Adeline Yoga’s Social Justice & Inclusivity Commitments
Adeline Yoga is committed to looking at and acknowledging the ways race, class, sexuality, gender identity, body positivity, physical access and neuro-diversity shape us as yoga practitioners and human beings, both individually and in community. We envision that our students, teachers and staff reflect the demographics and interests of both our local and online communities.
The teachers and staff at Adeline Yoga are committed to educating ourselves about and acknowledge structures of oppression and how they operate in Iyengar Yoga and yoga communities in general. We seek to understand our relation to anti-Black racism and all forms of oppression as we actively seek to dismantle white supremacy through personal and collective action.
We are committed to co-creating an inclusive environment to grow, learn and thrive together.
Adeline Yoga’s public commitments to social justice started in 2016. They are steered by a Social Justice & Inclusivity plan, implemented by a large group of people including Adeline staff, teachers and students. Our partners at Holistic Resistance and Race and Resilience as well as community members in the Lorin District also play a critical important role.
Our Social Justice & Inclusivity plan has several prongs related to education, accessibility and leadership. We started with forums led by students, and have hosted a wide variety of training and education for teachers, staff and students at Adeline Yoga over the years.
Much of our Social Justice & Inclusivity work has focused on uplifting the voices of people of color, and creating space for white students and teachers to acknowledge and understand the negative effects of white supremacy. We have also used the foundation of anti-racism work to look more deeply at our assumptions around gender and how that may be impacting trans and nonbinary people in our spaces. That includes learning definitions, using pronouns correctly and noticing gendered language. Our staff actively practice proper use of pronouns and de-gendering language. We also engage in the deeper work of reducing harm and creating a gender-affirming space at Adeline Yoga with the intention to provide positive experiences for trans and nonbinary people.
Our work with Holistic Resistance has taught us many ways we can be accountable for this work including how to:
- Track the trauma stories and stereotypes that affect each of us in different ways
- Notice the complexities that people with multiple marginalized identities are navigating
- Give and respond to feedback in appropriate ways
- Use questions to practice holding our stories
- Reduce harm while creating positive experiences
- Incorporate trauma-informed practices, choice and slowing down as a natural part of every class
Accessibility has been another cornerstone of our work:
Yoga Blessings Fund Scholarships are offered for all our programs and we have specifically designed many programs to meet students where they are at. Adeline Yoga has created leadership opportunities in multiple ways, through its hiring practices, workstudy team, collaborating with experts in the field and supporting others in Iyengar Yoga who want to dismantle white supremacy.
While we have made much progress at Adeline Yoga, we still have much more to learn and do in this realm. We have made a lot of mistakes, and we have a lot of work in front of us especially in understanding how to decolonize ourselves and better understand how power works in multi-cultural environments.
An open invitation to co-create an inclusive environment at Adeline Yoga:
As we walk this path, mistakes, mishaps, miscommunications and microaggressions can and do happen. When they do happen, it is our deepest and most sincere hope to address harms openly, directly, swiftly and with accountability. This is an open invitation to all of our community members to have open communication with us.
This statement is an invitation to co-create a community that we want to live in, one where we may learn from each other and grow as yoga practitioners and human beings.
To engage in dialogue, give feedback or donate to the Yoga Blessings Fund, please reach out to Heather Haxo Phillips – Adeline Yoga’s owner and director – via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or another teacher or staff person you feel comfortable with. You can ask for their email at: email@example.com. We will do our best to reflect, learn and address.