One of the best parts about visiting the Bay Area is the abundance of high-quality yoga studios and teachers. On my recent trip to Berkeley, I Googled “yoga studios in my area” and found several in walking distance. One studio particularly stood out: Yoga to the People.
Yoga to the People caught my eye for various reasons. First, I liked how the name feels inclusive. It also gives off a sense of going back-to-basics: yoga is for people, period. I also appreciated that they have class on average every two hours from 7am-9pm which fits almost anyone’s schedule. The thing that surprised me the most is that every class is donation based with a suggested $10 donation per student – much less than an average studio’s price.
During my week in Berkeley I attended three classes at Yoga to the People’s Vinyasa Studio. Every class I attended was full. One time I arrived just a few minutes before class started and found it was already full. To my surprise they were able to accommodate everyone by taking the 15 overflow students and an extra teacher to another classroom located at their hot vinyasa studio a few blocks away.
I found their teachers to have consistent teaching styles that allowed the student to completely relax and find both rest and strength on the mat. The classes are not broken down into style or ability; instead every class is for everyone. Before attending Yoga to the People I read their mantra and thought it might be a little idealistic. However, after attending their classes I found it to be a very accurate representation of their space, teachers, and students.
Yoga to the People’s mantra:
There will be no correct clothes
There will be no proper payment
There will be no right answers
No glorified teachers
No ego, no script, no pedestals
No you’re not good enough or rich enough
This yoga is for everyone
This sweating and breathing and becoming
This knowing glowing feeling
Is for the big, small, weak, and strong
Able and crazy
Brothers, sisters, grandmothers
The mighty and meek
Bones that creak
Those that seek
This power is for everyone
ALL BODIES RISE!
Ultimately, Yoga to the People is a yoga community supported and sustained because gratitude for the practice. What a refreshing reminder to us all. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Yoga to the People and am happy to see they also have a studio on the East Coast in New York City.