A Word from the Chief Yogini: Giving Tuesday and the Honor Yoga Foundation
Chief Yogini, Maria Turco speaks passionately on giving back to communities through the Honor Yoga Foundation.
One of the interesting challenges about being an entrepreneur and a yogini is that I have two goals that sometimes contradict each other: I want to be successful and, at the same time, I want to help not just people, but communities. The reality is that there is a secret demographic recipe to creating a successful yoga studio and, unfortunately, it means that yoga studios don’t go into neighborhoods that are, in many ways, under-served.
Franchise locations are not sustainable in less privileged communities and I don’t feel good about that. Our studies have to be sustainable in order to help people, but we also want to reach people who for many reasons can’t afford to take a yoga class or who don’t live in these communities. To resolve this issue, we created two programs – The Honor Yoga Foundation and the Energy Exchange Program — that allow us to welcome everyone into our community.
The Honor Yoga Foundation helps us put meditation and yoga into underserved school districts and communities by adopting a bit of a Robin Hood mentality. If you purchase an All-Inclusive Passport, five dollars of your membership goes to the foundation and Honor Yoga matches that. You can also donate to the foundation by sharing Honor Yoga posts on social media, buying a “Breathe” magnet, or you can make a direct donation.
Your donation, for example, will help us serve the residents of Anchor House, which works with abused, homeless, runaway, at risk and aging out youth in Mercer county and throughout New Jersey. We work with other organizations and families, as well, including Millhill Youth Programs. If you are associated with a community non-profit, your organization can submit applications to get grants from the Honor Yoga Foundation.
Bringing it into the studio, we have an Energy Exchange program, which allows students or people who are otherwise financially challenged to take classes in exchange for doing work in our studios.
Yoga shouldn’t just stay on the mat. It is a way of life, and we hope you will consider, on Giving Tuesday, to share your way of life with others, which is part of our Honor Yoga practice. To learn more about the Foundation, click on the link.