The IYNAUS Yoga and Equity Committee will share resources, provide updates about events and community gatherings, and otherwise support open, honest dialogue about how and where practitioners can study, practice, and explore their limitless potential. We value all people's dignity and humanity and are dedicated to making Iyengar Yoga more accessible to all.
Our Strategic Objectives:
To build awareness across IYNAUS by exploring key concepts such as institutional racism, what it means to be an ally, and implicit bias, as well as learning about equity terms, their definitions, and their use.
To prepare and support those who have explicitly stated that they want to be involved with the work. We will help to prepare them with the skills, tools, and resources to effectively lead and become Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice ( DEIJ) advocates.
To engage and activate our leadership, members, and advocates in efforts to address DEIJ directly. Some actions will be external—organizing to make changes in the communities where we gather. Others may be internal—implementing practices that support our association’s overarching strategy or initiatives to become more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just.
For years, there have been calls to make Iyengar Yoga more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, both on and off the mat. In 2017, IYNAUS began addressing the absence of diversity in our communities and leadership positions. In light of renewed nationwide concern about diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice issues, IYNAUS is committing to far-reaching efforts to drive change in our yoga community.
Patanjali warns of avidya, or ignorance—the root of our five klesas, or afflictions that keep us from enlightenment. Our yoga practice offers us a way to understand what this means on an individual level, but how could we apply this idea systematically?
In our individual practice, if there is injury or hurt, we seek to heal it. In our larger cultural body, we recognize an ongoing chronic pain that needs healing. We care for individual and cultural pain in similar ways: first, we seek to understand the source of pain and its larger impact; then, we commit ourselves to alleviate or eliminate the source of that pain.
Look around you, in your yoga spaces and places. What do you see? Who makes up your yoga community, and why? How comfortable —or uncomfortable—are you with what you see?
Yoga goes beyond the mat—to personal ethical responsibility.
Who Is the Community?
The communities' diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice services those who gather to practice, teach and study the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, on and off the mat. Our community engagement also includes those who have been historically disenfranchised and are currently underserved and underrepresented.
The Story Map
Our IYNAUS DEIJ Story Map provides information about upcoming and ongoing DEIJ activities throughout the United States. Studio owners, teachers, and practitioners who are actively engaged as Community Builders that support the DEIJ mission to make Iyengar Yoga more inclusive and accessible can be found here.
To lend your voice to the growing chorus of yoga teachers, students, advocates, and activists advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in communities across America—on and off the mat—please share your story with us.