Equity, diversity and inclusion are central to the goals of Edinburgh Community Yoga. We recognise the inequities in the systems that surround yoga and the wellness industry in the UK today. We acknowledge that these inequities have led to the exclusion and harm of many communities.
We aim to reach our broadest audience and create an environment that includes participation from people of all races, social or economic status, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions and sexual orientation free from discrimination or harassment.
Equity demands fair distribution of resources, support and opportunities amongst diverse populations and communities, allowing for the opportunity to teach, practise and study yoga safely, without harm or judgement. With a commitment to equity, we are able to focus our work on facilitating this change. We recognize that there will be distinct work required to move closer to a time when more diverse populations are able to leverage opportunities across the learning, training, teaching, business and practice of yoga.
As a not-for-profit organisation with a clear social vision and mission we are committed to upholding our responsibility in our words, thoughts and actions.
We have written the pledge below, based on work from the Yoga Service Council and we wish to be held accountable to the following:
Diversity and Inclusion at an Organisational Level
- Establish, honour, and uphold policies and procedures that promote the well-being of all the people we teach and work alongside regardless of sex, gender, identity, race, colour, nationality, ethic or national origin, age, socio-economic background, disability, religious or political beliefs, family circumstance, sexual orientation or any other distinction.
- Commit to taking positive action to recruit people who have historically been missing from our yoga spaces, to support growing diversity and inclusion within our organization.
- Actively work to acknowledge the systemic racism that exists within the systems we operate in and take explicit action to challenge and change this by:
- Offering subsidised places on training and retreats to people of minoritized ethnicity
- Including diverse voices in our board, volunteer and teaching team
- Increasing our reach to organisations that support people of minoritized ethnicity, working with these organizations to work towards our practices being current, appropriate and rooted in understanding.
- By entering into meaningful partnerships with such organisations, including through payment for consultancy services as required.
- Actively encouraging people of minoritized ethnicity to attend yoga classes by specifically reaching out to organisations that represent people who experience racism.
- Paying external consultants to guide us in decision making and help us to make anti-racist action central to our work.
Sexual Harassment, Abuse and Teacher Misconduct
- Establish, honour and uphold clear sexual misconduct and diversity and inclusion policies across our organisation.
- Hear and investigate any and all complaints of sexual harassment and teacher misconduct, recognising misconduct as a serious violation of trust, security, yoga ethics, teacher/student relationships, and local laws.
- Hear and investigate any and all complaints of racial, homophobic or any other kind of harassment and teacher misconduct, recognising misconduct as a serious violation of trust, security, yoga ethics, teacher/student relationships, and local laws.
- Collectively stand together for a world free from sexual violence, racism, homophobic, transphobic abuse and ableism in every form
Yoga Spaces and Teaching
- Offer universally inclusive yoga in the safest, most accessible manner in which we are able.
- Foster a space for yoga and connection that is inviting, and as safe as possible for all students, staff, and visitors and wherever possible is co-created with the groups we teach.
- Honour the roots of the practice of yoga
- Foster an environment and practice rooted in common trauma-informed resilience building approaches.
- Keep up to date on current and emerging best practices and experiential- and/or research-based expertise with regards trauma informed practice and yoga and inclusion.
- Be mindful of our words, to acknowledge the power of language, and to use speech that is compassionate, inclusive, and inviting
- Offer yoga practices and classes that engender strength and personal empowerment, including survivors of abuse and those who have faced trauma and adversity in their lifetimes