Yoga On (Okay, NEAR) The Ledge!

One of the privileges of being a Skydeck Chicago Ambassador this summer was the ability to come up with a one-of-a-kind event to put on in the space on the 103rd floor of Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. We ambassadors started with clean slates, and could basically present any idea we wanted to the PR team and management of Skydeck Chicago for approval.

For me, incorporating a workout was a no-brainer, because I love fitness and especially because Skydeck Chicago has nothing to do with fitness. I thought that mixing up the two worlds would be interesting and fun.

Of course, I couldn’t exactly arrange to teach a cycling class up there due to the logistics, so after a little bit of thought, I came up with the idea to put on a yoga class.

I don’t teach yoga, though. In fact, I have only taken two or three yoga classes myself, and that was more than five years ago. I was going to have to call in somebody who was way more qualified than myself to help, and I immediately thought of my friend Andrea Metcalf, a health and fitness expert, author of Naked Fitness, and host of a new show on NBC Nonstop, “What’s On Chicago?”, airing this fall.

Andrea not only agreed to teach the class without hesitation (thank you, Andrea!), but took the ball and ran with it, contributing ideas and even signing on a couple of sponsors (FitStudio and Anytime Fitness: YAY! And then Gatorade signed on!). Andrea is hardworking, organized, energetic, and full of creativity: qualities I admire more than I can express, especially when I’m working with somebody! (She also has a very laid back nature, which helped me dial it down a notch more than once over the last month.)

After about a month of planning with Andrea and the folks at Skydeck, it was finally event day. I had to leave my house by 5:00 a.m. in order to get to the city, park, and meet the Skydeck PR team so we could get ready before the 6:30 arrival of the attendees (class was from 7:00 to 8:00).

The view was very cool but a little on the eerie side, due to the cloud cover. Still, you don’t get this perspective from just anywhere.

When the attendees, most of them die-hard yoga fans, began arriving, it was fun to watch them stand in awe of the Ledge. Some were very, very hesitant about walking out there, and some were jumping around for pictures within seconds. (Someone should do some kind of college paper on the psychology of conquering the Ledge.) I loved watching some of them try out yoga poses out there.

Andrea got her music set up and–right there among the clouds, which had rolled in nice and thick, blanketing the windows on all sides with pure whiteness–gave an excellent yoga class.

Afterwards, everyone raved about the fun of doing yoga on the 103rd floor of one of the world’s greatest skyscrapers, and many expressed their hopes for a repeat. More pictures were taken, and Andrea even did some filming for her new show while she was up there (the event will be featured on the show, too!).

After she tried a Ledge handstand, it was time to go.

Thanks again to Andrea, Skydeck Chicago, and all of my attendees: it was a great morning!

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