When first setting forth on this extraordinary adventure to co-create a yoga studio that would be 100% funded by class donations, people would always ask the same thing: Can that really work? Our answer was and is always the same: It can definitely work as long as we act together to build a conscious community. And this is what the word Kula actually means, a community or tribe of like hearted people comitted to awakened action.
We have received many questions about how to consciously participate in a donation-funded yoga community. In this spirit, we’d like to take this opportunity to openly communicate and explain to you, our students, how our business model works so that you can contribute mindfully towards the continued surviving & thriving of our sacred space.
Many people have asked if Kula is a nonprofit organization funded by state money, grants, or private donations. The answer to this is no. Kula works just like any other business except for the fact that we invite our students to set their own fair price.
Our business model begins with our community of teachers. Each teacher at the shala has made a monetary investment into the co-op to offer yoga by donation. Our teachers rely 100% on your donations in return for the service they provide.F.A.Q.'s on donation-funded yoga based on questions we've received:
Q: Are the donations pooled each month and shared equally by all the teachers?
A: No. Each teacher receives a percentage of donations received from their students only in classes they have taught.
Q: Can I purchase a package of classes or a monthly unlimited package?
A: Due to the structure of our business model, we do not offer class packages.
Q: Does yoga by donation mean that I don't have to leave a donation if I choose not to?
A: Unfortunately, our landlord isn't down with this one :). We do require that some form of payment is made, which not only supports the business and teachers but also establishes a value for the service received and keeps the channels of giving and receiving open.
Q: Is there a suggested donation or a minimum donation?
A: Our hope is to avoid setting a suggested or minimum donation. We want to open the doors to yoga to all people regardless of financial circumstance. We simply encourage you to leave a fair and reasonable donation based upon your means and the value you place on your teacher's contribution to your practice.
Q: Is it okay to leave nothing one day and leave a larger donation next time?
A: Unfortunately, this is not possible as each teacher is compensated based on the donations for each class they teach.
Q: Isn't the studio funded by the state to offer free yoga?
A: No. We are just like every other business except that we invite you to set your own price.
Q: Should I leave my donation before or after class?
A: Please leave your donation before class when you sign in so that the teacher can remove the donations from the jar before the next class arrives. This will help us avoid confusing which donations go with which class.
Q: Do you take any forms of payment other than cash?
A: Yes, you can make your donation via check or credit card as well.
The essence of yoga is the cultivation of mindfulness. We humbly ask that in this spirit you honor the practice etiquette principles set forth below so that we may each contribute to our community consciously and compassionately.