While Burlington is covered in a white blanket of snow, 15 or so men, women and teenagers stomp their Blundstone boots on the colorful mats and enter through a cold blocking black felt curtain into the comforting entrance room of Sangha Studio – North.
A donation of 10-15 dollars is standard for each class, but Sangha does not turn anyone away.
In Sanskrit, one of the languages of yoga, the word Sangha means “community”. Sangha Studio is Burlington’s first non-profit donation based yoga studio and aims to serve the community by providing affordable yoga. Sangha also partners with over 20 organizations, offering yoga classes and traveling to people from the King Street Center to the Lund Center, a resource for young mothers. These programs serve people who do not typically access the healing qualities of yoga.
Caitlin Pascucci founded Sangha Studio in 2014 after teaching yoga in the greater Burlington area. Wanting the same quality of yoga but without the high price tags of many local studios, Pascucci opened up the North Winooski location offering ten dollar classes.
“[The price] felt so restricting,” Pascucci said.
Sangha didn’t start out as a non profit, however, through a sponsorship yoga studio Sangha was able to take the risk and jump into the system they have now.
Burlington High School junior Lucy Kraus-Cuddy is a member at Sangha studio and practices multiple times a week.
“I really appreciate the vibe and energy that Sangha provides,” Kraus-Cuddy said. “It feels very welcoming and comforting.”
As high school students, we are just trying to figure out ourselves and where we fit. Pascucci believes that yoga is a great resource for helping with that.
“In high school, it is a beautiful time to figure yourself out and at sangha that’s really what we want from people, for you to be you and to feel comfortable and confident being you whatever that means,” Pascucci said.
Kraus-Cuddy also believes that Sangha is the perfect fit for young people starting off in yoga.
“You can start off at any level and it is very affordable and accessible,” Kraus-Cuddy said
Sangha studio recently opened up a third location in South Burlington at the Blue Mall.