Stretch your budget -- and your body -- with donation-based yoga.
The yoga business has ballooned into a $5.7-billion-a-year industry, but the teachers at Yoga to the People (YTTP) arent demanding a penny of that disposable income. Really.
Unlike so many studios that charge up to $25 a class for a chance to be secretly nitpicked by students with designer mats and fancy clothes, Yoga to the People works on a donation basis, welcoming anyone who wanders into one of its three studios.
Its not just because its cheap, YTTP founder Greg Gumucio says, explaining the studios success. Thats definitely an element, but its also because theres a sense of community. We get a lot of students, artists, actors, dancers -- those with creative juices who really dont have the money to pay.
On YTTPs website, the suggested donation is $10, and after a class, students place their donations in a tissue box near the exit.
Gumucio, who previously owned eight traditional yoga studios, decided to try the donation-based model four years ago while teaching a class in New Yorks Midtown Manhattan. He asked people to pay what they could, and within three weeks, he had to turn away students.
A few months later, he opened Yoga to the People in a studio apartment in a walk-up building in New Yorks achingly trendy East Village.