Monthly Archives: July 2012

Yoga for Two Bucks a Class at Yoga Luka in Santiago, Chile


No joke. Santiago has a whole bunch of yoga studios of various types. You gotchyer iyengar, hatha, ashtanga and more. Bikram here is twice the cost of a Chicago studio, unless you qualify for a student discount. What I have fallen in love with is the Yoga Luka association offering fair prices on classes. Actually, fair isn’t the word. It’s one step from robbery.  There are ten schools listed, most of which offer basic level classes of an hour or more, but don’t have very many classes to choose from. The stand-out is the Academia Chilena de Yoga, offering the entire range of classes (beginner to advanced; pregnancy) at both locations for the same low price. Classes are two hours and fifteen minutes and include a full pranayama session after shavasana. One or two of the teachers have a holier-than-thou attitude, but that’s to be expected anywhere. Most of their teachers are excellent! They use the original names for poses, so brush up on your Sanskrit if your Chilean is suffering.

“Luka” is slang for 1,000 pesos, equivalent to two USD. It would be correct to say that something cost 5 lukaS, but for most Chileans, that last pesky “S” just gets in the way. Anyhow, classes in this system are pre-paid. When you go in to purchase classes at whichever school you select, they will write down the class dates/times in a book and give you a little card with that same information on it. You must present this card at the class that you have pre-paid every time. They aren’t transferable, refundable or give-away-able. If you don’t know your schedule in advance and find it hard to commit, they also offer the Yoga Cheque. The price is twice, but overall, your savings will still be nice – especially if other things continuously get in the way of a fixed, pre-paid class. Yoga Cheque can be used for any class on the schedule within the same school that you selected. Another bonus of the Academia Chilena de Yoga is that the Yoga Cheque can be used at either of their two locations. (Metro Salvador or Metro Manuel Montt). Happy stretching, connecting, resting and namaste!




At home in the sweltering Midwest, 104 degrees broke all records for the day we officially released ourselves from our tea-sipping parents. Most fireworks have been cancelled and the golden-crisp grass is begging for respite, much like those fables I was told as a child about “sinners” in an “eternal hell” longing for a drop of water. I love being home. Love. It. But I also love being anywhere but. The bratwurst and cheese curds have to me thinking about the fresh foods of Chile. Right now it’s artichoke season, along with squashes and zapallos and dark leafy greens.

In a few weeks I”ll be back in Santiago. I’ll pick up a classic bottle of Carmenere to go with a spicy lentil stew that will wash away the August rain for just a bit. But, I will try as always to be rooted where I am in each moment. I will soak up the sun and drink down the Wisconsin brews as the farmers pray for rain. Beat-up black boots, layered clothing and southern hemisphere friends will be right where I left them when I disembark next.