I have just read an article in The Cut about the yoga studio Yoga to the People in New York City. The article paints Yoga to the People in an extremely negative light. As someone who went to this studio for years. I would like my own say about my experience at Yoga to the People and what I think about this article:
Whoever wrote this article is a big fan of gossiping. My name is Anat Ghelber. I went to Yoga to the People for a long time and became a teacher after attending their classes for many years. I was very young and poor and definitely didn’t have any money to go to yoga. Any other studios in New York City cost a fortune to participate in, based on the research that I did. Oftentimes I didn’t have any money and wasn’t having a good day and was able to take as many classes as I wanted for free at Yoga to the People. Yoga to the People was a safe place for me.
Teacher training has given me tools that I use every day that are making my life easier. I am amazed how people can manipulate situations and words to create drama. I think that this whole Covid-19 situation and the quarantine has made people so bored that they are creating drama out of nothing. I went to this studio on a daily basis and I taught. Maybe there were problems, but there are problems everywhere. Regarding the 25 free classes that students are “required to teach.” That is not true. Teaching these classes is a choice that students can make to enhance their resume. They can also refuse to do so. Think about it kind of like an internship. Social workers, doctors, and other professionals do free internships during their training. Does that mean they’re being used? No, they’re not being used. It’s called gaining experience. These teachers could decide not to teach the free classes and work elsewhere. The problem is that in order to get hired, businesses want people with experience. So, the 25 free classes are a way to gain experience teaching.
I am so offended by the things that are said about Yoga to the People in this article. As I said, it was safe space for me to go to for years and I know the lead trainers very well. They helped me a lot during hard times. I remember one time, when I was very depressed, I came to class and I wanted to leave early because I couldn’t concentrate. The lead trainer, Alena W., stopped me and said, “Please don’t leave. You can stay in Child Pose the whole time and concentrate on your breath.” I left feeling much more at ease and at peace. Yoga to the People has helped me and many other people, and just like Mother Theresa said, “If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.” Yoga to the People did good, anyway. Thank you, Yoga to the People.
Anat Ghelber was born in Israel and moved to Texas when she was 13. She experienced anti-Semitism in public schools there. She moved to New York City when she was 20 and now has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Services and is currently attending NYU Silver School of Social Work.
She started submitting articles to the Jewish Voice in 2016. In her free time she enjoys writing poems, writing in her diary on a daily basis, and hanging out with her best friend, Katrina. She also received a 200 hour certification in teaching yoga from Yoga to the People in New York City.
Her favorite quote is from her mother, “Love isn’t something that can be measured with a spoon.”