The Integral Yoga Anti-Racism Task Force took shape in July of 2020. It is made up of a group of Integral Yogis from the New York and San Francisco Integral Yoga Institutes, as well as Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville (Integral Yoga Global headquarters) who came together to discuss how the Integral Yoga organization can embrace anti-racism and allyship with Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
This group—The Integral Yoga Anti-Racism Task Force—meets twice a month to uncover and address any expressions of policies that might support racism and inequities toward our sangha, staff, teachers and students. It has begun a systematic exploration of white privilege which can undermine equitable support in organizations. Each Center is exploring and implementing new initiatives to address these issues (see link to Purpose Statement below). The Task Force also includes a subcommittee that is examining all Integral Yoga teacher training programs through an antiracist lens.
The San Francisco Institute is represented by 3 members of its board of directors, Swami Ramananda, Rev Kamala Itzel Hayward and Anne Williams, as well as Sarani Beth Fedman, from the Spiritual Action Initiative. Shankari Christina Goldstein and Lucy Lílā Nelson-Gowan have been serving as the facilitators, workshop developers, resource providers and stewards for the committee and anti-racism work for our national organization, since September 2020. The Yogaville members include Nathalie Rukmini Ando, Mark (HR), Santoshi Dowden, Jeeva Abbate, Snehan Desachay, Avi Gordon, and Ranjani Tutia. New York Institute Board members representing the New York IYI are Em Cho and Nirmala Lemorin. Thanks to all who are serving for your inspiration and contributions.
Marc Mukunda Morozumi, Rev. Kamala Itzel Hayward and Mia Velez have created the first Integral Yoga BIPOC 200-hour Basic Yoga Teacher Training starting in June, 2021 which is a wonderful addition to the Integral Yoga Teacher Training programs.
Some of the anti-racism programs offered by the San Francisco Integral Yoga Institute include:
- Responding to Racism – A Spiritual Perspective a recorded workshop with Kamala and Mazin Mahgoub sharing their wisdom on this subject.
- Responding to Racism Discussion Group, a monthly workshop, looks at White Privilege through the writings of authors including Ibram X. Kendi, Ruth Williams, Robin DiAngelo and Octavia Raheem. We purposely pick books that look at the issues from both a secular and a more spiritual, yogic perspective.
- Ongoing fundraising efforts to provide scholarships for the upcoming BIPOC TT. Please consider making a donation via our GoFundMe page.
- Providing a platform for more BIPOC and anti-racism workshops from around the country with teachers that include Kelly Palmer, Mazin Jamal Mahgoub, Saeeda Hafiz.