“As much as Yoga Union draws from all over the city, it’s a neighborhood yoga studio. In the expansion we wanted to maintain that sense of community. It is through the power of human connection that the Breathe Building seeks to extend individual and community health into positive social change. Yoga alone won't solve the social problems of the world, but committed practitioners who care about the future can.”
– Chris Calarco, Breathe Building Owner
For the past ten years, Yoga Union Community Wellness Center has been located on 50th Avenue between Hawthorne and Division Streets. As the popular yoga studio outgrew its existing space, the owners Todd Vogt and Annie Adamson began conversations with Chris Calarco, Yoga Union teacher and student.
They considered creating a retreat center in a rural area nearby and even looked at refurbishing a historical camp. However, Yoga Union is built in and of the Mount Tabor neighborhood. Many students have walked or biked to yoga classes, guided mediation, and massage therapy for years.
Yoga is a sanctuary from student's busy days, while the growing wellness center services enables them to improve their overall health. It made practical sense to maintain the community wellness center's location within a walkable neighborhood and near the bustling commercial node between Hawthorne and Division. In fact the location is so loved didn’t want to move at all!
Chris decided to purchase a building at SE 50th and Sherman, just one and a half blocks from the current studio space and began the process of design and renovation to create The Breathe Building.
Building sustainably was of outmost importance to Chris and the building team. To learn more about the process of converting the building, check out our blog posts.
The Breathe Building was inspired by the committed community of yogis at Yoga Union in SE Portland, Oregon. As the community grew and diversified, a larger space was envisioned. Chris Calarco, a committed and passionate yoga student and teacher, decided to create a sustainably-built community wellness center to integrate the supportive philosophies of yoga, green building, and mind/body health.