Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Moksha Yoga Energy Exchange Program

Lets face it, yoga classes can be quite expensive. Although I somehow I came to the conclusion that a gym membership or $50-70 was expensive and unreasonable whereas a monthly /ten class pass of $120 seemed plausible. 

Any how the yoga studio I go to is known for its Hot Yoga, it's a chain (maybe franchise) known as Moksha Yoga. 

There are student discounts which bring the cost of the each class to be approximately $15. I don't know about you, but $15 a class is still pretty expensive and can add up pretty quickly if you plan on going several times a week. One option that is available is their Karma classes, proceeds from these classes go to a charity (I believe) and are donation based with a minimum of $7. They also have community classes which are  classes that are discounted since they are taught by novice instructors. 

Regardless, I had four months of summer and wanted to get into a regular routine if practicing yoga. That's when I heard about their Energy Exchange program. In exchange for your time and effort, they provide free unlimited yoga. No, it's not 'too good to be true'. 

I applied online through their website and shortly got a follow up email from their studio manager.

What you're doing is helping to clean the studio for 3 hours a week. So if you think about it with minimum wage being approximately $10/hour in ontario- you need to be practicing 2-3 times a week in order to get the value and worth out of your labour. 

So, what you're doing is cleaning the studio. This ranges from doing laundry, mopping and vacuuming floors of the studio and change room, washing the showers, refilling cleaning solutions and etc (these tasks being the extent of the duties). 

The three hours can feel somewhat lengthy, so choose a timeslot that fits our schedule. There are many 4-7, and 7-10pm shifts however I don't know much about the day shifts. 

Anyways being a part of this program did indeed have its perks with few 'cons':

•For those germaphobes out there it can help put your mind at ease, as you become part of the cleaning process. You know exactly how frequently the studio is cleaned and exactly what is being done! It's un likely you'll want to slack off seeing as it affects you directly if you're practicing there. 

•No one wants to do free work, as such you want to get your "work's worth (as opposed to money's worth)"! It literally forces you to enforce your practice, and to train and get stronger ("work out" as I would say). There were so many times where I didn't feel like going, but I literally hauled my butt over to the studio because I felt that I had an obligation to myself. Why else had I cleaned for 3 hours? Personally I did end up going between 2-4 times every week this summer and I am soo glad that I did!

•Lastly, it's free unlimited yoga!! The best reason of all!

Side notes: It's pretty interesting, cause its not exactly a volunteer position , people who participate in this program are referred to as "trades" and each shift as "trading". 

I was also super fortunate to live just under 5 minutes away from the studio and thus it was extremely convenient to go so frequently. 

This type of arrangement is definitely an interesting model for the company itself. 
They are able to maintain a clean tidy environment with nearly no additional labour costs. I'd be interested to see now much they were 'losing out on' by providing these classes. What percentage of people attending those classes on a weekly basis are actually traders who aren't contributing to the revenue generated by each class? This program really does motivate individuals to grow as they become more dedicated to the practice, I actually talked to one yogi who went on to become a yoga teacher after having spent months as a dedicated trade. 

All in all, this arrangement was really only just for the summer; with summer vacation coming to an end I am really dreading not being able to go as regular as I was. Not only will it be expensive but as a university student I also have much less time to spare. 

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