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Rooted 'Fitness for the Soul' Center Courts Soul-Seekers in Wicker Park

By Alisa Hauser | June 30, 2014 9:45am
 Rooted plans to open on August 15 at 2221 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park.
Rooted, a Self Expression Center in Wicker Park
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WICKER PARK — A new center focused on "fitness for the soul" is coming to Wicker Park, hoping to draw in adults who may take spin classes for their physical health but might need a little spiritual TLC.

"Children wind up getting these types of things more often, as adults we are full of expectations," said Shruti Sekhri, founder of Rooted, which plans to open in August at 2221 W. North Ave.

Located two blocks west of the neighborhood's busy Milwaukee, Damen and North Avenue intersection,  Rooted's 2,000 square-foot storefront will offer several classes and workshops focused on visual art, writing and storytelling, dance, improvisation and music.

"It's not therapy but it can be therapeutic," said Sekhri, who added that too often adult learning centers are "centered around an end product."

"It's not about producing something. I have taken improv classes where it has been all about 'where is this going to lead me?' Our facilitators will offer a structured approach focused on feeling that activity and sharing it with others," she said.

The 39-year-old accountant and real estate developer traces the inspiration for Rooted to her childhood in India, which she said made a "huge impact" on her life.

"I was was such a free kid that was encouraged to do whatever I wanted," Sekhri said.

Rooted's Facebook page describes the center as a "free-to-be-me" place, while its website describes the intention of the center "to experience one self being free and being surrounded by others."

Led by four facilitators including Sekhri, Rooted's classes are scheduled on a weekly basis and with the same group of people, like a fitness class.

While class sizes will depend on sign ups, Sekhri said the intention is to cap classes at 12 people. She said sharing classes with the same people every week is "important [for] building community."

Sekhri said she chose to open Rooted in Wicker Park because she "connects with the energy in this neighborhood and the artistic drive that brings people" here.

Rooted offers three ways to experience the center: a "Rooted Series" of consecutive classes with the same group of people for six weeks, which costs $150;  Drop-in sessions are 90-minutes and cost $20 and they also offer private workshops for groups of friends or corporate outings.

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