A vacant Euclid Avenue storefront has now become a community hub thanks to East 4th Yoga, a new studio that offers free yoga classes and aims to enhance the sense of community downtown.
The studio, which launched last month, offers complimentary, donation-based classes on Saturday mornings at 10 in the former Bang and the Clatter Theatre space at 244 Euclid. While geared towards downtown residents, anyone is welcome to attend. Organizer Tammy Oliver, an East 4th resident, says the studio creates a community gathering space and promotes downtown living.
“There aren’t many opportunities for this kind of gathering space downtown,” says Oliver. “The more opportunities we provide people to live, work and play, the more likely they’ll be to live downtown. We’re trying to create a neighborhood.”
To fund the program, Oliver secured a sponsorship from Oasis Health Care. Additionally, MRN Ltd. has donated the former theatre space, and yoga instructors from across the city volunteer their time. Finally, MVP Valet offers free valet parking for individuals traveling from other parts of the city.
Oliver, who organized the yoga classes as a volunteer, is also the leasing agent for East 4th Street. She says the idea was generated through discussions with friends who can’t afford to take regular yoga classes, and through brainstorming with downtown residents about other amenities that are needed downtown.
“It’s not enough to provide nice living spaces, we need places to shop, hang out and meet our neighbors,” says Oliver. She adds that MRN Ltd. is actively working on plans to recruit additional retailers to the East 4th and Euclid Avenue area.
The funds raised from class donations will be used to purchase equipment such as yoga mats and blocks that will be donated to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). Oliver is hoping to work with a group of yoga instructors and CMSD to create a yoga program that is geared towards urban youth.
“We can use yoga to enrich and bring peace to young people’s lives,” she says.
Fresh Water Cleveland, 8/25/11