This past year of 2019 has seen a number of significant changes in the New York Yoga community. Interest in the physical aspects of Yoga has continued to increase, with opportunities to practice some form of Hatha Yoga in ever proliferating venues. As the popularity of Yoga has grown, so has its commercialization by large new corporate providers. Among other things, this has led to the closing of a number of respected Yoga studios. We’ve observed that many of these commercial Yoga providers focus narrowly on the physical side of Yoga, ignoring the deeper, spiritual aspects on which Integral Yoga is built.
We, at the Integral Yoga Institute of New York, are embarking on a campaign to re-present, so to speak, the essence of Integral Yoga with the message “Go deeper” and answering the often asked question “What is Integral Yoga?” with this simple truth: Integral Yoga is a complete system to transform your life.
What sets us apart from many other organizations is our dedication to a higher purpose, to bringing good health, peace, joy, love, and light to all. Our work is grounded in the teachings of Swami Satchidananda and Integral Yoga, which includes the benefits of Hatha Yoga but goes much deeper to offer people a chance to feed their souls’ desire for growth, wellness, and spiritual awakening.
Just as Yoga in New York has been changing, so has the retail industry. As you walk along many streets in Manhattan, you will see more and more retail spaces that remain empty and unrented. This trend has also affected IYI, making it more challenging to rent the space formerly occupied by our food store.
With all this in mind, we have been working hard to make our Institute the best it can be. We want to share with you what, with your support, we’ve accomplished in 2019.
In 2019 we did the following:
Increased our focus on new ways of experiencing Yoga, such as having
- Launched the Integral Yoga Ayurveda Academy, offering certification as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, private Ayurveda treatments in our Wellness Spa, and several well-attended Ayurveda workshops and courses
- Received accreditation for the Integral Yoga Therapist Certification program from the International Association of Yoga Therapy and implemented an 800-hour training
- Hosted the Accessible Yoga Conference in the store space and our classrooms, generating many requests for the use of our space for health and wellness events
Opened up new communication channels with you, our beloved community, by taking such actions as:
- Holding focus groups with many different stakeholders that confirmed your love for IYI and gave us your input, which we value, on areas for improvement
- Conducting a survey about your needs, which received more than 600 responses
- Creating new committees, made up of volunteers, board, and staff members, including a Communications Committee to keep our community informed and a Marketing Committee to promote awareness of the value of Integral Yoga in today’s world
Invested in our beloved building, which we see as not only the seat of New York Integral Yoga but also a blessed space that in itself brings peace and healing to others, by:
- Instituting new housekeeping and maintenance practices to make our beloved institute as clean as possible
- Developing plans for other improvements and renovations
Our 2020 Vision
- Continue to explore the best use of our retail space in a way that will furnish us with the income necessary to support the teaching of Integral Yoga
- Develop a renovation plan for the inside and outside of our sacred building
- Strengthen our fundraising and focus on applications for grants to underwrite important IYI activities and offerings
- Make the underutilized space in our building available for rent to like-minded organizations to enhance our income
Communications, Marketing, and Offerings
- Develop an IYI newsletter to keep you informed about key IYI activities and build greater connections with our community
- Spread the word and “re-present” Integral Yoga to people of all ages and abilities, from all walks of life and communities, communicating the profound value of Integral Yoga and making us the most inviting Yoga center we can be
- Examine our offerings to ensure we are meeting your needs, streamline our schedule, and create new opportunities to practice together, further strengthening our connectedness
We will also be holding events this year to celebrate our 50 years in our building on West 13th Street, beginning with a free community event on Saturday, February 15. Stay tuned for details.
You are the reason we are here. Get involved … come to events … find opportunities to give … spread the word … take classes to improve your own life … and help others recognize the greatness of Integral Yoga.
Let us know how we are doing and how we can continue to serve you better.
We leave you with Swami Satchidananda’s blessings for the New Year: “I wish you all a body of perfect health, mind resting always in peace under all these difficulties, under all circumstances, and a life filled with purpose.” Om Shanti, the Board of Directors