OLD NORTH — Collective STL enhances the health and wellness in north St. Louis by offering ancient yoga practices. “We see our work as an obligation of service we must pay as a debt we owe to our ancestors,” said Ericka Harris, co-founder of the Collective STL. “The fact is black people are not doing well in St. Louis, and this is unacceptable.”
Located in the 1400 block of N. Market, Collective STL was founded in 2017 by four African-Americans, Terry and Ericka Harris, Alonzo Nelson Jr. and Melinda Oliver. The founders are certified yoga instructors and educational professionals who saw the need to introduce and advocate for the mental and physical benefits of yoga. To make a greater impact, Collective STL decided to service underdeveloped communities in need of healthier lifestyles.
According to the Collective STL, health and wellness has become more accessible in wealthier and predominantly white areas. That’s why the group is opening a facility on the North side.
On Saturdays, “Yoga for the People,” a donation-based class, is available, and on Tuesdays there is a session for teens. Harris commented that the class sizes have grown from five or six to about 30 participants.
“We are not trying to get rich off of yoga nor are we trying to break people’s bank accounts,” She said. “We are simply building a community of love that is focused on self-care for the sake of the entire community.”
Currently, Collective STL is the only black-owned yoga studio in North St. Louis and the only fully donation-based studio in the area. The studio is honoring Black History Month on February 24 with “Bend and Break Bread: Yoga and Brunch.”
For more details, visit The Collective St. Louis on Facebook.