A yoga studio in North Carolina quickly retracted its discount to BIPOC people after gaining attention on social media.
The Franklin Street Yoga Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, advertised a special $11 price for BIPOC students — Black, indigenous and people of color — for one class, a reduced rate from its typical $18 price.
The studio, whose instructors are predominantly White, wrote on its website that the discount was “in recognition of yoga’s origins among people of color.”
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“In recognition of yoga’s origins among people of color, and as a part of our commitment to repairing the under-representation of people of color who are practicing, teaching and running yoga businesses today, we offer $11 classes for BIPOC,” according to a screenshot of the website posted by the popular Libs of TikTok account.
The special pricing has since been removed from the website, but it still showed up in a Wednesday Google search.
Additionally, an Internet Archive snapshot of the website dated from Tuesday shows the offer still stood around midnight Tuesday.
Franklin Street Yoga Center founder Lori Hernandez addressed the controversial pricing in an email to FOX Business Wednesday, saying it stemmed from a 2015 comment by her husband, a veteran wounded in combat, who had contacted her about taking classes at her studio.
“In 2015, my now husband Ivan reached out to me about taking yoga classes at my studio. He was combat wounded, and there was no where for him to do yoga for his recovery,” Hernandez wrote. “He made a comment one day that raised my curiosity. He said why are there not any people of color in your studio or even [the] military?
“I thought about this for a while because I feel yoga is for everybody, and I wanted all people to feel welcome at our studio. I now give discounts to college students, for people 65+, for military, veterans and first responders, BIPOC, basically people from all walks of life.”
Hernandez said she has “had people of all races purchase the BIPOC pass and dropped the special price after “some controversy about the BIPOC pass over the last 24 hours” and consulting “with a former ACLU lawyer.”
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Fox Business’ Tyler O’Neil contributed reporting.