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Yoga Co-op offers classes for little to no money

Fort Collins local, Stan Oakland, meditates patiently before the start of a Monday morning yoga class at Om Ananda Yoga. Om Ananda Yoga is one of several yoga venues in Fort Collins that offers donation-based yoga classes in addition to their regular schedule. (Photo credit: Madison Brandt)
Fort Collins local, Stan Oakland, meditates patiently before the start of a Monday morning yoga class at Om Ananda Yoga. Om Ananda Yoga is one of several yoga venues in Fort Collins that offers donation-based yoga classes in addition to their regular schedule. (Photo credit: Madison Brandt)

The Fort Collins Yoga Co-op provides yoga classes paid through optional donations to anyone in the community no matter what age, income level or physical ability.

Created in 2010 by Jackie Stuben, and now maintained by Daniel Younglove and Laramie Kinney, the Fort Collins Yoga Co-op is an online knowledge base designed to connect people with certified yoga teachers and venues within the community that offer weekly donation-based classes.

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“The goal is to keep the yoga practice authentic instead of making it a business,” Younglove said when explaining the inspiration for creating this co-op. Younglove said yoga is an activity that allows him to function better throughout his day and he wants others to experience the same functional benefits yoga can offer.

Younglove said he hopes that over time, the co-op can grow with more venues, more teachers and more students, creating a large community that is peacefully minded, balanced and lighthearted.

There are several local venues in Fort Collins and Laporte that offer donation-based classes, including the Space at Fusion Health Center and Essential Bliss Yoga and Wellness Center. The suggested donation for each class ranges from 5 to 15 dollars, and it runs on an honor system.

Kinney started practicing yoga at Ashram in Eldorado Springs 20 years ago when she realized she needed to make a change in her life.

“I found yoga as a fix all,” Kinney said. “Emotionally, it balanced me. Physically, it strengthened me. Energetically, it freed me, and spiritually, it opened my heart.”

Kelsey Leppek, a recent Colorado State University graduate in pottery, attends Kinney’s Monday night class every week.

According to Leppek, yoga allows her to center herself at the end of a busy day and reconnect her mind and body so that she feels balanced.

“I think the appeal to the college population is that the yoga co-op is extremely affordable — basically free,” Leppek said. “The more you do it, the more you are going to want to contribute.”

Leppek said she believes the yoga co-op allows Colorado State University students to become more connected with the Fort Collins community.

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According to the yoga co-op website,“There will be no correct clothes … no glorified teachers, no ego, no script, no pedestals, no you’re not good enough or rich enough, this yoga is for everyone … This power is for everyone, yoga to the people.”

To find class times and locations each week, visit the Yoga Coop webpage or like them on Facebook.

Collegian reporter Madison Brandt can be reached at news@collegian.com and on Twitter @Mademia_93

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