Hello everyone,

We are excited to announce a new payment option that replaces the $15 drop-in. We think it will be an appealing alternative for a number of our students.

For individual classes, we are shifting to a pay-what-you-can system. This means that people can determine an amount to pay for a class based on what they can afford and what the class is worth to them.

10- and 15-class packages will continue to be available for those of you who find it convenient to purchase classes ahead of time. As of this writing, we will no longer offer any 6-class blocks.

At the beginning of October, we will likely consolidate our payment options further, but we want to see how things progress before deciding what changes to make. As part of this process, we welcome your input.

Whatever additional changes we make, you can be certain that we’re committed to this new donation option, and we will also continue to offer packages of 10 and 15 classes.

Effective, Now

If you’d like to pay for class by donation, you can start doing it now, or at any point going forward. You can purchase a class this way whether you attend Solaluna on a frequent or infrequent basis.

Teachers and staff have begun announcing the change during classes. This email is a chance to get the word out to more people and give a fuller explanation of our reasons for doing this.

The Main Reason

At the most basic level, we see this as a more effective way to support and express some of our most basic values.

In particular, we want our classes to be accessible, regardless of people’s financial circumstances. We also want to see Solaluna thrive financially, and we believe that this system offers the best way to accomplish both of these objectives. Here are a few factors that we see as essential to succeeding with this:

First, there are yoga studios and other businesses that have prospered using a donation-based payment structure. We’ve studied several of them and have utilized elements from different systems with the basic intent to create a structure that works here for Oberlin and the surrounding area.

Second, we have a solid and loyal community of people who support Solaluna, who appear to be receptive to the intent of this change. As we’ve communicated our plans to staff, teachers and students, the response has been enthusiastic and encouraging.

Finally, for this to work well, it’s essential that people have a framework for choosing what amount to pay. We have a clear process in place for this.

The main reason for a framework is to communicate the needs of all parties in the exchange. The framework defines the conditions that will allow students, teachers and the studio to mutually benefit.

Our structure for determining what to give is simple and flexible. It balances the needs of students and teachers. It involves three basic pieces of information:

  1. Consider what you can afford.

  2. Consider the value of the class to you.

  3. Consider the teacher’s time and energy.

If what you can afford is a determining factor, give more weight to that in making your decision. If the affordability of the class is less an issue or not an issue, give more weight to the other factors.

More Awareness

One of the main reasons we are enthusiastic about making this change is that it invites awareness into a monetary exchange. It moves away from buying a thing as a commodity and toward mindfulness of the exchange as a relationship.

This supports the possibility that paying for a yoga class can itself be an aware act, a kind of yoga.

Now for the Nuts and Bolts

When you attend a class, if you choose to utilize the donation option, you can write a “P” to the left of your name on the class sign-in sheet at the desk. This just lets us be clear with who is using a class block and who is doing a donation.

There is one donation box located at the desk and another in the southeast corner of the big studio. Your donation may be placed in either of these boxes. No one but you will know what you pay unless you write a check or audibly count your money before depositing it into the box.

That’s all there is to it!

One final note: in addition to classes, we will be extending the Pay What You Can option to workshops and intensives. What’s involved for those events is a bit different compared with classes, and we’ll be rolling that out soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the new system, don’t hesitate to contact us.