Yoga Outside The Studio System

If New York’s studios are the yoga version of the Hollywood movie system, Bill Loundy’sThe Yoke” is the independent alternative.

Loundy, a lifelong student and 2011 teaching alum of Yoga to the People, recognized a growing compound problem in the asana-verse: rising class costs and a lack of opportunities for budding teachers.

“It was extremely jarring when I got my certificate and it was very difficult to find work,” he said. He cited the September 2015 Wall Street Journal article, “Why Everyone is a Yoga Teacher,” which states that the rate of emerging teachers is actually outpacing the number of new yoga students.

“There’s all this unused capacity on the teacher’s side,” he said. “And what I found on the other side is that classes are still so prohibitively expensive, especially in New York City." He pointed out that it is ironic how there are so many teachers who just want to cover their costs and make a decent living, and are willing to get paid so little, so why do classes cost $20?

Seeing the need for an alternative, Loundy acted on an idea that had been brewing for a while.

"I’ve always had in the back of my mind that there needs to be a better mechanism to make use of all these graduating teachers, who have tons of energy and want to share yoga with the world.”

He drew on his media and tech experience in the startup community, and created the The Yoke platform in the spring of 2015. It is both a website and a community for teachers and students with a simple mission: to create a world where “teachers make more and students pa