Charity Part of Moksha Yoga Studios’ Philosophy

By Kim Hughes 1/22/10 |

Yoga’s positive impact on the body and mind is well documented. But a clever charitable initiative run by the Moksha Yoga studios across North America and beyond is proving positive for the world at large.

Each week, Moksha studios hold so-called ‘Karma Classes’ which are by donation with various charities benefiting from the proceeds. More than just a feel-good effort, the classes are a key component of the Moksha philosophy; indeed Moksha studio directors must pledge to hold Karma Classes to enter the fold.

“The inspiration behind it is to give back to our communities, to support the charitable work going on in areas that matter to ourselves and our students, and to make yoga accessible to all by offering a reduced price class,” says Jennifer Taillefer, studio director at Moksha Yoga Danforth in Toronto.

There, one-hour Friday evening Karma Classes (pay-what-you-can with a minimum $5 donation) are positioned as a good way for newbies to test the proverbial waters of Moksha’s trademark hot yoga. By contrast, a regular drop-in class costs $17.

And it adds up fast. Taillefer says Moksha Danforth has donated $15,000 to various charities in the past two-and-a-half-years. A different charity is selected each month, “in order to create a mix of local and global efforts, and to touch on all major areas of charitable efforts – children, disaster relief, critical illness research, animals, the environment,” says Taillefer.

“Often charities are brought to my attention by the students and teachers at the studio, and I am always happy to support those efforts that matter to the people in our studio community.  I also do research on each suggestion to make sure I am satisfied that the funds will be used for the purpose intended.”

Taillefer describes client reaction to the Karma Class concept as “very positive."

“We put a poster up each week announcing that month’s charity and people do read it and ask questions.  Also the charity is profiled in our monthly newsletter along with their web address and we do get a substantial number of click-throughs so I would hope even more money or even time is being donated in that way.”

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