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Downers Grove Woman Opens Pay-What-You-Can Yoga Studio

A Downers Grove woman has opened a yoga studio based on a free will payment system—and so far, it's working out beautifully.

Sue Gervase has learned firsthand the difference yoga can make in a person's life—and she'd like to spread it around. 

The 38-year-old former Downers Grove North teacher and sales representative left behind a stressful career, and turned to a fundraising startup and yoga for fulfillment. Now the Downers Grove resident is offering her skills to the public and trusting that people will pay what they can in exchange. 

Gervais opened Yoga 2 U, a donation-based studio inside Patriot Boxing at 2425 Curtiss St. in early January. Yogi can come as they please and pay what they can afford for each class. 

She's banking on the honor system, and so far it's working out perfectly. 

"I don't want you to feel sheepish," Gervase said, of the jug into which attendees drop their payments. "I just want people to pay what they can."

Thus far, that's shaking out to about $10 per yogi. 

"It's perfect," she said. "It's exactly what I wanted."

Ten days in, she was offering roughly 16 classes per week, in space that accommodates roughly 10 yogi. The classes range in skill level, from beginner to seasoned yogi. If business booms, Patriot owner Nick Janowitz has agreed to knock down a wall and open up more space for the studio.

With that space, she believes she could accommodate up to 50 people per class. Class schedules change on a daily basis, and customers are encouraged to check the studio's website for up-to-date information. 

"My goal is to have a yoga class, every hour of every day, seven days a week," she said.

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