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Federal government employees on furlough due to the government shutdown have several options for affordable yoga until Congress comes to an agreement. Several studios in the Washington, D.C. area are offering discounted or free classes to government workers to help them manage this stressful time and give them a break financially.
“You need your practice the most during tough times, and it’s one of the first things that’s going to slide,” says Past Tense Yoga Studio owner Kelly DiNardo. “If we can do something to encourage and keep our students keep coming regularly, then we’re serving out students in the best possible way.” During the shutdown, students with a government ID can attend classes for $10, instead of the normal rate of $15. Willow Street Yoga Center is also offering classes for $10 during the shutdown.
Other DC studios are extending free classes during the shutdown, and not just to those workers who are directly affected, but to anyone who needs it.
“It’s not just the government employees that feel the burden of the furlough,” says Courtney Greenwald, a yoga teacher at Off Road Indoor Cycling. “It affects everyone in the community.” A drop-in yoga class at Off Road is normally $20, but for the duration of the shutdown, everyone will be welcomed at no cost to either of the facilities two weekly yoga classes, both led by Greenwald.
It’s still uncertain when things will go back to normal in Washington. While many are in a holding pattern as the politicians hash it out, the intention is that spending some time on the yoga mat will help workers find a few moments of calm and feel the support of the local yoga community, too.
“My hope is that Congress can send people back to work soon because not everybody can afford to be out of work for that long,” DiNardo says. “When push comes to shove there are a lot of people who need the jobs, the paychecks, and the government services.”