IT’S LIT STUDIO obviously got its name by being under the The Scent Queens Candle Company, but it’s what we call a double entendre (a word or phrase that is open to two interpretations). We used to be known as LYMPHFITNESS when teaching outdoors in the park and online—our classes were focused on keeping the lymphatic system healthy. So if you follow us on Instagram or Facebook you will see older posts that involved LYMPHFITNESS.  But now that we opened the Apothecary Shoppe before the studio we felt compelled to make a change and keep with the candle theme, since we also make our own handmade/hand-poured soy and coconut wax candles. Funny story (maybe you will skip by this part or not) but so many people would come in our Apothecary Shoppe and notice these little signs next to candles that said “THIS CANDLE IS LIT, PLEASE DO NOT PICK UP”—they would giggle and say “YO THIS CANDLE IS LIT” and we would all laugh but then we would say “No, literally the candle is lit, like with a flame so out of caution we put these signs next to them”—then we would all laugh some more…so when it came time to fix up the space that would become our yoga and fitness studio we decided hey—you know what?  That’s a pretty cool term to use for our actual name…and so here we are.  Let’s face it, with all the darkness and despair that seems to enveloping the world since the pandemic, we need to light up the dark a bit.  So IT’S LIT STUDIO is a place where we can simply move our bodies and cleanse our minds like a speck of light.

When we were LYMPHFITNESS we created a unique class that combines the best parts of Yoga, Meditation, Plyometrics, Interval Training and Group Fitness with perfectly curated sequences of MOVEMENT that not only helps the entire body but also the mind. Our signature class MOVEMENT is dedicated to helping every single body (no matter the size, shape, health, color, orientation or gender) to simply move in ways you never thought about (or thought you couldn’t). Along with MOVEMENT, we also teach Bootcamp style HIIT classes for fitness along with yoga classes that includes Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Gentle, Restorative and Beginner’s (along with bilingual/Spanish options)…and of course candlelight yoga!

IT’S LIT STUDIO is 100% LGBTQ+ Owned and what’s most important to us is having an all-inclusive space where everyone and everyBODY is welcome!  We want to build a community within a community here in Albany Park and we truly love being here (living and…now working/creating here). So join us!

What is Movement?

As previously mentioned, MOVEMENT is a unique experience that combines parts of Yoga, Meditation, Plyometrics, Interval Training and Group Fitness all in one to become what we call our “signature class”. Your system, including your headspace, will be refreshed and restored along with the clear mind that comes with dropping all the stress and emotions on your mat (or ground). And just by simply continuing this type of class with us there will be the added bonus of a stronger body (and mind).
With the combination of breathing and stretching from Yoga paired with the concentration and focus of the present moment from Meditation joined with the constant and repetitive movement from Plyometrics then topped with the alternating of different activities that require different rates of speed from Interval Training all within a Group Fitness setting set to certain music to use the music as your guiding light to hit the different types of movement that is being instructed. We believe music is a universal therapist that speaks through all languages and will help guide you through that unique moment in your life each time you step on the mat and move with us and with that said, you will feel grounded in your own space be it outdoors, virtually or within our studio. You will be given all the instruction both verbally and visually along with various options from our teachers to complete each MOVEMENT class. Again, this is a NO judgement zone as we believe MOVEMENT is for everybody. If you ever feel you are not able to complete some of the moves or sequences involved in the class we will always give options, encourage you to take “child’s pose” or to just simply dance around your space. This is your moment in time that only you can experience in the way you know how so use your space to do so!

Curtis Bumgarner and Andrew Bumgarner-Cookson are a married couple of almost 10 years and in 2018 bought a house in the most diverse zip code in America, which happens to belong to the Albany Park Neighborhood of Chicago, IL.  Curtis is originally from North Carolina and has lived in Chicago for over 17 years now.  He met Andrew Cookson as he was visiting Chicago all the way from his hometown of Liverpool, England for a work conference in January of 2013.  Since they met on the last day of his visit their dating life consisted of a lot of SKYPE, TANGO and WHATSAPP during the time and getting used to the 6 hour difference in between.  Andrew would eventually visit Chicago every other month for 1 week and then during a visit in June of 2013 Andrew just so happened to be in Chicago the moment the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) was unconstitutional on June 26th, 2013 and in that most amazing moment in history, they decided marriage was the answer to stay together and Andrew would stay in America…so they immediately hired an immigration attorney.  Andrew had a hard decision to make as he had a job and his entire family was back in England and they were expecting him back in a few days.  So he called his parents to advise he wasn’t getting on the plane back.  Obviously they were a bit worried as they never met Curtis, but love is love and when you know you know!  So they drove to Iowa to get married and filed everything and had to quit his job and not travel for the next 6 months while the immigration process was underway.  Fast forward to 2016 when Andrew became a U.S. Citizen and with all the stress that it involved on top of getting use to a new country with so much civil unrest and having to turn to a healthcare system that is not given to all by the country, he found YOGA.  With yoga he found such sanctuary in it as he found it calmed his mind and relieved his anxiety and what he would later be diagnosed as S.A.D. Syndrome.  So then by 2019 he decided it was time to share the gift of yoga by becoming a 200 hour RYT.  He was taught by Suddha Weixler at The Chicago Yoga Center.  Andrew’s yogic focus is on Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin.  But his true passion lies within fitness and he has been a Certified Group Fitness Instructor with the American Council on Exercise for a few years now, along with being a certified TABATA HIIT Instructor. Andrew considers himself to be completely well rounded in knowledge of moving the body and understanding the anatomy behind it.  He is currently enrolled in continuing education on yoga for the elderly and also yoga for children.

As for Curtis, well he has been the President of a Durable Medical Equipment company in Chicago for 15 years now, but due to the job and stress he felt compelled to make some changes with this health that involved actually moving the body and in return freeing the mind and muscles of stress. With the combination of anxiety from the 2020 pandemic and all the uncertainty of what the future meant along with surviving with the recent diagnosis of Venous Insufficiency/Vein Disease he put his idea of moving the body, meditating the mind and cleansing the lymphatic system to paper and with Andrew they created a unique outdoor program in Jensen Park, a City of Chicago Public Park, in 2021 that attracted the Albany Park community.  During that year everything was being perfectly executed to a vision they felt would change lives and Curtis was in training to be a Certified Group Fitness Instructor with the American Council on Exercise, which he is now officially certified as of November 2021. So when the outdoor park classes were over in October 2021 they began a journey that would lead them to an award winning business that is now called The Scent Queens Candle Company & Apothecary Shoppe.  But before the Apothecary Shoppe part they were making candles as a hobby and to de-stress from the pandemic that would then lead to selling to friends, family and neighbors to having driveway sales and then a website for people to purchase them online…which then led to discovering a unique store front on Montrose, just 2 blocks from their house in 2022.  Since opening the doors to the public to sell their handmade and hand-poured soy and coconut wax candles they have been immersed in the community even more so than before and then the store front right next door to the Apothecary Shoppe became available…and a lease was signed to turn into Albany Park’s very first yoga and fitness studio and because it’s part of The Scent Queens Company it deserved a special name—IT’S LIT STUDIO.  With this unique business model they are creating a community within a community to have an all-inclusive yoga studio that everyone can belong to know matter what, complete with Spanish speaking instructors that are able to do bilingual or completely Spanish speaking yoga classes.  They do hope to also have workshops and events within the space to bring the community even closer together along with continuing the FREE Community Classes on a weekly basis at the studio.

IT’S LIT STUDIO is located at 3726 W Montrose Ave. And we want to thank you all for supporting a 100% LGBTQ+ Owned Small Business in Chicago!