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Turbodog Spirit Center: Chicago's First Non-Profit Yoga Center

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

Community is a word heard at yoga studios all around town, but oftentimes, once we roll up our mat and head out the door, we take our involvement in the community with us. So I was really touched when I heard the story of Turbodog Spirit Center.
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One of only three non-profit yoga community centers in the country, Turbodog was founded by the Midwest's premier Forrest Yoga teachers, Steve Emmerman and Talya Ring and is supported by the generosity of their students. Part yoga community, part community center and part spiritual community, Turbodog (named after a tough modified downward dog used in Forrest Yoga) came about after Talya had a vision during a Native American spiritual ceremony. "Once we started putting energy behind this, it sort of rolled quickly," Steve says. "We were just trying to keep up with what spirit was sending down. Everything from finding the space at a price we could afford to people helping us with press, design and donation of props, everything just fell into place." The end result: a beautiful, spacious studio tucked on a side street deep in West Town where members can develop their practice, teachers can strengthen their skills and everyone has a chance to be a part of something bigger than just the physical practice of yoga. The center, the only all Forrest yoga studio in Illinois (and perhaps the entire Midwest), has only been open since the beginning of September and the model is already working. Members are planning events, participating in community gardening, offering a ride share program to get to Turbodog and reaching out to the surrounding neighborhood churches and art galleries in hopes of spreading the benefits of yoga. The center is funded by donations and monthly membership fees, which include special perks such as member-only events, free mp3s, unlimited classes and more. Of course, if you're just interested in coming and taking a yoga class, you're more than welcome to do that, too. A drop-in class is $15, however everyone is encouraged to pay what they can, even if it's just $1. "No one judges you or looks at you funny. You just come in and pay what you can," Talya says. "That's just another way we hold the intention of being a community but also being open to everyone."
Turbodog Spirit Center is located at 327 N Bell. Their next event, an Autumnal Equinox celebration on September 22, is open to all. Visit the website for more information.

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4 Comments

Remiliz said:

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Forrest Yoga is amazing, and I love being a "charter member" of Turbodog Spirit Center! Talya and Steve are two of the most powerful teachers you'll ever meet. I'm really looking forward to the Autumnal Equinox yoga practice and celebration tomorrow!

Maya Henderson said:

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I've only practiced with Talya and the class was great, definitely a powerful teacher. I'm looking forward to exploring Forrest Yoga more and covering it on the blog. I think we need a Forrest Yoga video for the yoga guide!

Jen said:

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A forrest video guide would definitely be helpful, since it is such a unique practice. I know I would appreciate it..and thaty studio looks beautiful. I'm excited to check it out in the near future.

Remiliz said:

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Jen, you're welcome anytime! Check out the class schedule by following the link in Maya's post.

Maya, let's keep talking about shooting that Forrest Yoga video for the Yoga Guide. Maybe we can shoot it next month...?

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