Community Yogi Founder Allison Reitz on Disrupting Wellness

Allison Reitz wants to help you find balance. The founder of Community Yogi, a transplant from Illinois, knows something about balancing acts. While building her startup, she also works as a composer of films scores and as an on-set sound effects expert. Allison discovered yoga in college in 2011. Her passion for the healing art grew steadily, and when it came time to become a yoga instructor, she went directly to the source. In 2016 she spent a month studying at the Trimurti school, in Dharamsala, India, located at the base of the Himalayas.

Allison joined the instructor team at Carson City’s premier yoga studio, Yoga Sol. She quickly saw that her new mission to introduce others to yoga was limited by her own time and energy. While teaching a community class at Comma Coffee on Sundays, she found her answer.

“I realized that we could host more yoga classes at underutilized commercial spaces.” Community Yogi was born. “It’s a win for the business that hosts the class, because it increases their visibility and foot traffic. And it keeps overhead expenses down which helps us provide classes at an affordable price.”

Central to the Community Yogi concept is a “Choose Your Price” or “Pay What You Want” model, a business model promoted by business influencer Tom Mork. The idea behind this is to ensure that everyone in the community can afford yoga classes. Community Yogi has a suggested price of $12 per class for drop-in sessions. Allison reports that about 2/3 of customers pay the suggested price; the final third split evenly into those paying more and those paying less. She’s noticed that this effect is a bit different for the more expensive class pass, which has a suggested price of $25.

“The majority of the customers pay more, and a lot of them pay $40 because they tell us that it’s worth that,” she reports.

Customers use the Community Yogi app to reserve and pay for their classes. Instructors currently receive 80% of the class revenue.

“We’ve attracted incredible teachers. We’re all discovering different kinds of yoga. The format of Community Yogi makes it easy to explore different yoga modalities,” Allison observes.

Offerings include popular themed classes like Soul Day Sunday, Moon Day Monday and Afternoon Zest. There are an array of healing arts represented in the Community Yogi repertoire, as well. The Brewery Arts Center hosted a sound-healing class, called Gong Immersion. Instructors are encouraged to be creative. There’s even a class at Patchwork Giraffe crafts store in Carson where participants sew their own eye pillows and then put them to use in a meditation class.

Allison is excited about the rapid growth of the company, and knows there are challenges ahead. Ensuring that the semi-virtual company can scale profitably will be the biggest. “We’re part of the sharing economy,”

“I’m looking forward to working with my mentor group,” says Allison. “I came to Adams Hub to take advantage of the Marketing Entrepreneur in Residence office hours on Tuesdays. When Community Yogi really started to take off, they invited me to become a Virtual Incubator member.”

“What Allison has accomplished in a short span of time is amazing,” notes Miya MacKenzie, Chief Professional Officer at Adams Hub. “She has incredible focus and strong follow-through. But very importantly, she is coachable. That’s not always true of entrepreneurs, but it’s essential for their success in incubated startups.”

“We liked her concept so much we decided to bring a Community Yogi class to our incubator and coworking space,” says Adams Hub Community Curator Peggy Wynne Borgman. “Beginning May 4, we’re welcoming Yoga Lunch to The Studio at Adams Hub, from 12 to 1 p.m.”

To learn more about Community Yogi, visit www.communityogi.com. Or sign up now for our Yoga Lunch!