Yoga Pod Boulder co-owners, Gerry and Nicole Wienholt, are partnering with members of the Boulder community to spark positive change and healing. Over the course of the next year their studio will be providing over 600 single-use day passes, week passes and unlimited monthly passes to three Boulder nonprofit organizations.
The passes are being distributed between Attention Homes, which supports youth facing homelessness; Mother House, which provides a safe space for pregnant women in need; and Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, SPAN, a human rights organization that aims to end all violence against adults and youth.
The passes will allow for both the staff and the communities at each organization to attend a variety of free yoga classes. With clients at each nonprofit navigating unpredictable, high-stress seasons of life, the staff at Yoga Pod aims to provide a place of peace for each person.
“Our hope is that they get hooked and it changes their life, as we know that it can if you go in with the right intention,” Nicole shares.
The new “Community Give Back Scholarship Fund” has grown from a seed planted almost three years ago. One of the members at Gerry and Nicole’s studio came forward hoping to purchase a year-long membership for a person in need. Wanting to stay anonymous, the member donated the $1,000 and it was then given to a student who was in the midst of a personal hardship.
The same donor came forward the following year hoping to provide another membership for someone else. In addition to donating another year-long membership, the member said that friends of theirs would also like to donate. All insisting on staying anonymous, they encouraged Gerry and Nicole to formalize the donations into a scholarship fund.
Curious about the impact this could have on the community, Gerry and Nicole agreed. However, they decided that whatever was donated to Yoga Pod Boulder, they would match, and that instead of picking only a handful of people to receive yearly memberships, they would create passes to provide to local nonprofits.
Gerry spoke on their decision to disburse the memberships, saying, “It is a better way to spread out the blessing of the donations.”
Gerry and Nicole recently announced the scholarship idea to members and staff in their dual-taught Saturday morning class, and immediately the room roared with applause.
“That’s the community that’s here to welcome them,” Nicole said.
Even with hundreds of yoga passes being distributed, each person can expect to be met at the studio with open arms. The studio is rooted in five core values; breathe first, cultivate discipline, honor nature, create community and do the right thing. The couple wants to practice what they preach, bring life to these core values and bring light to spaces in the community that need it.
The two admit that they were not truly aware of what was going on behind the scenes of their community — which is likely true for many others in the area. They were amazed when one of Yoga Pod’s students shared with them that she was thrilled that they were giving back to SafeHouse, as it had helped her through hardship years ago.
The ripple effect of the Scholarship Give Back program is hoped to be endless. Not only does it involve the anonymous donors and Gerry and Nicole, it also involves the students at Yoga Pod Boulder.
“Students who perhaps can’t give back to the community in financial ways or have a business to invite people into, can instead give back by bringing support to those from the nonprofits, by loving more, by not being judgmental and changing hearts,” Nicole shares.
With the scholarship fund coming to life, the co-owners hope that the only hiccup they run into is that one day they will need more organizations to give back to due to the overwhelming love and support. Both Gerry and Nicole have an outpouring of gratitude for the anonymous donor who sparked such positive change and share that they really don’t ever want to see it end.
“Ignore the scarcity mentality and embrace the abundance mentality,” Gerry says.
By ignoring the scarcity mentality, Gerry and Nicole say that everyone can give back as a community by realizing there is more than enough to go around. In this case, that there is more than enough yoga to go around.
Although the goal of the scholarships are to give back to people in the immediate community of Boulder, Gerry and Nicole hope that this Give Back Fund can inspire people in other cities, states, businesses and studios to reach out into their own communities and simply, “give, give, give” in the words of Nicole.
Gerry and Nicole said that even if one person from Attention Homes, Mother House or SPAN experiences the impact that yoga can have on one’s body, heart and mind, that it will be more than worth it. The Community Give Back Scholarship Fund has dug its roots in Boulder and Gerry, Nicole and the community at Yoga Pod are eager to witness its growth.
Learn more about Yoga Pod Boulder: www.yogapod.com/boulder