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Downers Grove

Downers Grove woman starts donation-based yoga studio

DOWNERS GROVE – Is there anyone more in tune with karma and the idea of reciprocity than yoga lovers?

Downers Grove resident Sue Gervase bets the benevolent spirit among those who practice the tradition will help make her new pay-what-you-can, donation-based studio Yoga 2 U a success.

Gervase started the new studio Monday inside Patriot Boxing, 2425 Curtiss St., Downers Grove. She said if the business is a success, gym owner Nick Janowitz has offered to knock down an existing wall for more space.

"I have faith in the people that are coming that they will pay what they can," she said.

Gervase, 38, is a former high school Spanish teacher at Downers Grove North who went on to do sales in the corporate world, before turning her attention to a fundraising business startup and teaching yoga.

She said at a typical yoga studio, a drop-in class might cost between $15 and $20 and a regular, weekly class might run about $10 each.

She hopes her class will attract both those who couldn't afford yoga before, along with seasoned yogis who might bring friends. But most of all, she hopes the plan can be a good way to spread the physical and mental benefits of the practice.

"One hundred people practicing yoga giving me $2 each is better than 10 people giving me $20 each," she said. "All in all I get the same, but I personally will get more out of it if I see more people practicing yoga."

She said she plans to go to women's shelters as well to let them know they are welcome to attend her classes.

"Once people feel the transformation of the body and mind and spirit, maybe they will feel they can let something go, like junk food, so they can pay to keep the place going," she said.

Gervase was inspired to try the business model after talking with a well-known yoga instructor Deborah Williamson, who started a similar studio near Sheboygan, Wis.

"It's not as popular as I think it should be," Gervase said. "And I'm just very excited about it."


For class times and more info, visit the website, or email Gervase at

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