Drop-In Yoga Is Now Donation-Only At Transcend Wellness and Yoga

Transcend Yoga and Wellness | Photo via Facebook

Transcend Yoga and Wellness | Photo via Facebook

It’s not often you hear of a yoga studio—or any business, for that matter—permanently lowering their prices, but Chadds Ford’s Transcend Wellness and Yoga has done just that: In September, the studio stopped charging a flat $18 fee for drop-in yoga and starting putting out a money jar where folks drop in what they can for a class. They call it “the sacred offering,” and the suggested donation is $10 per class, but if you only have $5, they’ll take it—they figure you’ll get them back later.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a studio offer donation-only yoga classes; Donation-only yoga collective Philly Yoga Factory popped up earlier this year. But it is the first we’ve heard of a studio switching over to a donation-based payment model. So, why?

“We just feel that yoga is so important for everyone to be practicing, but it has become this process that’s very expensive, and not everyone can do it,” studio co-owner Kelly Kuder explains. “We would have students come in who loved practicing yoga, but couldn’t afford to practice regularly, so we had this ah-ha moment where we thought, Wouldn’t it be really cool and a great way to give back to our community if we made drop-in classes donation-only?” Now, they see students who used to come in once a month coming in once or twice a week.

And if you’re thinking, That’s sweet and all, but a donation jar sounds like a pretty shoddy business model, get this: The studio, which has been open since 2012, hasn’t seen a dip in sales, as some might expect. In fact, this November’s numbers were higher than last year’s. Students seem to get that donation-only yoga doesn’t mean free yoga, and the studio can’t continue to offer donation-only yoga if they aren’t getting donations. “Obviously, we do have to pay the bills and pay our teachers. So, I think knowing that has kept people honest,” Kuder says.

“The sacred offering” option applies to all of the studio’s classes, including aerial yoga (!!) and acroyoga (the only hitch is you can’t pre-register for a class if you’re dropping in—for the planners amongst us, they do offer class packages that allow you to pre-register at $13 bucks a class), and it doesn’t look like it will be ending anytime soon. “We gave ourselves a six-month trial period, but we intend on keeping this,” Kuder says. “Anybody should be able to come in and sit on the mat to practice and meditate. We don’t want to leave anyone out of that.” Hear, hear.

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