Just B Yoga is honored to be included in a website-directory of businesses across the U.S. and Canada which use alternative economic models (free, work exchange, barter, donation, pay-it-forward).
The site, Pay What Online Guide, is vibrant and rich with businesses off all kinds across the country.
There’s restaurants like Panera Cares Cafe in Dearborn. There’s even a socially-aware theatre company, The Hub Theatre, in Boston.
Please check out this site. Send in new organizations and businesses that you learn of. And PLEASE visit these places in your travels.
When we started Just B Yoga eight years ago it was rare to find entire business models based on alternative or conscious commerce models. You did well enough to find a free yoga class now and again or one being held as a fundraiser (bring a can of beans).
It is wonderful to see the growth and expansion of consumers set the price across different industries and businesses. From the arts to food to alternative health we are seeing commitment and resilience across the country. That’s a commitment to serving and valuing on a personal and conscious level. We are meeting people where they are. We are not setting a dollar amount as a barrier to what we have to give and for many it’s our life work and our purpose on earth.
These models of exchange offer us profound opportunities to grow spiritually and morally:
- * We get an opportunity to assign worth and value within our lives. What amount of healthy and whole food can I afford in my budget? What types of food would I buy if money were not a factor? What is that next meal worth to me? What is it worth to others? How does observing a community exchange food freely with one another affect how much value we place on it?
- * We get to often interact more closely with those creating the service or the product. When’s the last time you saw the farmer who grew the vegetables in the salad you are eating right now? How often have you helped clean the mats at your yoga studio as an exchange for class and what conversations did you get to have with the teachers?
- * We get to re-define what a “deal” is. The capitalist society makes a “deal” something that’s stolen or taking advantage or exploiting of others. We can remove the zero-sum attitude from our exchanges.
- * We get to see each other thrive. When your pay-what-you-can business starts to do well, you get to see your own impact. You get to feel the free-flow exchange that created healthy community that is co-reliant and interdependent.
As a yogi, all of these effects are yoga yamas and niyamas in action.
Ahimsa – non-harming
Asteya – non-stealing
Satya – truthfulness
Aparigraha – non-hoarding
Brahmacharya – abstaining
Saucha – purity/cleanliness
Tapas – discipline
Santosha – contentment
Svadyaya – study
Isvara pranidana – honoring something greater than ourselves
Our practices, whether you call it religion or yoga or anything else, are born and grow in the soil of our actions, words and intentions. The results of those practices are seen in what we put our minds and attention to.
I hope you will consider continuing to participate in more pay-what-you-can businesses and join this evolution.