A shared passion for health and wellness brought people together in Rogers Park for Centered Studios‘ first yoga clothing swap.
The day’s activities featured food, music, complimentary auricular acupuncture treatments (on the ear), psychic readings and demonstrations on how to make yoga mat spray.
Health coaches Camille Houseknecht, 26, and Natalie Zenner, 34, demonstrated how to make the spray using distilled water, witch hazel and ten drops of essential oils.
“Over the years I’ve just taken a more direct approach and taken control more of my health and what I put into my body,” Zenner said. “We wanted to further educate people to know the difference between something that’s certified therapeutic grade and something that you can actually ingest.”
While dozens of the attendees sorted through the clothing swap piles that included yoga accessories, t-shirts, tank tops, coats and blouses, others munched on hummus, bread and carrots, and sipped sparkling water and wine.
The studio, located at 7009 N Glenwood Ave, offers yoga and wellness classes, as well as acupuncture, bodywork, herbal medicine and cupping, a suction technique to improve blood and energy flow through the use of heated cups.
The studio was co-founded about two years ago by Mitchell and Amy Harris in the far north side neighborhood.
Mitchell Harris, 41, is a state-licensed acupuncturist as well as a full time assistant professor and clinic department chair and faculty governance chair at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago.
“Originally, there was a yoga space here that we loved called Imagine Yoga, and they closed down for various reasons. And we thought ‘well certainly someone will open up a new space right here,’ ” said Harris.
When no one stepped in to do that, the couple decided they would continue in the studio’s footsteps.
“We actually contacted them,” Harris said. ”They were super gracious and gave us some good ideas and tips and let us contact some of their teachers to kind of get started.”
Among those who came to the clothing swap was Anna Trachtman, 26, who works in non-profit theater and attended yoga classes at Centered Studios for nine months.
“I hadn’t done yoga for a really long time before I started coming here,” said Trachtman. “So it was really nice to feel like there was no pressure that you had to perform in a certain way. And then clearly they do events like this that are very community focused.”
Trachtman, who has been to clothing swap events in the past, said she especially enjoyed this one since it allowed her to get back in touch with people she hadn’t seen in a while.
“I moved out of the neighborhood last month so I don’t come here as often as I used to,” Trachtman said.
Centered Studios plans to bring more people together in the future for events that promote not only health, but fun as well.
“In the healing arts community there are a lot of fun people, but the act of healing isn’t necessarily funny,” Harris said. “Humor is important to have, but you’re dealing with some suffering, so I think it’s helpful to remind everyone that part of healing is having a good time and laughing.”
Centered Studios offers drop-in rates as well as membership deals, and plans to carry on with monthly events, including a blood drive and yoga with drumming class.