Testimonials

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

I am a past Movement member at the Chicago gyms and used to climb and take yoga and acro yoga classes regularly. I don’t live in Chicago anymore, but visit often. The best part about visiting Chicago for me is to be able to climb and/or take an acro yoga class with my friends. If I ever moved back to Chicago I would consider becoming a member again, but only if Movement treats people with the respect they deserve. The acro yoga instructors at Movement are friends. It was painful to learn how they were given only a week’s notice before being let go. This is not something I as a member expected from Movement.

Also, if I do plan to renew my membership, it will be contingent on having access to both yoga and acro yoga classes.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Very Important. I think as someone who wants to improve on climbing and is constantly looking to improve mobility and movement, yoga and acro yoga are very important supplement forms of fitness. I also was able to build a community of friends (teachers and other members) through acro yoga at Movement and would look forward to meeting everyone every Monday or Wednesday at these classes. I am not sure if coming to Movement will feel the same after this decision.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

While I haven’t been impacted financially, as I mentioned, since I am not a member, emotionally, I find it difficult to maintain the same connection with Movement. The yoga teachers deserve a clear explanation for the decision that has been made, and steps should be taken to bring them back. I am uncertain about continuing to climb at Movement and supporting what appears to be corporate myopia disguised as underperformance in yoga classes.

—Sam

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

I wanted to provide the perspective of a customer.

I recently took a trial fitness class at a Movement Gym, and it was so wonderful and empowering that I was ready to get a membership just to continue the fitness classes. Then this cancellation happened, and because of that, I will not become a customer of Movement Gyms Chicago.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

These teachers are so important. One of them I know personally, and they are such a genuine, kind, hardworking teacher and person. They put their all into making others feel confident, and they made Movement Gym a better place. They deserve better treatment. They deserve to have their job back.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

I was greatly looking forward to attending future classes. I was fully prepared to become a member. But I can’t join a gym that has such disrespect for its employees. I also prefer a gym that offers fitness classes, because it makes the gym more well-rounded. So without those, it’s not enticing to me.

—Anonymous

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

I originally went to movement to support my friend Anna, but came away with so much more than just supporting my friend. The teachers at movement made me feel so listened to, cared for and welcome in the space, remembered me after one or two weeks of coming consistently and helped me feel that I could do the hard things I wanted to accomplish in the classes. This community space is so important and has the nurturing ability that is so unique from any other fitness space.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

So highly valued and wonderful!!!

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

I have felt so angry and sad. Physically I’m okay but I was just about to come back to the space before the cancellation hit.

—Catherine

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

The yoga program has introduced me to all of my climbing friends. This relationship is why I continued my membership. Without this program I will move to another gym at the end of my contract with movement.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Emma has been such a great teacher and helped develop my routine of yoga weekly. Truly felt the Wednesday evening class balanced me through the work week. She provided a safe space to calm my mind.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

As a consumer I feel cheated. I paid for a whole year membership with the understanding that the yoga/fitness program was part of the deal. As a human I find this decision motivated by corporate greed. It is disgusting…”Your neighborhood Climbing Gym” my ass!

Bryan_kosciolek

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

Doing yoga at Movement has been the healing I absolutely needed to cope with life as well as the general aches and pains of climbing. The classes were expertly taught, the instructors incredibly kind & the respect for the practice was obvious from the amount of people the classes brought in, and the smiling faces after it was over.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Seeing Matt in class every Tuesday was the highlight of my week. If i had a specific area i needed to work on, he worked it into his class plan without a problem, and his sprinkled in jokes throughout the practice kept everyone light & built community, you just don’t find that in most studios.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

I joined movement to balance my love for climbing and yoga – to wipe that out so suddenly without warning has left a bad taste in my mouth and an ache in my bones. This used to feel like a safe space, but now it just feels like I’m climbing with a belayer who’s notorious for dropping people.

—Rae

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

Yoga classes at Movement have been the core of my workout regime for over a year. Through the amazing teaching of all the instructors at the Lincoln Park location (particularly Ally and Lindsey who I see most often) I have seen my strength, flexibility, and balance improve radically. I genuinely don’t know what I would do if these classes came to an end and I am heartbroken. For me, the classes make up more than 75% of the value of my membership. I love the community at Movement more than any other gym I’ve been at, but if they go through with canceling the classes my partner and I will have no choice but to move to another gym immediately as I need this part of my routine.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Critical. The instructors consistent across the classes at Movement for so long have helped me build trust in them, which has radically improved my performance. I would be heart broken to lose any individual instructor and the rapport I have been able to establish with them.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

It has completely destabilized my routine at a time of year where I most rely on it to keep my mental and physical health in check. I struggle with major seasonal depression and I’ve found that Yoga has been one of the best ways to cope with it. Yoga classes are also a major part of my anxiety management routine. I really can’t overstate how much of a core part of my week these classes have been.

—Sasha

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

I’m leaving Chicago/am no longer a member at Movement, but this news is so saddening and disappointing. I have been going to Movement LP since it opened (and was an enthusiastic Earth Treks CC member before that). Yoga & fitness classes have always been a big part of my climbing gym experience—so many little joys come to mind:
I’d wanted for some time to learn how to lift but found it generally intimidating and inaccessible. And then the gym offered a course, and that felt comfortable to me because it’s in a familiar place with familiar people. And now I have a skill that opens up a lot more fitness/training options; When I was in grad school I’d drive like 45min (one way) for midday yoga/core classes and would laugh so freaking hard while also getting destroyed (in a good way); I went to Acro like twice and am bad at it, but 6 months later am asking someone I met there for advice on neighborhoods in Seattle; Any morning spent with Matt is just a good time.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

I don’t know that many instructors, but the ones that I do know are such bright sources of light. It’s easy to feel like an interloper in a fancy gym/in a sport with a really specific culture/around climbers who are obviously much more technically skilled and experienced, but these classes and the instructors create community and belonging. These are some of the most joyful, welcoming, encouraging, and inclusive people in the gym. I’m sure they’re going to keep being fucking awesome, but letting them go/taking away these resources is a huge disservice to the climbing community.

christie ibaraki

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

I originally started doing yoga after my relationship ended and I found that it really helped ground myself and improve my mental health. It’s allowed me to work on parts of my body I never even consider and meet new people who I probably wouldn’t meet otherwise. The classes I take at movement are some of my favorite parts of the week as they allow me to step back from a busy work life and focus on myself for the hour or so. The fitness classes are also great for that morning kick and the group settings help provide motivation.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

The teachers as movement are amazing and are great on both professional and personal levels. Not only do they teach great courses but they also remember names and faces which help foster a good atmosphere.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

The sudden nature has me concerned for how I’ll practice yoga in the future. The classes provided a unique experience which is difficult to replicate in an individual setting.

—Sebastian

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

I joined Movement to rehab with Yoga after major hip surgery. I hoped I could eventually climb again. Daily double-yoga classes with Elisa, Lindsey, Anna, Allie, Jen, Matt and the other beautiful teachers transformed the way I move, stretch, strengthen. The classes became the anchors of my week, part of my social life. The yoga teachers and members became my friends and my climbing partners.

Classes were pleasantly packed with people, sweat and love. Yoga is a core part of the value of the gym. Yoga is written in big letter on the website and the walls. Taking it away is a giant slap in the face to the members, the community and to the wonderful teachers that devote their time, effort and visible passion to their classes.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Lindsey Bliss has cultivated a phenomenal program and hired some glorious teachers. Credit to her and Allie Herbert for their love, experience and enthusiasm for their craft.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

What a nightmare. Not sure what I’ll do. Stretch at home on my own? Fuck.

—Richard Gay

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

I love Anna T’s yoga classes, she’s and amazing and intuitive instructor and creates a wonderful atmosphere and energy with every class she teaches. The Movement community lost a light when they let her go.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Very important, each instructor brings a different and equally beautiful personality and energy to their classes

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

Yes, it makes me angry and sad for both the instructors and members that a big part of the movement community has been taken away

—Anonymous

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

The first yoga class I attended was only a couple days after my grandfather passed away and I was in a weird mental state, really unable to process it healthily. When I attended the yoga class, it felt so freeing, and comforting. just felt so in touch with my emotions, and mind that I teared up at the end of the class, finally able to process and handle my grandfathers passing in a healthy way.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Our yoga instructor, Sean, was amazing and he really made it feel like a very comforting environment, pushing us but also make sure that we were comfortable

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

It’s taken away a major part of why I signed up for a membership in the first place. Having that access to those classes, every day, and free of charge adds to the inclusive and accepting environment that movement is supposed to offer.

—Anonymous

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

Movement gives us a place to go after work, a COMMUNITY full of people we love and trust. It can’t be the same without the instructors who clearly care about us and our mental/physical health. THEY, not the building, have given us a safe space to exercise.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Special shout-out to Erin and Christian, we just really adored their classes!!!!!!!!! They were professional but also our friends. They both remembered to ask about my Marathon training and were genuinely proud of my for finishing the Chicago marathon🥹 I’m very very devastated that they won’t be around anymore:(

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

It has completely thrown off my fitness routine. I am someone who really needs class structure to thrive consistently. It makes me feel safe to exercise as a group!! Also we got bait and switched; sorry but the classes are a huge reason most people have memberships.

Screenshot

Haley (members Sav and Molly also pictured haha)

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

The yoga program was great! The classes were often very full or comfortably full and never seemed underperforming to me. The spaces in both locations I attended were beautiful, serene and a great much needed complement to my climbing practice. The props, space, teachers, everything was so great and I was so happy to be part of a gym that valued all the areas of health and fitness. I’m sorely disappointed by this change and will be cancelling my membership.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Very important! I thoroughly enjoyed Manal’s classes and sorry to hear she’s no longer there.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

I’m pissed. I thought this was such a great place that allowed me to push my climbing and yet still be able to practice yoga to heal and keep my body in balance. I’m so disappointed they’ve shut down this program so suddenly.

—Yoga / Climber

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

I came to Chicago for school in August of 2020. Leaving my climbing community behind in California, I hoped to find a semblance of community when I arrived because I was so new to the Midwest.

The lingering effects of the COVID pandemic made it difficult to meet new people and form solid connections with people. My first year, I still felt isolated and alone to the point I stopped climbing as it no longer brought me the same fulfillment it once did.

When Movement announced it would be opening in Lincoln Park in November of 2021, I felt a sense of optimism as it was a new opportunity to reignite the passion I had once felt for climbing back home. Soon, I found myself spending 5-6 days a week at the Lincoln Park location where people would ask me if I lived behind the Kilter board. Quickly, I found myself part of a new community, one that I had wished had existed when I first moved out to the Midwest.

It only made sense for me to then use my previous experiences as a youth coach and routesetter to apply for a part-time coaching job at Movement. I felt like I owed Movement that, especially after it had reignited my passion for climbing and coaching. As I spent more and more time at Movement, I began meeting more and more people who made me feel like the Midwest was my home. It was at Lincoln Park where I first met Lindsey and Matt, yoga teachers who would always encourage me to take their class and always made me feel welcomed. For so long I would decline, as I didn’t want to be judged for my inflexible hips and terrible balance. In my mind, I was a climber. I didn’t need yoga or fitness.

But when I finally did accept the invitation and attended their classes, I discovered a welcoming space and a place where I could challenge myself both physically and mentally. Shortly after, I began taking fitness classes and met Christian. Any time I’d walk into the gym and see Christian, I’d see a man bursting with energy and love encouraging people over the loud speaker to join him in what would be the most uplifting/tiring fitness class of their lives. Soon, I realized how much these classes had to offer and discovered a new community that extended beyond climbing. It became apparent to me that these yoga and fitness programs offered so much to the Chicago area.

As I got to know Lindsey and Matt more, I realized that they were not just great yoga teachers, but they were better friends. They have been people who have not only increased my hip mobility and made my core the most sore its ever been in its life, but have been there countless times for me as support outside of the gym. I now consider Lindsey to be one the best people I’ve met since moving here. I think of Matt as not just a great friend and yoga teacher, but a mentor who has guided me through my setbacks and lows of medical school. With Christian, we connected over the deaths of our own fathers in the last few years, and his kindness and empathy has been monumental in helping me process those emotions.

These people are more than just instructors or former coworkers to me: They are pillars of a community, one that has collectively helped me through some of the lowest lows of my life. I would have none of these relationships without the yoga + fitness programs, and I know that countless others have relationships like this that would not exist without these classes. In cutting these programs, you are not just losing amazing people: you are destroying a community that I hold so close to my heart.

Nolan Baoan Mac

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

One of the reasons I decided to become a member at movement was due to the fantastic yoga classes offered. These classes have been so good SOLELY because of the absolutely incredible instructors. Their emphasis on care, community, and providing support to members is absolutely unmatched, and they make such an effort to help members feel comfortable and to have the best possible yoga practice. The instructors also frequently go above and beyond to incorporate feedback & suggestions, and to make classes engaging and fun through special events and fun activities. Movement hasn’t just let go of its instructors, it’s removed a crucial part of its community and a large reason many of us are members.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Ally in particular has been absolutely astounding in our yoga journeys. She is such a wonderful person and her energy and presence in the gym will be missed so much. A particular event that stands out is how she created a “Spooky Slow Flow” class for Halloween, and how much fun everyone had doing spooky-themed yoga in costumes. The class was packed with members that wanted to spend their Halloween with her & with the yoga community that the instructors have created.

Julia, Connor, & Brenna

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

Yoga and fitness instruction is important to me in and of that to seek to teach others the means to a healthier and stronger lifestyle is an extremely generous gift to give to a community. Nobody should be fired like this, but it hurts me deeply to see it happen to the most generous and compassionate type of person I know. What this unequivocally means is that movement leadership is operating without a moral compass.

How important are the specific teachers in our fitness and yoga communities?

Any person who lives to teach others skills to better oneself should be treated with reverence.

How has the sudden cancellation of the Fitness and Yoga programs affected you? Physical/mental health?

It’s been deeply saddening. I had cautiously hoped that Movement may actually set a better standard for the Chicago climbing community, but this decision has dashed that hope entirely. We as a community deserve better.

—Charles Martin

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

The yoga community has truly been a place that has made me feel at home in Chicago, and it is the place where I feel the most calm. Yoga has challenged me both physically and mentally, and has provided a supportive community of teachers and members. I have also enjoyed each fitness class I have taken.

The Movement staff are truly amazing people with a genuine care for the community and their fellow instructors. This is why I have made yoga a central part of my physical health. It allows me to show up as a better person and a climber. I know many others I have shared classes with feel the same.

I have brought several of my friends to the gym using my guest passes, and have talked highly of the gym and the community – especially the yoga community. I now cannot in good faith recommend my friends to purchase a membership at Movement – not only in Chicago, but at any location, given the decisions that were made in the past week to cancel yoga and fitness classes.

I sincerely hope that Movement will bring back yoga and fitness classes soon and offer the positions back to their dedicated and talented staff. I am extremely disappointed in the management decisions as it shows a disregard for the well-being of its members and staff, values that Movement has championed.

—Caroline

What is your story with the Fitness and Yoga programs at Movement Gyms Chicago? Why are they so important to you?

Yoga has been an integral part of my experience at Movement and was something I could always look forward to. No matter which class I attended, I was always in great hands because of the sheer quality of each and every instructor. Without fail, they were all welcoming, kind, and respectful—not to mention knowledgeable and creative.

The programming they’ve created from the ground up has been remarkable and we would not have this thriving community and space had it not been for their valiant efforts. The lack of gratitude and consideration shown from management is beyond vile and is not reflective of what the members truly feel.

—Brenda

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