group of yogis practicing on the beach. All are in tree pose with arms reaching toward the sky. The ocean is in the background

Guide to Donation-Based Yoga in San Diego

San Diego is home to a wide variety of yoga experiences including some unique donation-based classes that will help you build community and increase your own health & wellness. Keep reading for an overview of donation-based classes in San Diego from some of San Diego Yoga News’ favorite teachers!

All of these classes are beginner-friendly, so don’t hesitate to grab a friend and dive into a new donation-based yoga experience.

Heather Gjerde with Vintantra

Why she offers donation-based yoga: “A donation-based class with Namasteve in Pacific Beach was my first regular weekly class when I moved to San Diego. It helped me in so many ways and eventually led me to my first yoga teacher training. I now feel humbled to also teach a sunset class there in the same spot and to be able to offer yoga to community members regardless of whether they can donate or not.

I find yoga studios can be intimidating and quite expensive especially if you’re new to yoga and just trying to explore if it’s for you. Plus, you can’t beat that view of the ocean at sunset, San Diego’s best yoga studio if you ask me!”

woman standing in yoga pose holding toes of one outstretched foot with hand. backdrop is the ocean

Class Schedule: Sunset Vinyasa Flow Mondays from 4-5pm (over winter until the time changes). There are also other teachers there through Thursday and we post our class information to IG @PbSunsetYoga.

Suggested Donation Amount: $5 – $20

Stay in Touch: Follow Heather on IG at @vintantra or visit her website at www.vintantra.com

NOTE: Heather is currently on maternity leave and will resume teaching at a later date

Amelia Chang, DPT, ERYT | Doctor of Physical Therapy & Yoga Teacher

Why she offers donation-based yoga: A doctor of physical therapy and yoga teacher. She teaches alignment based therapeutic yoga and healthy back classes with Yoga Wall classes in San Diego. “I started offering online donation-based programs during the COVID Pandemic in 2020 when studios were closed. I wanted to offer a resource     

where we can come together to ease the stress of pandemic life. The Saturday 9 AM PST slow flow yoga~ ONLINE still continues to the present. Join our class from the comfort of your home. Use a pillow, necktie, or books for props. Children & pets are welcome to join.”

Class Schedule: Saturday 9:00am | Online

Suggested Donation Amount: $10 – $15 (Zelle or Venmo)

Stay in Touch: Follow Amelia on IG at @ameliachang_ptyoga or                                                                             visit her website at www.ameliacantorchang.com 

Courtney Ford with Spirit Yoga Studios

Why they offer donation-based yoga: Spirit Yoga Studios considers themselves San Diego’s community yoga studio, located in Pacific Beach on Garnet Ave. Spirit offers a variety of classes, workshops and training, each one unique to that teacher’s style. Spirit’s “Studio Mascot dog, Armani, was adopted from the streets of Tijuana. The donation-based classes at Spirit benefit the Mission Bay Puppy Rescue so they can continue to offer pups a second chance at a great life.”

 Class Schedule: man and woman sitting with dog. dog is licking woman's face

  • Wednesday 3:30-4:30pm
  • Saturday 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Sunday 4:30-5:30pm

Suggested Donation Amount: $10

Stay in Touch: Follow Spirit Yoga Studios on IG at @spirityogastudios. You can contact Courtney directly at courtney@spirityogastudios.com

KennAsanas | Registered Yoga Teacher 200 (hour)

Why they offer donation-based yoga: “Yoga can be expensive! Joining a yoga studio as a new yogi can feel daunting and not ‘worth’ it if you’re still dipping your toes into learning what a practice looks like. I offe

donation-based classes to make yoga accessible and less intimidating to burgeoning yogis (I also love to have seasoned yoga lovers join us as well!) I come to each class I lead with compassion & empathy. I aim to create a space where students feel they have space to thrive. I am passionate about curating classes for all levels and have an affinity for guiding beginners into the limbs of yoga, and leaving them inspired by the life altering magic it offers.”

woman sitting on yoga mat in a cross legged position holding hands together in prayer in front of heart. Mat is sitting on grass. Backdrop is the ocean

Class Schedule: Classes are typically on Sunday’s on Hospitality Point. Times vary. Check my IG for upcoming class info!

Suggested Donation Amount: $10 – any amount | Venmo

Stay in Touch: Follow Kenna on IG at @kennasanas  

Deborah Melino-Wender | Practitioner of Yoga for Over 10 Years

Why they offer donation-based yoga: “I would like to make my yoga class available to anyone who has an interest in finding their own yoga path. I was initially drawn to the power of physical practice but soon learned that it is the power of the breath that draws me back to the mat over and over again.”

Class Schedule: All classes are at Pantoja Park at the intersection of G Street and Columbia

Monday 5:30pm; Wednesday 8:30 am; Wednesday 5:30pm

Suggested Donation Amount: $5-$15 or whatever works for the student

Stay in Touch: Follow Deborah on IG at @lildeb43

Yoga One | Enhancing the Well-Being of San Diegans & Visitors Since 2002

Why they offer donation-based yoga: “We never want finances to prevent people from experiencing the joys and benefits of yoga.”

group of people standing together

Class Schedule: Wednesdays, 6:45pm in studio. More classes to come!

Suggested Donation Amount: Classes are complimentary. No donation is required.

Stay in Touch: Follow Yoga One on IG at @yogaonesandiego or visit their website at www.YogaOneSanDiego.com

Tenika “Nik” Pouncie | Founder of Joy Yoga & Freelance Teacher

Why she offers donation-based yoga: “In my early days of learning yoga it came from free, community based sources. I appreciated that as I couldn’t afford studio classes and my body was in pain from many years of professional dance..the practice also helped me with…anxiety and depression. When I started [offering and] selling out training, I was offered a scholarship at an ashram-like program. That type of training and…education instilled that yoga is truly free for all and those that teach it are doing it because it’s needed, not for money.

“I teach Jivan Hatha Yoga, vinyasa flow, slow flow, gentle yoga, meditation and pranayama. I also teach dance and yoga blended workshops for healing, personal and community integration. I have a degree in special education and in dance education. I have been teaching movement modalities for twenty years.” woman sitting in crossed legged pose with hands in prayer in front of heart

Class Schedule:

  • Wednesday nights- Hatha Flow all levels 7:30-8:30pm
  • Every Friday night (except the first Friday of the month) – Earth Dance (yoga/African/modern dance flow) 7:30-8:30pm at Rawmana (4237 Balboa Ave. San Diego, CA 92117)

Suggested Donation Amount: $10 to $35, none will be turned away

Stay in Touch: Follow Nik on IG at @_joyyoga or DM for questions

Liz Myers | Founder of Rooted Living Wellness

Why she offers donation-based yoga: “We all need more support, clarity and transformative experiences these days for a lighter way of being. I believe in equal opportunities for all. I use sound healing with my voice, hapi drum and a variety of percussion instruments to encourage positive transformations through meditative experiences.”

Class Schedule: 3rd Wednesday evening of every month from 6:30-7:15pm over zoom.

Suggested Donation Amount: $10 to $20

Stay in Touch: Follow Liz on IG at @rootedlivingwellness or visit her website www.rootedlivingwellness.com

Dr. Lara Bullock | San Diego-Based Yoga Teacher

Why she offers donation-based yoga: “I decided to offer donation-based classes because I do not want money to be the reason someone does not practice yoga! I just want to share the practice with as many curious newbies and practiced veterans as possible! All are welcome! 

I began practicing yoga because it was challenging physically, but I continue to practice because it is a continual journey toward peace and acceptance, a constant when things get tough, and has brought amazing people into my life. I teach yoga because I want to share that with others! My classes are ashtanga-inspired and all-levels, beginner to advanced.”

Class Schedule:  In-Person at Mission Bay: Sat 10am

IGLive: Tuesday 6:00pm-7:00pm, Friday 6:00am-7:00am, Sun 6:30pm-7:30pm

Suggested Donation Amount: $15 to $20

Stay in Touch: Follow Dr. Lara on IG at @malaslala_yoga or visit her website www.malaslalayoga.com

If you are a teacher or studio that offers donation-based pricing and don’t see yourself on this list, please reach out to us at hello@sandiegoyoganews.com!

We look forward to hearing from you so we can improve our offerings.

Visit us on IG @sandiego_yoganews