There are many benefits why people gravitate towards a yoga practice. Yoga helps strengthen the body and mind, builds community, find one’s authentic self and even reframes one’s thought process on how they should approach life. The benefits are endless and should be experienced by everyone!

In Seattle, there are yoga studios in every neighborhood. Some studios have even participated in donation based classes where a percentage of the proceeds benefit a local non-profit. Street Yoga and Yoga Behind Bars work with organizations and hold charitable donation classes regularly. Yoga for charity is a new way to give back while taking part in a yoga practice. What we gain is not only the physical practice, but a philanthropic practice as well.

One example of a studio organizing a major charitable event is Be Luminous Yoga’s (BLY) annual Friday Night Yoga Party (FNYP). Once a year, BLY takes their FNYP benefit class outdoors to South Lake Union Park. This year they chose The Deaf and Blind Service Center (DBSC) as their benefactor. DBSC is a non-profit organization founded in Seattle that provides and arranges services for the Deaf and Blind community of King County.

Kevin Payne, an avid yogi at Be Luminous Yoga, has been on the board serving as Treasurer for three years. When Kevin became a part of DBSC, he noticed the mindfulness that was required while speaking and listening in the DBSC meetings hand how closely it tied to the clarity him and others seek in a yoga practice.

A special part of Be Luminous Yoga’s 2016 FNYP event is the ASL interpretation provided by Jeff Wildenstein as the class is for all levels and abilities. Michel Eubank Spruance, owner of Be Luminous Yoga, and Vanessa Payne lead the FNYP classes. This once a year event is meant to bring ALL people together, even if that means just sitting and breathing. The greatest purpose of the annual FNYP event is bringing the Seattle yoga community together so that people can be present with one another.

Yoga is a powerful practice and is not easily accessible to everyone due to cost and availability. Creating opportunities for people to access yoga where they are is a philanthropic practice that we can all get on board for. Below are some ways you can share your yoga practice and help the less fortunate or reach students who normally do not have access to a yoga practice.

Yoga for Charity Ideas

  1. Create a weekly and time-limited yoga event. Summers in Seattle are the best time for outdoor yoga classes. It takes no overhead to find outdoor space and the funds raised can go towards your favorite non-profit. Find a park, community center, or even your apartment complex rooftop to share your yoga. Setup the event on Facebook or Meetup to promote your class. Teachers usually request a $5-20 donation per student.
  2. Partner with a yoga studio that you’re currently working with to host a donation based class and advertise it on Seattle Yoga News. Research your favorite non-profits and when you promote the classes, make sure you explain the organization’s missions and what population your attendees will be helping.
  3. Contact Street Yoga and get involved with their donation based classes. Street Yoga partners on donation based classes through their “Studio of the Month” campaign.
  4. Give back to your community by offering low-cost or free yoga classes. Street Yoga and Yoga Behind Bars provide formal training to work with populations they directly partner with. You can also take that training and find opportunities at the organizations and institutions right in your neighborhood! Reach out to a senior home, K-12 school, after-school centers and share your knowledge of yoga to others!
[Photo by Elsie Escobar | CC BY]


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