Theresa Gorski: Inspirational Ohio City Community Partner
We loved partnering with Theresa Gorski, owner and instructor of Vision Yoga and Wellness, at the recent Ohio City Holiday Hop (photos below), and continue to be bowled over by how she is always prepared to go that extra mile for her community and give so generously of her time. Here we catch up with Theresa to find out why supporting local businesses means so much to her, what attracted her to Ohio City and her passion for wellness and building a sustainable community.
Theresa, you’ve lived in many exciting places like the Dominican Rep and Italy – what attracted you back to Cleveland, and specifically Ohio City, to live and set up your yoga and massage practice?
I loved living abroad and it was amazing to experience different cultures and lifestyles but I decided to move back to Cleveland as I wanted to be with my family. Family’s very important to me. I am the youngest of 7 children and I have 19 nephews and nieces here. As for Ohio City, I fell in love with it! It’s a wonderful and diverse neighborhood which I really connect with. I love the fact that it’s a walkable neighborhood and that there’s great access to fresh produce. I also wanted to surround myself with “doers” (there’s plenty here in Ohio City!) and work with those involved in its renaissance.
You recently teamed up with Skylight for a donation yoga event as part of the Ohio City Holiday Hop – what does it mean to you to work in partnership and support local businesses, such as Skylight?
I think it’s vitally important for local businesses to support one another. After all, you are in each other’s lives, interacting with each other every day and this opens up lots of opportunities to collaborate. The annual Ohio City Holiday Hop is a great example of how the business community pulls together and supports one other. One of the purposes of the event is to encourage businesses to let their clients know about other services in Ohio City but at the same time it unites the community by providing a wonderful evening of fun and entertainment. There’s lots of music and other festive activities which gets everyone into the holiday spirit! This year, Vision teamed up with Skylight to host what we coined a “Healthy Hop” yoga class in Skylight’s amazing penthouse. Around 40 people turned up for some exercise followed by light refreshments and festive cheer. We sent them on their way with vouchers and promotions for other establishments in the neighbourhood. It was a great event and worked really well.
What other community initiatives are you involved in?
I’m a strong believer that businesses should be embedded in the community so I like to throw myself in and support local initiatives. Firstly, as I’m passionate about spreading wellness in the community, I’m very involved in organizing the Ohio City Games which will run for its 3rd year next summer. It’s a fantastic family, friendly event which is all about getting kids and parents active, getting them outdoors and making it fun. I launched the Board for this back in 2014 and I’m delighted that it’s been a huge success thanks to the collaboration of local businesses, non-profits, Cleveland Firefighters and Police Officer and St Ignatius High School. The Games are actually held at St Ignatius’ Wasmer Field which is a great venue to host the wide variety of activities we organize such as tug-of-war, obstacle course, soccer, yoga and art. The event is growing each year and over 300 people came along last summer.
I’m also very active in the Ohio City Merchant’s Association where I’m a board member. It’s a great association that’s dedicated to the success and growth of our merchants and artisans as well as the growth and sustainability of the community.
And then lastly, I offer free weekly 30 minute yoga classes to seniors that live in affordable housing next to our studio and have also taught over 44 Cleveland Firefighter Cadets in sessions over the last two summers. We have offered childrens’ and teens’ yoga to local urban community school and a teen book club at our local library. We love the opportunity to reach out to folks that would not normally be exposed to the benefits of yoga.
Share with us a little about your passion for spreading health and wellness in Ohio City?
There’s a wonderful book by Dan Buettner The Blue Zones which documents a National Geographic expedition to find the longest living cultures and identify lifestyle characteristics. What they found was that locations, where life expectancy was higher, shared many characteristics such as eating local produce, leading a purpose-driven life, having walkable neighorhoods and having a good mix of generations. When I look at Ohio City, I think it stands up well as it has nearly all of these characteristics but I feel it’s missing a passion for vitality and health. I want to spread my love of wellness to everyone for a sustainable future.
Ohio City is a thriving urban neighborhood, how would you like to see it develop further?
It’s great to see Ohio City flourishing. It’s welcoming and sustaining families, it’s got a great high school and we’ve kicked off initiatives like the Ohio City Games. It’s seen exceptional growth particularly as an entertainment district, which is great, but I would also like to see more lifestyle businesses coming on board.
The infrastructure for walkers and bikers is definitely getting better but I would like to see it improve even more. Also I would like to see greater outreach to the community, from all over the world and more collaboration with residents.
Where do you like to grab a bite to eat in Ohio City?
There are so many delicious places to eat in Ohio City so it’s hard to choose! I tend to gravitate towards The Old Angle when I want to catch a game. Then Town Hall for a healthy bite to eat and Orale, with its freshly prepared Mexican specialities, for a business lunch.
Where do you like to hang out in your free time?
I particularly like to draw and to tango in my free time. I also love taking walks in Cleveland Metroparks at Edgewater and going to the Museum of Art.
Thanks very much to Theresa for taking the time to speak to us!
Vision Yoga and Wellness is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC or its affiliated companies. CRN201712-198309