Awakening Yoga Spaces: Partner School Application
Awakening Yoga Spaces (AYS) is a collaborative coalition of the yoga and wellness communities, founded and led by PIES Fitness Yoga Studio and Sun & Moon Yoga Studio. We, as the AYS coalition, are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the yoga world, and our primary focus is to make Yoga Teacher Trainings more accessible to members of the BIPOC community for whom finances may be an obstacle to a training they would otherwise embrace.
For the program year beginning in the fall of 2021, we will award stipends to 20 individuals for 200-hour, 500-hour, or Yoga Therapy Teacher Training, including required texts and a set of yoga props.
Stipend recipients will choose their program from among partner schools of yoga who have applied and been accepted by the Awakening Yoga Spaces committee based on their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and creating brave space within their communities.
Once stipends are awarded, the recipients will form a mentorship support cohort to meet monthly (virtually) during their respective teacher training programs. The monthly, facilitated cohort meetings will feature guest speakers from the BIPOC/wellness community to share conversations, insights, and wisdom in various topic areas, including but not limited to: self-care, marketing and social media, business savvy, techniques, training, practice; anatomy and physiology; yoga humanities; professional essentials.
**NOTE: The deadline to apply for these stipends is JULY 31, 2021**
We originally came together during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020 around the question of how yoga studio communities could do better in dismantling the structural racism that has been long overlooked in the wellness industry, where teachers, teacher-trainers, studio owners, and leadership voices are overwhelmingly White and economically privileged.
Our first project was to launch a six-part conversation series where we examined the historical relationship between yoga practice and social justice activism, setting the stage for examination of the challenges we face in our present moment of growth and change, both as a society and as a yoga community. The entirety of proceeds from this first conversation series established seed money for these stipends; we are grateful to The Wild Gifting Project for the remainder of funding.
By providing greater access to Teacher Trainings for members of the BIPOC community, and honoring their voices, experiences and perspectives as a part of our yoga community at large, we believe we can create a community that is truly inclusive and welcoming to all.