Grabbable Buns, Media, Glitz and Yoga on the 103rd floor.

Via Brooks Hall
on Aug 14, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

Yoga class led by Andrea Metcalf on the Skydeck Chicago of the Willis Tower.

In tree pose, Andrea Metcalf directed us to “squeeze the glutes! Because, you know what they say… If we don’t squeeze the glutes then nobody else is going to want to squeeze them for us.” And she got some laughs from attendees. I guess that it’s not surprising that the author of Naked Fitness would instruct us towards a more grabbable ass…

Willis Tower on a cloudy summer morning.
The Willis Tower used to be called the "Sears Tower".

At 6:30 am this morning I reported to the Willis Tower for a yoga class to be held on the 103rd floor, on the Skydeck.
Morning on Skydeck Chicago.
Just being up there is amazing. I felt like a queen on a super-high throne or an angelic deity being able to view the city of Chicago like that.
Skydeck Chicago, summer morning

Andrea Metcalf started the class with words something like this, “You are standing on the top of the world! It is a good reminder that yoga and fitness in general helps us to realize that the world is bigger than just ourselves.”

I hope this is true, however I think that we might need to examine how we practice yoga or work out. I don’t think that it’s a given that someone will become more compassionate just because they practice yoga or work out. But, she might not have meant it like that. I can’t know that without a follow-up question. Knowing that the world is “bigger than ourselves” could lead us down the path of simply trying to dominate others, being better than others, stronger than others, or making more money than others.
Yoga on the Skydeck

The large flat floor in the airy room of the Skydeck with beautiful natural light provides an awesome space for yoga! I think that it would be such a service to the people of Chicago to open this up as a teaching opportunity to Chicago area yoga teachers, and to invite everyone to come, and to make it a regular offering of the Skydeck.

But this yoga class wasn’t like a regular class at all. The Willis Tower had security personnel present as we traveled to and from the class. The teacher, Andrea Metcalf is starting a regular TV spot as host of “What’s On Chicago”, a new lifestyle show on NBC Nonstop this fall. Someone from a news network was filming the event and did interviews afterwards. There were a couple photographers. And there was swag: a yoga mat, t-shirt, G Series FIT 01, 02 and 03 product, generously donated by sponsors Anytime Fitness, FitStudio and Gatorade.

And, oh yeah, I almost forgot… I guess that I was invited as a part of the extravaganza, because I had been invited as the “Yogic Muse blogger.”

Andrea Metcalf parsva bakasana
Andrea Metcalf is in parsva bakasana. And others are taking pictures.

I know that I can do without the glitz and gifts when it comes to yoga (a little time almost anywhere can work for a yoga practice), but I really enjoyed going up to the Skydeck this morning.
Sky of the Skydeck

It really seemed like I was in the sky. I felt a kinship with clouds.

At the end of class I heard Andrea Metcalf say that she likes to end her class by playing a song by Madonna, because she is inspiring. And not just for her music, but also because she is a great businesswoman.


About Brooks Hall

Brooks Hall is a Yogic Muse from Chicago, Illinois. In this capacity she teaches Yoga, writes about Yoga, and generally enjoys it. You can find her at:


23 Responses to “Grabbable Buns, Media, Glitz and Yoga on the 103rd floor.”

  1. Wow, Brooks–celebriyogis like you and Madonna get invited to all kindsa stuff!
    Then, doesn't really sound like my scene–though the view looks awesome (and, actually, with huge chunks coming off my Jade mat a couple days ago, I could definitely stand to get invited to an event–any event–where they're giving out yoga mats as schwag)…

  2. JaoNegro says:

    How commercial! What a sell-out! How, um, kinda neat and cool!

    I like how you embraced the moment. It wasn't perfect, but it was neat, and celebrating the excellent parts of any experience always beat complaining about the suboptimal. (I need to remember to do that myself more often…)

  3. Yogini5 says:

    Performance brought to you by Yoga Artists' Management Agency, perhaps?

    Seriously, some yoga teacher-athletes are getting to be like retired baseball players … is Hollywood next on the agenda?

    Rubbernecking at what has happened to yoga … brought to you by … me !!

    [and I didn't come to yoga for the "cool" factor at my age and in my condition …]

  4. Brooks_Hall says:

    Thanks everybody! I'm definitely checking-in on the comments!

  5. Carol Horton says:

    Thanks, Roseanne, for the shout out – appreciate it. But I find this sort of "body beautiful" commercialism way too alienating to want to deal with. I think that Brooks had a sane response by just noting it, letting it go, and directing her attention toward the open sky and city view.

    Plus, the last paragraph is pretty funny.

  6. Janice Lodato says:

    Love the dramatic images that you captured! Sounds like it was an uplifting time!

  7. tanya lee markul says:

    I really enjoyed this!!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Assoc. Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  8. Linda-Sama says:

    uh….I'm a Chicagoland blogger, too, as are some other yoga teachers I know…..DUH!

    there are more than a few of us…..

  9. Yogini5 says:

    Linda, thank you for stepping up to the plate. If they even DARED to invite you, they would have gotten an education they would have never forgotten …

  10. Linda-Sama says:

    you're my girl…..;)

  11. EmmaBlue says:

    Sweet advertorial!

    Actually the Glutes tend to overreact and step in like task force 1. The best way to engage them is to work all the muscles around them, so they naturally step in with ease.

  12. Brooks_Hall says:

    Hi Jay, my cynically cool yogi friend… It would have been fun—and funny—if you had been there, too! You probably would have enjoyed the view and the place, as I did. I'd be glad to give you the mat, if you lived a little closer…

  13. Brooks_Hall says:

    Hi JaoNegro! You got it! Thanks for the comment. It was super-commercial and neat and cool to be where we were. Celebrate the positive, and minimize the negative (and poke a lil' fun along the way…).

  14. Brooks_Hall says:

    Hi Yogini5! It was totally a yoga show! You got that right…

  15. Yogini5 says:

    That's why—face it—pilates gives you a better "yoga butt" than does yoga itself.

  16. Brooks_Hall says:

    Maybe…read it again… Totally not an ad… I appreciated the space, the view, the education of experiencing Andrea Metcalf at this point in her career…
    Be well. And thanks for commenting!

  17. Brooks_Hall says:

    And now I'm replying to your helpful comments!

  18. Brooks_Hall says:

    Hi Janice! Yes, it was consciousness-expanding to see the city of Chicago that way—and yoga… Definitely my kind o' morning!

  19. Brooks_Hall says:

    Hi Tanya! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this!!
    Best to you!

  20. Brooks_Hall says:

    Hi EmmaBlue! My sense of it, from this particular class, was that (from a body-sculpting perspective) we should "squeeze the glutes" pretty much whenever possible to attain that much-prized squeezable ass…

    For me, that attitude doesn't belong in a yoga class. One of my favorite teachers sometimes instructs "mushy tushy". And my sense of it is that the buttocks are often over-working in yoga (I see that you are thinking similarly).

    Best to you!

  21. Brooks_Hall says:

    Hi Roseanne! Yes this was definitely an orchestrated media event. And I was grateful to be there. The opportunity afforded me another perspective on how yoga is used in advertising. I also learned something about the business of being a women in our culture having something to do with a squeezable ass and a "sexy spine"… (I didn't even talk about the supine twist that was referred to by that name and how I was actually traumatized by this.)

    Thank you, blogini!

  22. Brooks_Hall says:

    Hi Carol! Yes, thank you for saying that. I was not knowing what to do with some of the feelings I was having during the event, and "alienating" does help me accept or understand it better.

    And I'm glad you found part of my piece funny! I love that!