While sifting through clothes at beacon’s closet or grabbing a beer and a brat at Spritzenhaus, you may have seen a procession of yoga-pantsed Greenpointers heading in and out of the unassuming grey door on the corner of Nassau and Guernsey.
A closer look at 55 Nassau will lead you to Hosh Yoga, a Greenpoint nonprofit made possible by a team of 60 volunteers and instructors, which provides donation-based classes with a mission of health and wellness as a right to life, not a luxury.
Started in 2009 as a small yoga group in McCarren Park, Hosh’s school programs, senior classes, and studio instruction now reach over 3,000 people every month, with the studio attendees’ donations going toward education, training, and community outreach. “When people come to our studio, they truly practice making a difference for the community…that needs it most and can afford it least,” notes Henry Cross, Executive Director.
“Greenpoint’s diversity of people and cultures make it possible for community organizations like ours to thrive,” Cross continued. With over a dozen different types of classes being offered this week alone, Hosh instructors and volunteers further dedicate time outside of the studio to serving local schools and senior centers. “I would ask everyone [here], ‘how are you an example of the community you wish to live in?’” said Cross.
You may have seen or participated in the donation-based yoga on the rooftop during Greenpointer’s summer market last year, or in McCarren Park, or in classes at P.S. 34 and the local senior center. Their efforts extend across Brooklyn, for people of all ages, abilities, and incomes.
Since their 501©(3) was registered almost seven years ago, Hosh has continued to grow in their outreach. Their new teacher training, partially funded with the support of Councilman Antonio Reynoso, provides 10 tuition-free placements for those aged 18-22, plus ten $1200 placements for those over 22. This training provides yoga education and certification under the tutelage of a world-class facility, for a steeply lowered cost.
Of the new program, Cross noted, “for Hosh, it’s all about actualizing our mission and vision by taking a hard look at the financial realities of people…Feeling healthy and happy is all good talk, but if people don’t have the financial means for self-work and living a fit life, then how effective are we?”
Cross and his peers at Hosh hope to democratize yoga teacher training in addition to yoga classes, and impress on the yoga community that even education is a luxury for many. Applicants 18 and up can apply for Hosh’s 200 hour yoga teacher training, find a schedule of upcoming classes, or learn more about Hosh’s mission at hoshyoga.org.