Christian Doten predicted good hearts and good vibes at Saturday’s grand opening of Four Gates Physical and Energetic Culture–and he was right. Children twirled around in freestyle dance on the workout floor while sock-footed adults chatted and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Earlier in the day, there had been free kettlebell and yoga classes; later, there would be a simple ceremony to bless the space. The storefront is located at 4238 Nicollet Avenue, steps away from and . The space, which was formerly a photography studio, is open and airy with surprisingly high ceilings and warm, bright colors, inviting visitors toward wellness.
Doten and his wife Colleen LaSota are fulfilling a long-held dream of opening their own studio.
The Minneapolis natives spent the last six years in Brooklyn, both teaching yoga, LaSota also practicing acupuncture and Doten also offering personal training. Though working in the field of wellness, their schedule was of the typical overbooked New York variety, constantly running back and forth between Brooklyn and Manhattan trying to make it work. And then 15 months ago, LaSota gave birth to their son Atticus and everything changed.
“It sealed the deal on needing to do something so we’d have more time,” Christian Doten said.
Doten recalls a day last August when the new family of three was hanging out in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Doten and LaSota talked while Atticus picked things up off the ground. Everything he picked up was garbage. It was then that the couple decided to return home, bringing their family and their work back to the city they came from.
The universe seemed to be in agreement with their decision, as everything quickly fell into place. Their families were excited about the move; Doten and LaSota fell in love with the second space they looked at–which happened to be down the street from where Doten had been a football player and where he hopes to return to volunteer; and when they returned over the holidays, they found an apartment as well.
“All the signs were pointing here,” Doten said.
And so Four Gates Physical and Energetic Culture was born. The name is layered with meaning, referencing one of the opening treatments done in acupuncture to establish a flow of energy, the four cardinal directions, and the number of programs offered at the studio: yoga, kettlebell training, qigong meditation and acupuncture.
Yoga will be approached from an open level, welcoming yogis both new and experienced to explore their practice. Prenatal and parent-baby yoga classes will also be offered. Wondering how babies six weeks to 18 months do yoga? With a nice long savasana at the top of their parents’ yoga mats–or that’s the hope, at least.
“The babies are there–we love babies–but the class is for the parent,” Colleen LaSota said.
As for their own baby, Atticus has gone from picking up garbage in Prospect Park to picking up kettlebells in Minneapolis–another sign of positive change, something that Doten and LaSota are feeling a lot of lately, and something they want to share with the Southwest community.
“When you can as a person realize yourself and get in contact with yourself, it’s easier to communicate or get in contact with other people. That’s why yoga and all that stuff is getting so popular–people want that connection. We are just a huge family. We see that for sure now. We see that in our family and we want to see that in the community too,” Doten said.
Four Gates Physical and Energetic Culture officially opened for business on March 1. Monthly unlimited memberships, class cards and drop-in options are all available.