A new community of yogis is growing in Mashpee, and anyone can join for a discounted price.
Five local yoga studios, each offering different styles of classes, have collaborated to establish a Mashpee Yoga Pass. For $75, buyers can exercise upside down with aerial yoga at Heels Over Head Yoga Studio; combine yoga and chiropractic care at Harmony Network Chiropractic and Yoga; pose on a stand up paddle board with Peace Love SUP yoga classes; stretch on the sand with Yoga on the Beach; or practice more traditional yoga and meditation with Innerglow Yoga, inside the studio or under the sun.
“It’s important for the community to view all of us as a strong partnership,” said Michelle R. Itzkowitz, the owner of Innerglow Yoga. “We’re supportive, not competitive.”
The yoga pass was the brainchild of Ms. Itzkowitz and Nancy J. Curran, the owner of Yoga on the Beach, who started a similar program at the second location of her business in Key West, Florida, 2-1/2 years ago.
“It’s really to expand the concept of well-being and community and collaboration throughout the whole town,” Ms. Curran said. “I absolutely feel that Mashpee has a really strong community.”
Ms. Curran emphasized a principle of yoga is to ‘yoke’ or unite those who practice it, promoting the idea that individuals are not alone—and therefore, encouraging collaboration over competition.
“When anyone takes a yoga class with me, they feel welcome to go out to other places rather than feel that they are bound to me...I would never want that,” Ms. Curran said.
Furthermore, the practice of yoga is based on holistic health and the concept of a community built with love, kindness, compassion and being like-minded, Ms. Itzkowitz explained; these values have guided the owners of the five partner businesses in their personal and professional lives, extending beyond the creation of the yoga pass.
“We run our businesses the same way and we run our lives the same way,” she said. “We follow the yoga path.”
Innerglow Yoga instructors, along with many others, Ms. Itzkowitz said, are guided by the Sanskrit word “seva,” or “to give back.”
Ms. Itzkowitz herself practices seva by teaching classes through Yoga Neighborhood, a local organization that offers donation-based yoga classes on Cape Cod, and encouraging her instructors at Innerglow to volunteer their services to community members who might not otherwise have access to yoga. Her studio has formed a Falmouth Road Race team with Mashpee TV and Heroes in Transition called Team HIT, and is fundraising for Heroes in Transition by donating the proceeds of specific yoga classes to the organization.
The yoga pass, too, gives back to residents and visitors by inviting them to explore different types of yoga, as well as making a healthy and relaxing activity more accessible.
Throughout an interview in the retail section of the Innerglow studio, Ms. Itzkowitz paused several times to chat with customers and passersby. Even conversations stemming from articles of clothing for sale veered from professional to personal, ultimately ending in smiles and laughter.
“I always wanted that kind of place where people would feel comfortable, but that would also give back to the community,” she said of her business.
By collaborating with four like-minded business owners, she has found yet another way to do so.
The Mashpee Yoga Pass can be purchased for $75 at any of the five business locations or online at www.mashpeeyogapass.com for $78.50 (includes $3.50 convenience fee). One Peace Love SUP class uses two classes on the yoga pass, but all other classes use one.