By Sanchali Singh
Numi Yoga founder Kelsey Starr said the yoga studio has raised about $2,000 through donations based yoga classes in their first year of business.
The studio, which is based in College Park, Maryland, holds classes every Friday morning at 9 a.m. in support of different charities. The Numi Gives project began in October when the organization dedicated all Friday class funds to the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief.
For the month of November, the yoga studio is donating all proceeds to CASA de Maryland, an organization that works “to create a more just society by building power and improving the quality of life in low-income immigrant communities,” according to their website.
Starr said Numi always had classes where all proceeds were donated to a charity.
“During my yoga teacher training, I worked at studios that always had some sort of offering once a month or every week or multiple classes a week that were [donation-based] and went to something beyond the studio,” she said. “I think that’s just in my culture of yoga.”
In the beginning, donations were made to charities the yoga teachers were passionate about. Jocelyn, a yoga teacher at Numi, spearheaded a Planned Parenthood program in the studio’s first months.
Starr said the charities are decided based on current events. Because the studio opened around Thanksgiving, Numi decided to support Crossroads Community Food Network as a “seasonal offering.”
Starr said she wanted a more structured program to raise money, which is why each month now is dedicated to a specific charity.
Even if you don’t have money to donate for the class, Starr said you can still attend.
“I would love for yoga to be as accessible as possible. We offer yoga at a price point that pays our teachers and pays our rent, but not everyone has that kind of extra income. So the donation level allows people to pay something or use their [Numi] pass,” Starr said. “I guess I wanted it to be donation instead of a free way in so that there’s just some sort of shared value. It’s like ‘We’re doing something for someone else together.’”
Numi is dedicated to creating a community space in their location. Local groups in the area can rent the space to do their own fundraising. Starr said students from the business school have held yoga classes in the past to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
Leah Colleluori, a recent graduate from this university, volunteers in the work study program for Numi and gets free yoga classes in return for her hours.
“It’s good for everyone to come together as a community to out help those of lesser fortune,” Colleluori said. “I think it’s a nice event that they put on that they definitely don’t have to do but they do care about the community.”
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sanchali Singh.
Sanchali is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.