Yesterday I attended my first ever Yoga to the People class in the Mission District of San Francisco. YTTP is an incredible organization focused on making the practice of yoga financially affordable and available to people of all ages and backgrounds. They believe in preserving the original ideas and intentions behind the practice and have found creative ways to support their organization by opening up to the Bay area community as a whole. All classes are $10 suggested donation but no one will ever be turned away for lack of funds and they are grateful for whatever you are able to give.
What lives and breathes on the 5th floor of this tiny walk-up is a special sanctuary built with intention and love. Wide-open windows, exposed brick, beautiful hard wood and energy of peace allow you to drop in and open up. Wherever you were or whatever you were doing prior to the class, upon your arrival you are given the space to come in to a place of presence and gratitude for your practice. As the room filled up with more and more bodies, I was shocked at how many people were able to fit into one room. Yet, it worked. We made space; we were more conscientious of our neighbors and remembered that everyone who wanted had a right to be there.
The class itself was a beautiful flow that allowed people to go at their own pace and accommodated all levels of study. I do caution those who are new or beginning yoga that in this class you will not find as much personal attention or support as other smaller classes, though the instructor was always ready to help anyone in need if you just lifted your hand. They say on the website: “This is not ‘gentle yoga’… it is yoga with awareness. We do not encourage pushing, muscling and fighting to get into poses. Rather, we encourage you to explore your own edge mindfully as you grow your practice, strengthen your body, expand your heart and free your mind.” Thus if you are new to yoga and looking to see what it’s about, I recommend letting the instructor know beforehand and always remembering not to push yourself in any postures or moves that feel uncomfortable to your body. This will help you avoid injury and will also help you to stay connected to your breath and the intention of mindfulness that is one of the core values of this practice. There were many times throughout the flows I simply laid down in child’s pose and connected to my breath, all the while still allowing myself to plug in to the energy of the space and those in it.
For anyone in the San Francisco area looking for an affordable and fun way to spark his or her Yoga practice, this is a gift offered from and to your community.
YTTP San Francisco is located at : 2973 16th St., 5th Floor, (16th & Mission), San Francisco, CA 94103
On the Bart: 16th St. Mission stop
Please find their schedule below:
All classes are 60 minutes unless otherwise noted
Monday thru Thursday: 7am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4:30pm, 6pm, 7:30pm, 9pm
Friday: 7am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4:30pm, 6pm, 7:30pm
Saturday: 10am, 12pm (90min), 5pm, 7pm
Sunday: 10am, 12pm (90min), 5pm, 7pm (candle-lit), 8:30pm (candle-lit)
Classes ……………………….. $10 suggested donation
Mat Rental …………………… $2
Water …………………………. $1
Photo Credit: Sara Glazer