Dear Bread and Yoga Community,
As we approach the end of 2020 our intention is to move forward in a direction that is more than ever in line with the mission and vision I had when I first opened the Inwood studio back in 2009, while also addressing the glaring inequities we face in the wellness industry today.
Worker cooperatives are owned by their workers (in this case our teachers), governed by their workers in a democratic process, and are operated for the benefit of their workers and the community they serve. The purpose of a cooperative is to realize the economic, cultural and social needs of its members and its surrounding community.
As a coop our aim is to foster a wellness community based upon a foundation of social justice, equity, and liberation. A community awake to the notion that “love” is based in action, and that access to wellness is a human right.
So how does our transition to Co-op affect you?
The transition will happen slowly over the next few months and we hope it will affect you in really good ways. For now we want to start by addressing a couple of big decisions:
We want to acknowledge that the last few months might have deeply affected your finances and potentially your ability to maintain your yoga practice. Some of us are just trying to make rent. We get it.
This is what it looks like to us to be in close relationship with our community and to move towards a practice of cooperative economics.
One of the hardest decisions we had to make as we evaluate our next steps has been to let go of our Harlem studio. We only had a few months and a lot of plans for the work we wanted to do in Harlem. It’s been heartbreaking to make this decision but with COVID regulations and all the unknowns of the next few months it felt necessary to let go of that expense and really focus on creating a more sustainable model. We will continue to serve our Harlem community through our online offerings and look forward to reconnecting with some community organizations we had partnered with for programming, including free classes at St. Nicholas Park.
We are continuously working in the background to make sure this will be a smooth and positive transition. In the months to come you will be hearing more from the teachers and less from me. We will be sharing more information, making necessary changes and reaching out to you directly about how you might want to participate in making this new vision happen.
The most important thing we ask is that you stick around and continue to come to classes. This is an exciting time for us and we would love for you to be a part of it.
Marcela Xavier and the B&Y Coop