As a new college graduate, Lauren Fox was working as a yoga teacher back home in Naples and remembers a friend being unable to afford the drop-in fee for a class. Her friend’s mother had recently passed away from cancer and Fox knew she needed the class, so she ended up paying, despite having little money at the time herself. “I just remember thinking, how can people afford yoga when it’s this expensive?” Fox recalls. The experience inspired Fox to found Donation Yoga Naples. The organization holds yoga classes on the beach with participants paying the amount they can afford, typically $10 to $20. “I’ve never turned anybody away,” says Fox. “All I ask is that those people who don’t donate money just clean the beach.”
The organization, which focuses on “seeing peace signs over dollar signs,” also gives back to the community by donating 50 percent of all proceeds to local nonprofits, switching each month between human and animal-focused causes, such as the United Way of Collier County and the Friends of Rookery Bay. Fox hopes to expand the number of teachers and classes, helping more people enjoy yoga.