This year, why not spend the downtime before dinner celebrating your body and your community? Below you’ll find ways to raise your endorphins at a gym, find your zen at a yoga studio or feel good by doing good at a church or non-profit. After all, if you’re going to end your day with tryptophan, you might as well start it with dopamine.
Good for the Body
As much as we idealize the holidays, in reality they can be stress-bombs of worry and expectation. Tula Yoga (2827 W. Belden Ave.) and Moksha Yoga (2528 W. Armitage Ave.) are both offering Thanksgiving yoga classes the morning of Nov. 26 to keep you centered and strong. Plus, you can start your day in dove pose and end it in turkey pose.
Tula is offering Thanksgiving Vinyasa 90 from 10-11:30 a.m. with Kellyn Jackson. While you’re there, you can learn more about their expansion plans too.
Moksha has a Gratitude Practice from 10-11:30 am with Slone Isselhard and a free community class from 12-1 pm.
The spread at XSport (2310 W. Logan Blvd., the big place across from Target) features 140 treadmill, elliptical, bike and strength machines, so you can carve every muscle in your body. Then thank your limbs with a dip in the sauna. Not a member? You can get a free guest pass on their site.
I’ve always liked the YMCA (McCormick YMCA, 1834 N. Lawndale Ave.). Unpretentious. Diverse. Maybe not the fanciest setup, but hey, I’m not wearing designer stretch pants either. Plus, they’re non-profit and community oriented, so you can feel good while feeling the burn. They’re open on Thanksgiving from 5 am – 2 pm. Again, free pass on their site.
Logan Square Fitness (2734 N. Milwaukee Ave.), the new gym on the block, is open from 7 am to 1 pm. And unless you’re cooking, what else are you doing on Thanksgiving morning? Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Good for the Soul
Thanksgiving is a popular day for volunteering—most area organizations are already booked. But the following churches and non-profits won’t turn away someone who’s hungry or someone who wants to donate a meal or a helping hand.
Hispanic social service agency Casa Central (1343 N. California Ave.) offers classes and programs that help people improve their quality of life. I spoke with Flynn Doran, Volunteer and Events Coordinator, who said the agency could use the extra manpower. For details, reach out to her in person at her email address.
Did you know there was a Pope Sylvester? Yep. The Palmer Square Catholic Church that bears his name (St. Sylvester Parish, 2915 W. Palmer St.) is having a Thanksgiving breakfast for the homeless at 9 am. They’re looking for food and volunteers the day of — just show up at 8 am. The Church entrance is at 2157 N. Humboldt Blvd.
Elijah’s Pantry (2649 N. Francisco Ave.) is sponsored by St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square. Each Wednesday the program hosts a community meal from 5 – 6:30 pm. If you’d like to help out, contact Christa Creps at her email address.
Want to give back on the other 364 days of the year? Visit Chicago Cares and check out their calendar of events.