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At the center of everything that we do at Philly Yoga Factory is one ideal: Yoga is for everyone; any time; any place; any circumstance.

Philly Yoga Factory started three years ago as Philadelphia’s first entirely donation-based collective of yoga teachers. Through the generosity of our friend, Hot Yoga Philadelphia (formerly known as Bikram Yoga Philadelphia), in sharing their space, PYF is able to offer a full schedule of donation-based studio classes to Philadelphia’s yoga community.

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PYF Instructor, Stephanie Carlos

PYF has strived since day 1 to increase the accessibility of yoga to everyone, regardless of financial constraints. We believe yoga improves the lives of individuals, and thereby improves communities.

So how does this all work? How does PYF sustain itself entirely on donations? How does the ship stay afloat? In short, thanks to you. At PYF we are building a community. PYF is not the teachers; it is not the classes we offer or the space that we offer them in. PYF is the students, the teachers, the energy, the mission in motion, the whole community. It takes the continued support of our community to sustain PYF, to keep the ship afloat. As our founder, Justine Bacon, has said “Offering donation-based yoga allows yoga to be accessible to everyone, regardless of financial restraints…The other point is this: How we go about our ‘on the mat’ practice is both a reflection and a translation of our life practice. When any of us are asked to make a donation for something, it summons us to consider what its value is to us. Our model allows yogis to practice Satya (truthfulness) and Asteya (non-stealing) as a part of their ‘off the mat’ practice.”

This point is key to our survival. We rely on our students’ and our community’s honest appraisal of what the value of this service is to them, and their honest contribution of that amount in kind.

So how is “donation-based” or “pay what you can” yoga different than “free yoga”? At PYF we are trying to make sure no one gets priced-out of a chance to improve their lives. But put quite simply, if all or a majority of our students, regardless of their circumstances, treated our “pay what you can” classes as “free” classes, we would be robbed of the chance to offer this service.

It takes the support and honest contributions of our community to make sure this service remains available to everyone. Paying what you can, even if that amount is small, is a gesture of support for our mission and it is also a gesture of appreciation and gratitude to your teacher, whose education is not free and whose time is not value-less.

Malea

Board member, administrative master-mind, yoga instructor, barer of beautiful hair and smile, Malea…who you are likely to see around the studio.

Your donations mean so much more than the face value of the bills you throw in our donation jar. Your donation is a vote of support for our mission. Your donation is a sign of respect for your teacher and for the ancient practices they carefully study and share everyday. Your donation says: I believe that yoga has helped or served me. I believe that yoga can help someone else, or provide a necessary service to someone else. I want it to help someone else. I want to help someone else.

So how can you help keep the ship afloat? There’s so much you can do! There are so many ways to stand with us and to show that you too believe yoga is for everyone!

You can come to class! Your presence builds our community.

You can donate to your teacher! If you get something out of class and you are able, making a donation according to your means is a much-appreciated gesture of gratitude. Not only do your donations compensate your teacher, but extra donations we receive above and beyond the amount needed to compensate your teacher help to fund our outreach classes which bring yoga and mindfulness teachings to underserved communities in our very own city. Our Take it to the Streets programs offer classes at community centers in neighborhoods with limited or no access to yoga, to spread the love around.

If you’re into commitment, you can make us your BAE studio and purchase a membership! If you come to class all the time and you’d prefer to pay in blocks, you can now buy a PYF membership or class card to make dropping in for class easier. Benefits of membership include discounted drop-ins at our partner-studio/roomie’s classes, Hot Yoga Philadelphia, and discounted rates at workshops!

You can donate on the website! Any day, any time, any reason you want to—if you want to show us some love and support for our mission, you can gift any amount on the website. We are a 501c3 organization and your donations are tax deductible. If you need a receipt for tax purposes, just let us know!

You can become a PYF Partner! If you are down with the PYF mission and have a little bit of extra money to spare each month (even just a couple bills!) you can make your donation through the website recurring and engage with our mission by showing your continued support month to month.

You can spread the word as an ambassador for YOGA FOR E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. Tell your friends about PYF! Bring a friend to class! Rep us on social media or by wearing our garb!

We think what we do is pretty cool and pretty important, and we want to share it with as many people as possible. As a member of our community, we’d love your help in spreading the love! As the proverb says…

 Help thy brother’s boat across and lo! thine own has reached the shore.

 We love you guys. Meet you on the mat soon!

<3 PYF

katy

Author, Katy Kopnitsky is a Board Member and Teacher at PYF.

 

You can catch Katy in class every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7:15 am for UP Flow, and every Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm for Weekend Wind Down.

OR join Katy for a special equinox practice on September 21st.

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