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Meet Svetlana Baklanova of Practice HORA USA in Wilmette

Today we’d like to introduce you to Svetlana Baklanova.

Svetlana, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started attending Practice HORA classes reluctantly in the summer of 2004 after my close friends had been telling me about this practice for nearly 6 years, in St. Petersburg, Russia. My attitude was like, “I live in the USA. What kind of wellness meditative system can I discover in Russia.” My spouse learned about this practice while on his trip in Russia with his MBA program by watching old martial arts video related to the practice. So, between my friends and my spouse’s feedback, I decided to try it.

My first reaction after the first exercise was “Wow… I just did this simple physical exercise and it cleared out my head. My usually continuous cycle of thought just stopped. I mean really stopped…” This was the first time I felt calmness while I was active and it stayed with me through the day. I did not need to try to induce relaxation through gym exhaustion, a few drinks, or closed-eye meditation attempts. So, it got me intrigued and I came back for my second practice. I had tried regular yoga, gym, running, acupuncture etc., but nothing was so effective on me, the skeptical westerner, with little time, plenty of ambitions and a young child.

I started traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia for a few years, taking as many classes as I could, staying there for few weeks at a time. My results were showing a healthier body, a better outlook on life, optimism, and more vitality. I do not like to use the word “energy” as it gets people’s minds into esoteric and such. The word “vitality” best describes the changes I was experiencing.

However, traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia with a child was not optimal and so I began planning a way to can bring this practice to the U.S for me, my family and anyone who wants to have a practical method for improvement and development.

The founder of the Practice HORA was about to launch a new, more advanced Executive Program. It was a program that fitnesses youthful vitality, upgrades internal resource management, increases radiance and charisma, and increases readiness to take on challenges at a very fast speed. I wanted to be the one who qualified to become a leader of this program.

Of course, the competition was big, few of us got selected, a few began training, and only two of us (me and one younger lady) met all the test and requirements to become leaders. So, in January 2006, I became a leader of Practice HORA Executive (Women) Program. In time, I have begun to teach the basic program, strengthening program and more.

I let my first group class in Charlotte, NC in March 2006 in a local gym. It was tough to find a location as all owners/managers were looking for yoga at that time. So, my spouse took me to a Mutai boxing class in this south end gym and I participated in the whole training from start to finish. In Mutai boxing classes it is common to hit pads with a timer for 30 seconds, 60 seconds, hands, feet, knees. I had never done this before, never taken any martial arts classes. But my spouse did for 18 years. He knew already what kind of endurance and stability Practice HORA could train. So, he said “if I can see it, the Mutai boxing and Jiu Jitsu trainer, who was a former military person, will also see it”. The instructor came over after the class and said that he had never seen an untrained person keep up and do better than regular guys, especially a young woman. So, we had a chat. He tried Practice HORA class the next day and recommended to the owner to let us rent the studio for weekly classes. This is how it all began… 6 years of refusing to try a class, then a sudden trial, then a few years of travel, extensive selection, rigorous training with Master HORA, and just one session of an all-out Mutai boxing class.

In 2008, the financial crisis was in full swing in Charlotte. By that time, I was traveling across the US and doing demo workshops at any location that would be willing to experience and organize the class. Chicagoland proved to be more open minded to new methods. I moved in April 2009 and my family moved that summer, after school was over. We have been in our Wilmette location (3520 Lake Ave, 101, Wilmette IL) for almost two years, we live in the neighborhood, and our son is Freshman in the New Trier. We were on the lookout for a right space for some time. Before that, we had locations in Wheeling, Chicago and Evanston.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I am a pioneer, I have never chosen a smooth road. I grew up without a father and provided for my younger sister and mother since I was 14 years old. Bringing Practice HORA to America has been as fun as it could be. I am bringing a new method/teaching/training of attention through the body and conscious evolution of humankind.

In the beginning, people would get resistance from the word “evolution” or training of “trance gravitational principles.” I have been advised many times to put “Yoga into the description of training.”, “Remove any reference to evolution or word trance…” But our practice trains those concepts through science and personal experiment of the exercises. We prove it every time to everyone who tries our classes that “trance gravitational training” redefines and develops a new interconnection between the brain, body and nervous system. This training provides more to the modern human.

In the past, my mindset was to follow the mainstream, popular advice as a shortcut to personal experience and research. Experience showed that some of this popular advice was not productive, causing people like me to lose time, miss goals and dreams. Remember the food pyramid…?

I know some people who are afraid of the concepts that have been misguided. For example, the next evolutionary step is not considered for a human being, but we as a society can easily speak of the evolution of animals, insects and viruses, sometimes calling it mutation and/or adaptation.

Practice HORA teaching states that all of us are under constant evolution and always in competition and one needs to learn how to get into the trance-evolutionary mobilization consciously. So, one would not burnout, retain strength, vitality, youthfulness and ambitions.
Hence, one would not fall in to bad mood, depression, or substances as a way of life.
Then one would not pass pessimism, crankiness, doubtfulness and weakness to your next generation. Accordingly, one would not influence the DNA of own current children with weaker habits, bad body form and chronic irritation. On the other hand, with Practice HORA training you can influence the evolution of your offspring through strong spirit, strong body and mind.

Fortunately, for us in the past 5 years, there have been more science articles about the evolution.

One can look up an article on telomeres length, evolution, and human species in archeology. However, these articles are talking of human evolution as a passive, unconscious and very long process. The popular media is now very keen with the subject of neo-evolution, cyborgs, gene engineering, and implanted AI chips. Now, our society is being offered to jump from the unchanging final version of the human form to a form that is not optimal and in need of bio-engineering, through edits, AI chips or silver bullet pills.

So, my challenge to get the person to try a physical method that is not yoga, not a gym, not CrossFit, but a training method that trains life and a new way of dealing with pressure. Competitive advantage and survival is not in the muscles, flexibility or in calorie-based workouts. Do not get me wrong, any kind of movement is better than a sedentary lifestyle. But it took me 6 years before I tried Practice HORA, after somewhat constant exposure, and thus, I know that there are plenty of individuals that want healthier, holistic way of development of mind, body and their nervous system for their life.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Practice HORA USA – what should we know?
Practice HORA® is a science-based training program designed to develop physical and intellectual inner strength, endurance, and the ability to be calm during any activity. Classes and personal training are available for adults and teens. This method is based on the knowledge of Master HORA, (Alexander V. Atayan) creator of the Practice HORA teaching and physical method.

The basic principles of Practice HORA allow a person to engage in preventive wellness while teaching a person how to mobilize with principles of nature and increasing skills and characteristics needed to be more competitive, more effective and more sustainable as a human being.

Our more advanced training programs fitness inner attention in a faster rhythm, designed for people living in the very high-pressure environment and for ambitious individuals.

Our teen and youth classes allow a teen to learn how to reduce emotional burnout and be trained in emotional stability. With such inner knowledge, he or she is significantly less likely to fall into depression, self-belittlement, and the state of giving-up. With time, HORA training leads teenagers to the ability to overcome challenges and rely on the inner-stability as a source of power and grit.

People’s’ lives are dynamic with a constant list of ever-changing goals. We do not sit down in a static pose to meditate. We do not close our eyes during the exercises. We do not convince people to relax. In all of our programs we actually train people to enter into trance-mobilization, Trance Evolutionary Mobilization™.

One of the accomplishments I am most proud is our once a year event with a focus on youth and teens with the purpose of showing that one can train to overcome obstacles without substances, and confidence can be trained. We have been organizing this event for 6 years. The last four events have been held at the University of Illinois at Chicago, called HORA Trance Fitness (HORA Track).

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Master HORA (Alexander V. Atayan) for creating and sharing the Practice HORA method with the world. For his teachings and the chance, I got to learn, train and become a stronger person.

Tatiana Atayan-Hora, my mentor and curator of Practice HORA in the USA.

My mother for raising me to be independent.

Yevgeny Frolov, my spouse, for being my partner and working with me on bringing the Practice HORA method and teaching to the U.S.A.


  • HORA Trance Fitness Online 25 Minutes Pilot Class complimentary for the length of the pilot.
  • Teens and Youth (12 to 30) $280 for 8 classes per months with up to 3 bonus classes.
  • Adults (31 +) $360 for 8 classes per months with up to 3 bonus classes.
  • Advance programs range from $820 to $1200 for 8 classes per months with up to 3 bonus classes.
  • Educators who actively teach (kids, teens, university students) $280 for 8 classes per months with up to 3 bonus classes.

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