MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Take a look around most parts of Minneapolis and it isn’t hard to find a yoga studio.
But a couple that has been teaching yoga for 15 years says there isn’t a single one in north Minneapolis.
Jaina and Matt Portwood hope to change that.
After teaching a class at their Uptown Radiant Life Yoga studio, the couple talked to WCCO-TV about plans to turn the top level of an abandoned fire station at 17th and 33rd avenues into a yoga studio.
The couple says the classes will be free.
The Portwood’s were living in north Minneapolis when they noticed their passion for yoga wasn’t easy to share with anyone in their neighborhood.
“It was a desert, a yoga desert,” Matt Portwood said.
The couple says they finally got the opportunity to bring yoga to the north side a few months ago when a local nonprofit, Fighting Chance Boxing Club, approached the couple about its plans to renovate the firehouse.
“Unfortunately, a lot of times when studios are opening up the thing that’s going through peoples’ heads is business and finances, and that’s the motivation behind where places are opening up,” Matt Portwood said.
Fire Station 14 sat empty for eight years, according to the Portwoods.
“Our hope is we can be a hub for positivity, brightness and health and wellness,” Jaina Portwood said.
The Portwoods say a boxing gym will go on the main floor, and local restaurant owners are pitching in to stock a small cafeteria; all free of charge to the public.
The Portwoods say eight yoga instructors have signed on to teach free classes but the cost of operating the entire facility will probably be about $10,000 per month.
“From my experience, everyone is interested in yoga,”,” Matt Portwood said. :It’s just about how we can offer it in a way that makes it available.”
The project will not be cheap, but with the public’s donations, the couple is hopeful a practice that connects the body and mind will appeal to peoples’ hearts.
Renovations inside the firehouse began this week.
The couple hopes the studio will be open by the beginning of 2016.