It is not uncommon for someone to tell me that I should charge more than $20 for the Daily Bread Yoga retreats. It makes a lot of sense. A mere one hour class at many yoga studios can cost $15. The retreat is 3 hours long and you get much more than a regular yoga class, if I do say so myself. I work hard to prepare a creative, meaningful, thought-provoking, retreat-like 3 hour morning. I have a handout and snacks, for goodness sake!
But, here’s the thing – I think the cost for a yoga class in most places is way too expensive. I could never afford or wrap my head around going to a class more than once a week. But, I need to do yoga more than once a week!
Unfortunately, yoga is like buying organic apples – it aint cheap.
Some things I think really should cost more, like stamps and honey. It is incredible to me that I can put a stamp, costing me a whopping 46 CENTS, on an envelope and it will be delivered within the week to my dear friend across the country. That is ridiculous.
Or honey. I have a hunch that the bee keepers of this land are not the millionaires they ought to be. They stick their hands in and hover their precious faces over a huge swarm of bees, all to provide me with honey for my toast. Are you serious?
But, teaching yoga? I wear pants with an elastic waistband, no socks, and get to lay on the floor for several minutes relaxing my whole body while listening to pretty music? Seriously, it’s not a huge sacrifice for me to teach. I think it is way too healthy and important to be expensive and out of reach for most people. I don’t charge more because I value it so much that I want everyone to be able to come! The $20 is actually just a suggested amount – if you can’t pay that then I especially want you to come and pay $5 if that feels more appropriate. And if you can pay more than $20 and think the yoga retreat is more valuable than that; then, For The Love of God, pay more! When you pay more, that means that someone who can’t afford it can actually show up! That is the potential of real and compassionate community. (Yes, this could start a conversation about affordable health care for everyone…talk amongst yourselves)
I also have chosen to have these retreats in a church fellowship hall. While it is a beautiful space (thank you so much, Philo Presbyterian), it is not a yoga studio. There is no sound system (other than what I lug around), no murals of a lotus flower on the wall, no beautiful lanterns or mood lighting to create that magical yoga glow. We have to set the tables and chairs back up after the retreat is done, to get the space ready for church the next day. This also means that I don’t have to pay for electricity, heat or a.c.. Because the churches are happy to have their space used and people in their building, they allow us to use it rent-free. It’s quite a deal, actually. And then, I don’t have to charge so much to make it work. And then, everyone who needs and want to come can.
So, there’s my logic about the cost of yoga. It is way too important to be expensive.
The next Daily Bread Yoga retreat will be Saturday, February 1st, 9a.m.-noon, in the fellowship hall of the lovely Philo Presbyterian church. I would love for you to come. If you can pay $20 – great. If you can’t, still come and pay what you can. If you can pay more, then by all means, please do! If you have any questions, concerns, good ideas, or funny jokes, I’d love to hear them! I hope to see you on February 1st, if not before.
Peace on your head,