Top Ten Green Initiatives for Greedy Yoga Studios. ~ Mark Kreloff

Via Mark Kreloff
on Jun 3, 2011
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THE CRANKY YOGI ~ By Mark Kreloff


We’ve all stayed at a motel or hotel that has reminded us that being a “greener” guest is as easy as reusing a towel:

As a businessman, I completely understand that this move by hotel management is a classic “win-win-win” or “triple bottom line.”  The consumer wins because they feel good about having the option to be less wasteful.  The hotel wins because they are spending less money to wash linens and towels.  And finally, our environment wins (I guess so) because the hotel is using less energy and potentially harmful detergents. What makes this a dream scenario for a business person is that the consumer is making a tacit decision to be a good citizen without making any effort to do so. In fact, you kind of have to be a big fat-cat-jerk to call the front desk and whine about how you need new towels everyday for the three days you are bunking up so you can attend some fancy yoga workshop near the Philadelphia airport.

Greenwashing our Yoga Mats.

But what happens when the consumer doesn’t have a choice in the matter?  Is the “green initiative” still a “triple bottom line”?  On a recent visit to my yoga studio, I saw this sign:

It seems that the management of my yoga studio decided it would be okay to continue to charge me $124 per month and remove a key benefit of my “Auto Pay” membership.  Mat rentals are $2.00 per class, so a typical week of four classes will now cost me $8.00 per week or $32.00 extra per month. Obviously, we can all buy / bring my own mats—in which case I and other students will need to wash our own mats (no “green” savings for Mother Earth, here). Effectively, my yoga studio jammed me with a 26% increase in price without ever asking me whether I would be annoyed by this move. Somehow, this is justifiable because it is part of a “Green Initiative.”

Give me a break. The only thing “green” about this benefit removal is the additional cash flow that will be collected from the thousands of students that now have to pay for something that was once part of their “membership.” I salute you managers and owners of my yoga studio. You have gotten away with some sneaky business.

May I suggest Ten (other) ways you can fatten your bottom line in the name of being green?:


1.) As part of our green initiative, toilet paper will no longer be supplied.  Please feel free to use the hand towel hanging on the empty toilet paper dispenser.

2.) As part of our green initiative, classes will now be 10 minutes long.

3.) As part of our green initiative, we encourage you to stay home and teach yourself yoga.

4.) As part of our green initiative, students will not be admitted to class unless they have purchased their yoga attire from our studio.

5.) As part of our green initiative, students arriving to the studio in cars that utilize fossil fuels must pay a $16 per class surcharge.

6.) As part of our green initiative, classes will be taught in the dark.

7.) As part of our green initiative, our Bikram classes will be taught at room temperature.

8.) As part of our green initiative, our Costa Rica teacher training getaway will be taught in our parking lot.

9.) As part of our green initiative, students must purchase our locally-sourced drinking water at $3.00 per bottle.

10.) As part of our green initiative, all graduates of teacher training will be required to teach at our studio for life without pay.


About Mark Kreloff

Mark Kreloff is an entrepreneur in Boulder, Colorado. He started his yoga practice 10 years ago with a “donation only” class in Santa Monica taught by Bryan Kest. To this day, it was the best class he has ever taken in his life.


11 Responses to “Top Ten Green Initiatives for Greedy Yoga Studios. ~ Mark Kreloff”

  1. Nitai Gauranga says:

    Love it…..Finally someone calls the bluff on the green scam in the yoga scene!!

  2. meditatinmonkey says:

    Canceling the Costa Rica Retreats sure would be greener. Living there I was astounded how much of the local resource get used up to create "comfort" for visiting Yogis… Like Water in Nosara, during the dry season to water plants at "Harmony" hotel.
    That's not Ahimsa.

    But why would you want to use the studio mats anyways?

  3. Shira says:

    Just bring and wash your own yoga mat and skip the whining part.

  4. NotSoSure says:

    I share your suspicion about the motives behind the "no more free mat use" policy. But is it possible that that the policy is in whole or in part an honest attempt at using less resources? Community mats should be washed regularly, if not after every use. That's a lot of water and detergent so people can use mats for free. Could it be that what really pissed you off is that the studio and the "environment" benefits from the policy but you do not?

  5. yogiclarebear says:

    ooh #6 sounds intriguing!

  6. sacredsourceyoga says:

    Laughed out loud at this. Maybe present an alternative? Pretty simple solution: around here (DC), students spray down rental mats (or their own if they choose) with an alcohol based eco-friendly-ish spray (in refillable bottles) and use a clean tiny washcloth to wipe off the wetness and grime. The tiny washcloths get washed. Mats don't and should not be put through the wash after every class. — But agreed that there is greenwashing within the yoga studio set and some satya (truthfulness) is in order. New bamboo floors from home depot make you feel eco-conscious? Who made them, where did they come from? Who was paid what? How did they get here? What adhesive was used? What about the floor that's underneath the new stuff right now? What about reclaimed wood? What about the source of the products you are selling in the studio boutique? Ask the hard questions. Explore all the solutions.

  7. Not The Buddha says:

    Another fantastic, witty, sharp set of observations from you, Mark! I love all your articles! Thanks for your humor and wit.

  8. I hear you're in negotiations with CBS for the TV series. ("Mark Kreloff IS the Cranky Yogi.")

    Welcome back.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Bob W. Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
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  9. Posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  10. Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  11. Michelle Marchildon says:

    I love this. Thank you. As part of my green initiative, I am only going to buy Louis Vuitton bags, because they are almost entirely green and have no animal products, AND I can spend nearly $2,000 on them.