Who can attend the POC class?
All students who identify as people of color are welcome to attend. This class is for all ages, genders, and skill levels, including beginners.
What is the intention of the POC class?
Students of color are, of course, welcome in any of our classes – as are all students welcome in this class. However, the specific intention of this class is to celebrate, support and honor the needs of current and future students of color in our community to study alongside one another in a safe and welcoming environment with a teacher of color. We hope that students who aren’t sure if yoga is for them will experience the healing effects of Iyengar Yoga. We hope that students who come to us for the first time through the POC class will be inspired to attend general classes.
Although yoga comes from India, and BKS Iyengar himself experienced racism on his trips abroad, it lacks racial diversity in the West. This class is part of our mission to challenge racial imbalances within the yoga community, and to take a stand as a community for racial justice and equality.
Why is it important to have a class especially for POC?
We have offered separate classes for specific populations of people for quite some time: women, those living with HIV, veterans, those living with a breast cancer diagnosis, and others. The purpose of these classes is to address the specific practice needs of these groups, and to create a space where people who share similar experiences can be together. We believe this helps foster community within our larger community and builds bridges of connection. It ensures that everyone feels welcome and has a comfortable space in which to learn. Having a space where POC can study and learn Yoga together, among others who share similar experiences, can be a nurturing and healing experience.
Why is the POC class being offered for no charge?
We want to increase the opportunity to freely access the tradition of Iyengar Yoga for people of color, who are currently under-represented in our community. Being a not-for-profit yoga educational institution offers us the ability to organize classes for specific populations, and offer them at no charge as part of our mission and charter. Our other weekly no charge offerings are: the Sutra Study Group on Fridays at 2:30pm, and the Community Class on Fridays at 3:30p
Of course, students of all races are welcome to apply for a need-based scholarship, which makes classes available for $5.
If students are moved to donate, they can make a tax-deductible donation to support IYAGNY allowing us to continue to foster our community dedicated to the study and practice of Iyengar Yoga, online and beyond.