I recently returned from my Spring Break vacation in Berkeley, California, where I was visiting my dear friend Jessica. I called her prior to the trip explaining that it’s always been a dream of mine to do yoga on the West coast, where yogis and yoga studios are about as common as people walking around with a creamy iced Dunkin Donuts coffee are in Boston. She assured me that, as I had heard, there was a studio on every corner.
On the third day of my trip, I noticed a studio called “Yoga to the People“, which I’d heard of before from a friend who lived in New York City. She explained to me that this studio only asks for donations, and simply believed in providing yoga – all judgements and fees aside – to the people. After my prior experience, this seemed like exactly what I needed … and it was.
Yoga to the People (YTTP) needs to come to Boston – no question. I love my studio, and I’m loyal to BBY until the end – but, I am brought to sheer joy just thinking about what a studio like this could do for those who, like myself less than a year ago, are too intimidated to try yoga, and too unsure about its high cost.
As I entered, an incredibly friendly teacher greeted me, letting me know right of the bat that I didn’t have to pay anything but what I could afford – if I wanted to (the suggested donation is $10.) I gave her my donation, bought a bottle of water, rented a mat, and took to it. The class was an hour-long, throughout which the instructor continually reminded the class that the Vinyasa flow which we were practicing (repeated sun salutations to generate heat integrated with other poses) was to be done at whichever pace was comfortable for the individual yogi. I felt comfortable enough to try what I could, excel at it, fall over a few times, and try again- this studio gave me the space I needed to connect and recharge, and feel like I could be free to do what worked for me in the moment. And, it was technically free!
After my class, I asked the instructor when she would be teaching the next day because I’d enjoyed the class so much, and she explained to me that YTTP teachers don’t release their schedules so that none of their teachers become glorified.
“It is you who made your practice great!” she told me ,while grabbing both of my shoulders. I have to say, I personally believe that a great instructor has a whole lot to do with a great practice, which she was – but, I do respect their policy, and I think it further proves their commitment to their purpose.
Overall, YTTP will see me again, in one of their cross-country locations, or even through their free online classes!