What is Donation Based Yoga?
We believe that a regular yoga practice should be accessible and affordable to everyone, which is why we offer a wide range of drop-in classes on a donation basis. Our classes are taught by skilled, professional, and committed teachers in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. We ask for a donation in exchange for high-quality yoga instruction and invite students to pay what they can afford, while acknowledging the value of what they are receiving. Let karma be your guide!
We offer drop-in classes at affordable rates, with no membership necessary. We ask for donations on a sliding scale and ask students to pay what they can afford on that scale. The suggested donation is $10-15, with a minimum of $5. Credit/debit card facilities are available.
Asheville Yoga Donation Studio is conveniently located on the north side of town, minutes from downtown Asheville and the 240 freeway, at the intersection of Chestnut and Liberty Streets (one block east of Trader Joe’s). The main Asheville Yoga Center was at this location until 2011, when it moved one block south to the new studio at 211 S. Liberty St.
Take exit 5a off of 240, go North on Merrimon Ave./HWY 25. At the first main light, E. Chestnut St., go right. Go one block. We are on the right at the corner of E. Chestnut St. and S. Liberty St.
We have plenty of free, safe street parking. Please park on Chestnut and Liberty streets and in the gravel lot across from the main AYC studio (behind BoJangles). Please do not park in the other Liberty Street business spots.
The studio has a 1100 square foot yoga room with natural light, soothing colors, a floating wood floor system, high ceilings, a sound-absorbing wall and ceiling system, and gentle lighting.
Mats and props (blankets, blocks, straps) are provided, although owning your own mat is strongly recommended. We sell a large variety at our main studio, 211 S. Liberty St.
There is a water fountain, which provides filtered water, and cubbies for storage of your personal items during class. Although we do our best to ensure the security of our premises, we do not recommend that you bring valuables or large amounts of money to class.
Our Two Locations
Just to be clear…
211 refers to 211 S. Liberty St. This is our newer location and we refer to it as the Mothership. These are the same classes as always with your favorite teachers at a brand new, state-of-the-art yoga studio.
239 refers to 239 S. Liberty St. where we offer donation based yoga classes. As of January 1, 2012 these are all new classes in our old location. We refer to 239 as the Donation Studio.
Both of these locations are on the same street between E. Chestnut and Orange Streets, walking distance apart, literally five doors down from each other.
What Else is Different Between the Two Locations?
The Donation Studio is a more straightforward version of the Mothership location at 211. It is a lean and mean yoga machine! Classes at 239 are drop-in only. No memberships or class-series are available there.
At 211, you will find information and registration for our many workshops, teacher trainings, and yoga events. Front desk staff are on hand all the time at 211, for any questions you may have. Retail items – yoga clothes, mats, props, books and DVDs, are all available at 211. There is a full schedule of weekend classes at 211, while 239 has fewer weekend classes, in order to make room for our teacher trainings and workshops.
Our classes are taught by skilled, professional, and committed teachers in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. Many of the teachers teach at both our locations.
Is this Free Yoga?
Even though we have offered no-cost yoga to the community since 1997, we’ve never advertised ‘free yoga’. We’ve always viewed offering yoga as an exchange of energies. There is more meaning and value that way, on both sides of the exchange. Most people pay money, but some pay with their time by becoming a worker member and helping out in some way. Ask your teacher how you can get involved. We can always use help keeping the place clean and checking people in for class. We have occasional work days, join our newsletter to stay in the loop.
We do encourage you to examine your priorities when it comes to paying for class. Is there something in your life you could give up that not only would save you money but would increase your health? Are you currently paying for any sugar, caffeine, alcohol or distractions you could give up? We want to support you in greater health and well-being. We also want to make our service sustainable. The cool thing is the more yoga you do, the more you want to take care of yourself. Please don’t let financial concerns get in the way of a regular practice. Come get your yoga on!
Where Do the Donations Go?
We pay rent and feed our families with what comes in. Half of the money goes toward overhead for the studio. The other half goes to the teacher. We believe in paying our teachers and not asking them to volunteer. We believe this creates a higher level of commitment on the teacher’s part and a higher quality experience for all. Everything comes back to the ever-unfolding exchange of energy. Sunny and Stephanie Keach, the owners of the Asheville Yoga Center, are offering the space in service; they don’t receive any of the money coming in for donation classes, it all goes back to the teachers and overhead for the studio.
Are All the Classes Donation Based?
Our two studio locations are both parts of Asheville Yoga Center, however they are run differently. Only the Donation Studio at 239 S. Liberty offers donation based classes, priced on a sliding scale.
Can I Use My Class Series at the Donation Studio?
In order to keep overheads to a minimum at the Donation Studio, we don’t have a computerized check-in system, nor check-in staff, only the teacher. Classes are on a drop-in only basis. Discounted class series can only be used at the main 211 studio.
Is this Asheville Community Yoga?
No. The Asheville Community Yoga Center in Woodfin started in 2010, and is often referred to as the ‘free yoga’ center. We are the original Asheville Yoga Center located in Asheville. While the director and many of their teachers graduated from our teacher training, we did not start, nor do we operate, Asheville Community Yoga. We are the Asheville Yoga Center and have been since 1997. We share a similar name and similar mission and we are aware there is confusion between the two organizations. We wholeheartedly support the offering of more yoga for all. You can find out more about Asheville Community Yoga at ashevillecommunityyoga.com