Park, rents bikes, provides indoor bike parking and showers, and leads bike tours. A day-long hybrid costs $35; a tandem $55 (312-729-1000, www.chicagobikestation.com).

You’ve got to eat! Next week, we’ll prove that there’s a healthy side to Chicago’s gastronomic scene with Well+Good’s Chicago restaurant guide.