Sliding Scale

paypal buttonIf you want to make a Paypal Love Offering for a past or future class, simply send it to me using my yahoo email:
Suggested Love Offering is $10 for most classes, offer whatever is significant to you. See below for inspiration on that…

Folks are often intrigued and sometimes confused about the notion of “sliding scale” or “donation-based” yoga and bodywork.  Here, I’m providing a bit of information and food for thought to support an ongoing dialogue around these terms and their implications.  I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Why Sliding Scale?

There are a number of reasons why I am committed to making services available on a donation or sliding-scale basis.  Among them are:

  • I believe that everyone has a right to care, to rest, to healing and especially, a right to healing touch.
  • Capitalism alienates and separates us all, and is especially harsh on folks who do not have equal access to its “benefits” by virtue of their perceived or real: sexual orientation; gender identification and presentation; race and ethnicity; class; formal educational background; ability; religious or spiritual heritage; immigration status; place/region of origin; political commitments; and many others.  Therefore, offering healing opportunities that embrace the whole person and that person’s whole and complex reality is an essential part of the analysis.
  • I have invested resources, in amounts that are significant to me, to acquire the skills that I am sharing with my community.  It is therefore of significance and value to me that I be able to consistently and continually support myself while also supporting my community.  I look at it as a cost-sharing or risk-sharing set-up, in which I do not have to shoulder alone the financial implications of being obligated to seek this training in a capitalist context and choosing to offer it back in anti-capitalist ways.
  • It creates greater accountability.  Accepting funds directly from those who benefit is a way of closing the feedback loop and keeping the offering fresh and pertinent, and is one way that community members can send the message that these spaces are of value and should keep going.
  • Implicit in the arrangement is the idea that those who have more will pay more in order that those who have less can have access.  Thus it is important to offer a broad scale with the expectation that some people will come in on the higher end of the scale.

Food for Thought

Questions to ask yourself with respect to sliding scale/donation-based services:

  • Do I have access to employment?
  • Do I own my own home?
  • Do I have access to health care (health insurance, alternative modalities, etc)?
  • Do I have access to healthy food?
  • Do I voluntarily take on non-paid endeavors based on my political or social commitments? (i.e. am I a non-paid laborer for economic justice? Immigration reform? Language Access? Queer liberation? etc.)
  • What do I spend on an average night out? Would I be willing to redirect some or all of that amount to support my own healing and support the work of a local grassroots healing artist?
  • I think I would benefit from yoga and bodywork, but I don’t feel financially able to contribute anything, and that stops me from coming.  Am I able to offer anything else of value to me such that I would feel comfortable accessing this resource? For example, work-trade (come early to set up the space and stay after to help clean up); regular commitment to classes (I commit to consistently showing up and bringing my full self and energy, and will work to try to bring others into the space as well); outreach/promotion; Fresh, local produce; miscellaneous services such as bike or auto maintenance, hair care, pet care, preparation of healthy food, etc.
  • How would my life and my community be impacted if this service were no longer available? What is that worth to me?

More to come…

Click here for more on donation-based healing arts.


2 thoughts on “Sliding Scale

  1. right on dear heart! I agree so deeply… I stumbled upon your website while seeking designs for my first website for my private practice of sacred bodywork. I’m sure you and I have much in common! I’ll look at your site in mored detail I just wanted to respond right here; right now…. Mahalo! All my Aloha,
    Kolea Erin Dinneen:)

  2. Pingback: Liberation: Four Years of Yoga for Queers! | Durham Healing Arts

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