When you walk into any given yoga studio, 75 percent of the people practicing will be White women. This is one of the reasons why when you search MeetUp, Facebook Groups and other social networks, you will see more and more groups geared towards women of color. It is no shade to White women (pun not intended), just a way to gather for fitness with diversity in the forefront.
Considering the word “yoga” first appeared in the sacred texts of the Rig Veda and originated in India, I’d say it is for people of color. I’m not sure why more of us don’t practice yoga but I think it has more to do with not having access to yoga studios than a general disinterest. Over the past few years, I’ve been learning more about practicing yoga and mindfulness. But, I can honestly say that there are very few non-commercial opportunities to practice or visit centers in the area of town in which I live. (Hint: It is predominately African-American.)
Knowing that I’m interested in learning more about yoga, a friend of mine told me about ALIY and Dharma Project. Led by Rutu Chaudhari, who brings over 20 years of experience in teaching yoga and mindfulness, the Dharma Project intends to diversify the audience of people who teach and benefit from the practices of yoga and mindfulness. The Dharma Project has partnered with organizations such as Decatur Housing Authority, the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, the Stewart Center, Odyssey Counseling Center, Chris180, and Greening Youth to bring yoga to hundreds of community members and leaders.
Give Yoga. Get Yoga.
ALIY and Dharma Project are pleased to announce a yoga teacher training program that can be paid with yoga service. Hour for hour. The number of hours you train for are the number of hours you offer to teach in the community and at All Life is Yoga. The Dharma Project has partnered with many community-based organizations that are doing powerful work to support the wellbeing of ALL Atlanta residents. This program will allow teachers to provide their work in communities that have little to no exposure to yoga.
To learn more about the program, please check out the teacher-training service exchange. It is a great opportunity to learn the practice of yoga while giving back to the community. The application deadline is March 7.