Although she moved to Carson City nine months ago, Allison Reitz wanted to get familiarized with the local community by giving back.
But in her definition, giving back meant providing locals a creative place to try a new hobby while on a budget.
With that, she launched an organization in November by offering one of today’s more popular hobbies: yoga.
“My mission is to break the barrier for people who want to try it,” she said. “A lot of people are going to yoga classes. It’s expensive and people have to commit to a budget. It also feels a little exclusive at a studio sometimes.”
Now as one of Carson City’s newest entrepreneurs, Reitz is offering Community Yogi, where local instructors, businesses, and venues offer space for one-hour yoga classes, inviting all levels of experience.
Reitz hails from Columbia, Ill., and instructed at Carson City’s Yoga Sol. She was inspired to start her organization after offering sessions at Comma Coffee.
“It’s about hosting yoga and meditation in creative local places,” she said. “It’s a yoga studio without a home and it’s free, but there are suggested prices.”
She calls it “Prana Pay,” for choosing your own price. In Sanskirt, Prana means “life force.”
Currently, Reitz employs nine instructors — including herself — with four classes offered in Carson City.
The suggested price is $12 but Reitz said she offers it for free to relieve pressure for newcomers.
But regular attendees aren’t required to pay $12, either. They can pay $7 or even $15, if they wanted. Or, if they’re sticking to a strict budget, they’re welcome to attend class for free as much as they want.
However, Reitz said 80 percent of gathered revenue goes toward the community yoga instructors, and 20 percent is reserved for more rental spaces, future classes, and to support the organization.
But what if a member chooses not to pay at all every time they attend?
With a shrug, Reitz said that’s exactly why her organization exists.
“Some just can’t afford it,” she said. “It’s more of a transformational feel of yoga. While dollars help keep our instructors, it’s our way of giving back to the community.”
Community Yogi also expanded to Reno. According to Reitz, many of the venues there and in Carson City donated space for the organization.
There are four classes offered in Carson City, such as Candlelight Yin Yoga held at Luv N Light Studio every Tuesday at 7 p.m., inside of Sierra Acupuncture & Healing Arts on Division Street.
On Sunday mornings at 9 a.m., Comma Coffee reserves the shop for basic community yoga, with free coffee after class.
Locals can even get their dosage of yoga at Lunchtime Yoga, held every Thursday at noon inside of Adams Hub for Innovation on Proctor Street.
The Patchwork Giraffe on East John Street also is a supporter by opening the space for a Restorative Workshop, held every first Saturday of the month at 5:30 p.m.
Upcoming venues include the Brewery Arts Center.
Reitz also attends the Carson City chapter of Entrepreneurs Assembly, held the second Wednesday of each month at Adams Hub, to gain guidance on how to enhance her organization. She gives credit to the chapter who helped her further develop Community Yogi.
“It’s great they do the marching orders,” she said. “It encourages you to come back every month to make progress.”
Community Yogi is launching a new class 11 a.m. Saturday at the Reno Buddhist Center, “Sound Healing for Prosperity.”
For interested Carson City locals, the once-a-month “Stitching into Stillness” session is also Saturday at the Patchwork Giraffe, at 5:30 p.m.
Discover a schedule of events in both cities through Community Yogi’s Facebook page, facebook.com/communityogi.share.