Before his days as a human pretzel, La Salle street trader Vinnie Hunihan found inner peace through sunny days at NASDAQ. But when a one week trip to India turned into a two-month stay at a meditation ashram, Hunihan's deep-breathing purpose became clear: After undergoing yoga teacher training in India and California, Vinnie opened a studio in the very building where he used to get his kicks analyzing options.
Akal (meaning "timeless" and "awareness") Yoga Studio offers up a melon-hued oasis on the seventh floor of the Board of Trade. Akal is perhaps the one place in the building where "a quick breath of air" is actually quite slow, and the air in question contains no nicotine. When traders want to trade in Potbelly for a more spiritually-nourishing lunch fix, they stop by Akal for an afternoon session of vinyasa/flow; the class normally runs from noon to one on weekdays. Later in the afternoon, folks stop by to unwind with Iyengar (a form of hatha) yoga.
Prices vary and specials sometimes sweeten the deal (first-time students can try a week of unlimited classes for $25), but the drop-in rate is $20 and a year-long, unlimited-class membership goes for $1,200. Bonus: An in-house, Thai massage studio offers one-and-a-half-hour unknot-your-back sessions, well worth the $140 if you're truly topping the stress charts.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg