Every time I set foot in the ultra-chic main studio, I feel spoiled rotten. Mind you, I’m there six days a week. But the obsession feels justified; from my first visit, it was obvious that owner and founder Jessie Lipkowitz has done everything in her power to create the ultimate yoga experience. aUM classes include everything from “slow flow” to spiritual workshops to the grueling “hot vinyasa.” A Michigan alum, Lipkowitz employs University students as instructors, making the class experience feel all-the-more tailored to a college kid’s lifestyle. Their 10-minute grace period, “Michigan time” schedule is the icing on the cake.

Though each instructor’s teaching style is uniquely personal (Anouk’s rap-heavy playlists, Noelle’s lavender oil massages), acceptance, intimacy and self-love seem to be the values aUM hopes to instill in its students. I’m telling you, this studio is where my fear of the daily workout died. Would I ever be trying (and failing) crow-poses for fun without their encouragement? Heck no! aUM’s emphasis on both physical and mental health keeps every minute of every class feeling worthwhile. When I become preoccupied with the outside world during Jessie’s crazy-sweaty vinyasa, I breathe deeply and re-focus my mind using the aUM Yoga mantra: “No matter where you are, know that you can always come back to your breath.”

I don’t know how many mental breakdowns that motto has helped me through, but I’m sure it’s a hefty number. Not even midterm stress-levels can constrain the power of aUM.

Check out the rest of 2017’s Best of Ann Arbor here.


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