To make this next evolutionary advancement in the field of yoga, it’s imperative that we create and share resources to create more accessibility and equity in the field.
The idea that yoga in the West is primarily for white, affluent, flexible women is a trope of this powerful method for peace and wellbeing being commercialized in recent decades. Yoga Unify is committed to serving both the yoga professional and yoga student, regardless of background or experience. We do this so we may culturally advance the practice so it may become widespread while ensuring the best quality transmission of the teachings, record of the tradition, and evolution of how we share.
Investing in the community allows us to steward systemic change so that we all may pivot during this time of great transformation. We can cultivate a community that embraces all in the practice of yoga, innovates new ways of sharing, and tends to the roots of the practice. Building this will not only have the lasting impact of expanding the reach of yoga’s benefits for all, but will support the community in navigating these changes.
Yoga Unify has committed to channeling the majority of revenue beyond administrative expenses to this mission.*
2021 / 2022 Yoga Unify Inaugural Strategic Initiative for Community Investment
In the spirit of service and with a sense of profound urgency, Yoga Unify (YU) is excited to announce our Inaugural Annual Community Initiative.
What is YU Community Investment?
Pillars & Values:
- Community Cultivation and Support
- Educational Opportunity
- Rapid Industry Transformation
Annually, YU will invest the majority of revenue above expenses in the yoga community to support any projects that serve the mission to preserve the tradition and steward the forward evolution of yoga. The majority of these funds are put toward a specific strategic initiative identified by the member-led Council on Community Investment.
Financial Support: Grants and Scholarships
Grants and scholarships are available to any YU Qualified Yoga Educator or School, or member Organization or Studio. Scholarships are also available to Student and Teacher in Training members.
2021-2022 Strategic Initiative: Targeted Focus for Immediate Impact
1. EQUITY: Because of the mass dislocation caused within the yoga industry, YU can help raise the profile of underrepresented, underresourced, and underserved teachers and lineages who have been largely kept out of the mainstream yoga industry for various reasons, the least of which being white supremacist undertones, whether intentional or not. We are committed to building equity in the field of yoga through supporting underrepresented and underserved teachers or teachers in training i.e. BIPOC, LGBTQI+, differently-abled, bigger body type, and other underserved and underrepresented persons in the yoga community through providing scholarships and grant opportunities.
2. STRESS & TRAUMA: Address the pandemic-related wave of trauma, stress, and mental health issues through bolstering organizations and teachers that are in service to impacted communities, and are working toward alleviating trauma, addressing mental health issues, and developing resilience through yoga.
- YU is committing to advance training yoga practitioners and yoga teachers in underserved and under-represented communities to study to become YU qualified teachers and/or to continue their career growth and training as a yoga teacher to advance their level of YU Qualification.
- To support Equity & Inclusion training for YU provisionally** qualified teachers lacking that area of knowledge and skill.
- STRESS & TRAUMA:
- To support trauma awareness training for YU provisionally** qualified teachers lacking that area of knowledge and skill.
- Trauma Informed yoga training for existing teachers with YU Qualification.
**the qualification bridge process recognizes that not all teachers have been taught about cultural appropriation, accessibility, diversity and inclusion, or trauma awareness. These teachers are being qualified with a provisional status and 6 months to get that training. We are offering scholarships.
- Provide financial support to teachers and organizations in support of proposals submitted focused on building equity in their operational model, business, studio and/or teaching pool, and training teachers in new and underserved or underrepresented communities.
- Supporting underrepresented teachers in navigating the challenges taking place in the yoga industry further illuminated by the pandemic (online access, exposure of their offerings, training opportunities and/or incorporating their expertise into teacher training programs)
- STRESS & TRAUMA:
- Provide financial support to teachers and organizations undertaking yogic practices (asana, meditation, pranayama) for the purpose of bringing emotional and behavioral healing, stress mitigation, tools for resilience, and post-traumatic growth. These grant funds are targeted to serve those recovering from the residual stress and trauma in the wake of our collective awareness and awakening to the systematic oppression of marginalized people, and of the 2020 pandemic and its consequences.
Examples of communities intended to benefit from your proposals:
- BIPOC Communities experiencing the fight against systemic racism and white supremacy
- Health Care workers, First Responders, and others who held essential positions during the pandemic
- Bereaved communities who are navigating the loss of loved ones
- Teachers, educators, and students who are navigating the stresses of disruption in school routine because of the pandemic, including alternative education models and special needs students and teachers
Education and Promotion of Yoga
- Conduct outreach on the efficacy of a yoga practice as a healing modality via press releases, articles in general media and on our website, public appearances, presence at events and professional conferences, and social media
- Increase awareness of and knowledge about yoga to underserved communities
- Create educational materials such as whitepapers, video information, and other materials; share widely
Now is the time to make clear that yoga is not a pastime for the privileged but a tool for navigating the human experience. It's an ineluctable fact that our existence on the physical plane is subject to compromise. Yoga was designed for humans to tune-up, repair, and reconstitute. It allows our lives in space/time to be informed by the sustainable and sublime.
– Co-Founder Ravi Singh
I do feel that the yoga community has hit a crisis point that calls for change. I am hopeful that an organization like Yoga Unify that democratizes and organizes the yoga community can create equity in professional opportunities and makes the healing power of yoga more accessible. I love the dual mission of honoring tradition and stewarding growth. It is a recognition that honors the cultural traditions of yoga past and present while remaining forward looking.
– Greg Nardi
Are you a yoga student who would love to deepen your practice but most courses are not within your financial reach? Are you a yoga teacher or professional who would like to continue your training? As you take the steps to mark the milestones on your practitioner pathway, or reach another level of Qualification with Yoga Unify, know that your continued education is important to us. Any courses offered by Yoga Unify Qualified Professionals (YU-QPs) listed in the Yoga Unify Catalog are eligible for scholarships.
Yoga Unify Qualified Professionals (YU-QPs), student and organizational members, schools, and studios are invited to apply for grant money for projects, initiatives, and activities that serve to preserve the tradition and/or steward the forward evolution of yoga. Providing grants that fund research studies, translations, creations, expanding access to yoga, and more serves to uplevel the profession and elevate the field. The Governing Council on Community Investment sets annual strategic initiatives in order to steward systemic changes industry-wide.