Over the years I’ve struggled with how inaccessible yoga has become in the West.
The fact that yoga has become associated with modern fashion and trends means that it has also become expensive and elitist in its current form. The result of this is that the ancient practice of yoga has become a luxury rather than an approachable and everyday way of life. Sadly, the ideals of body shape and colouful skin-tight outfits have become the focus, rather than the betterment of oneself physically, emotionally and spiritually through dedicated practice.
Jessica Dewar Yoga is moving away from this restrictive paradigm to one where the practice of yoga is shared openly with the community and where budget, age or level of experience are not a barriers to entry.
The Jessica Dewar Yoga studio will become Melbourne’s first Free yoga studio. Following a 100% donation-based model to sustain the studio and teachers, students will have the opportunity to come and pay whatever they feel the class is worth to them.
By implementing this model, we are giving the power back to the community and it’s up to them to tell us what they consider is the appropriate fee to pay. This approach not only ensures the classes are available to anyone but it also guarantees that all our classes are providing the best possible experience for our students.
I have seen the profound benefits a consistent yoga practice can have on ones life not only in my own life but in the students I have had the privilege of teaching. The practice cultivates happier and healthier lives and by sharing such a beautiful gift we trust that the community of students will support the studio by donating what they can if it offers real value to them.
I think the fundamental difference in our approach is that it’s people that drive us, not money. At Jessica Dewar Yoga we are determined and passionate to create a phenomenal community that gives back to each and every person who would like to be a part of it.
Returning to Mysore, India each year to maintain my personal practice with my teacher, I’ve become very clear about the type of space and community I want to cultivate back home in Melbourne. In India, yoga is hot, sweaty and unforgiving. The practice is tough, but it’s real. It’s not about what you wear, where you’re from or what you do for a living. It’s an even playing field; we’re all simply yoga students. Yoga is not a luxury for the few, it is a way of life for all. My goal is to create a space that cultivates this same attitude. Where people can feel completely safe to be themselves without fear of judgment. We don’t care what people wear. We are not concerned what people do for a living or what the contents of their wallet is. What we care about is health. Supporting people as individuals to live happier, healthier and more relaxed lives and in turn creating a thriving and giving community.
The new studio will be operating under the new Donation Based model as of September 1st 2016. For more information go to Jessica Dewar Yoga Studio.