We are thrilled to announce two new classes– one meditation, one yoga– on Monday evenings that are donation-based. All proceeds from these classes will go to local non-profit organizations.

The yoga class will be from 5:30-6:30 PM. Instruction for this class will be shared among Solaluna teachers and will rotate. Each instructor will lead the class for a few weeks and then another instructor will take a turn. Eric will be teaching the class on April 14 and 21.

The meditation class, which will cover mindfulness and metta (lovingkindness) will be from 8:30-9:30 PM and will be led by Aidan Plank.

For the first few weeks at least, donations will go to the Oberlin Underground Railroad Society

On Giving

With a donation-based class, people are often unsure and sometimes uncomfortable about what’s an appropriate amount to give, so I’d like to mention a few things about our interest in donation classes and offer some guidelines for figuring out an amount that works for you.

A donation-based class can broaden accessibility to a practice such as yoga, so long as people are clear that there are no conditions or expectations about donating.

It does not matter to us what anyone pays to attend these classes, even if that amount is nothing. We welcome everyone who wants to learn and participate.

If you are interested in attending a donation class but are unsure of an amount to give, the following two questions can be helpful in gaining clarity. It’s a good idea to consider these questions when you have some space and don’t feel rushed.

The first question is, what can you afford?

If you assess this and determine that you can afford a particular amount, and any amount greater would strain your finances, go with this amount, whether that is zero dollars, .50 cents, $4.00, $12.00, or some other amount. So long as you feel comfortable with this amount, that’s the one to give. You may not need to consider the second question.

If you make this first assessment and find that what you can afford doesn’t bring you to a specific amount, proceed to the second part.

The second question is, how much is the class worth to you?

This is meant to help someone who feels less bound by a set number and needs to clarify a span of possible donations.

If you are asking what the class is worth to you, the Solaluna class rates (which range from $8 to $15) may be a helpful reference. Or you may find some other measure that brings your decision to less or more than these amounts.

Whether it is a smaller or larger amount is ok with us. We’ll be happy to see you in class, regardless. We won’t know how much you donate unless you write a check, and that’s up to you. The donation box has a slot on top to deposit donations, so no one else will know either.

I’ll say one more thing about the two questions, which is that it might be easy to assume that the first consideration is for people who have less money and the second is for those who have more. Sometimes this may be the case, but other times not.

I know people who don’t have a lot of money, who are good at managing what they have and inclined toward generosity. A person in this situation will likely find the second criteria helpful in addition to the first.

I’ve also run into people who have a lot of money, who look at financial transactions and make determinations based on a personal scale of what they can afford.

To be clear, I’m not making a judgement about looking at things this way. Rather, the two questions are meant to be a neutral tool for coming to a decision with no expectation or condition placed on a right or best way to settle on an amount.

Because of this, donating can become a practice, a chance for anyone (regardless of how little or how much money they have) to become more aware of their relationship to money.

Someone who makes a practice of donating will likely discover that how they relate to the inquiry changes over time. As with an asana, generosity can become more refined and clear over time.

When generosity is clear, it is an opening to a deeper wealth that is more fundamental than money.

I’m especially excited about these two classes because Solaluna is participating in the cycle of generosity by donating the proceeds, and if these Monday times work out, we’ll add more.

We hope to see you in these and other classes as Spring continues to open and unfold.