Letter from the President

Chris Beach

Dear Fellow IYNAUS Members,

In the last issue of Yoga Samachar, I focused my letter on our ongoing efforts to serve our members better. I am pleased to say that we are on target to accomplish most of the goals we set as a new board of directors nearly a year ago. One of the things we have come to realize is that some housekeeping was needed in terms of the structures and procedures of IYNAUS. We therefore have engaged legal and financial advisors to assist us with applying best business practices throughout our organization. This process, led by Treasurer Kathleen Quinn and the Finance Committee, will allow us to improve accounting and business standards throughout all facets of our association and to ensure the long-term health of IYNAUS as a nonprofit (501c3) corporation.

In this letter, I highlight recent developments in three areas: the IYNAUS Store, the website, and the Yoga Research Committee. As was announced in the July IYNAUS bulletin, we have now completed the move of the store to Seattle, where General Manager Sharon Cowdery will be able to take a more active role in its management. We thank outgoing store manager Bobbie Fultz for her work with the store and for her many years of service to the Iyengar Yoga community both on the regional and national levels. We are now in the process of recruiting and hiring a new manager in the Seattle area. At the same time, we are increasing offerings that will benefit both students and teachers. If there are specific items you would like to see offered by the store, please let us know by emailing Sharon at generalmanager@iynaus.org. Also, look for our upcoming sale of many items from the store that need to be sold to make room for new merchandise. The details of the sale will be posted on the website. We hope to make this sale event enjoyable as well as a source of revenue for IYNAUS.

The IYNAUS website is moving ahead with its goal of adding new content to the site (thanks to Richard Jonas and the Creative Circle), adding important new sections to the site, and generally continuing to make the site fresher and more user friendly. One of the most important new sections of the website is the Research page, which is devoted to making available research findings on a variety of yoga-related issues. One of our goals is to use the website as a clearinghouse of the most current information on yoga-related research, as well as a forum for exchanges between those conducting research projects and studios or students wanting to participate. Yoga Research Chair Pat Musburger and her committee have been working to collate information on the internet and to link the most relevant information through the website. Some of the research projects on the website's Research page include a study by certified teacher Kimberly Williams on the effect of Iyengar Yoga on chronic lower back pain, as well as studies on aging, arthritis, anxiety and depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. We are always looking for contributions to the Research page: if you are doing a study involving yoga and health-related issues, please send it to the Yoga Research Committee at pmusburger@comcast.net. We also ask that those conducting studies that require volunteers send their requests to us.

The Systems and Technology Committee, led by Chair Christine Nounou, has been able to shift from fire-fighting mode in its work with the website – addressing coding bugs, fixing development mistakes, and responding to individual issues – to a more steady state of content maintenance and forward-looking development.

The first in what will be a series of new development projects for the IYNAUS website will be the automation of the assessment application. This process is expected to be completed by late November 2009. Exciting new projects on the docket for 2010 include: making association membership information available to the regions online and putting additional information about certified teachers on My Page.

As always, I encourage IYNAUS members to give us feedback on our programs and on our overall effectiveness as an organization.

Namaste,

Chris Beach, President

Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States