Our DEI Commitments

UPDATED 26/08/2021

In June 2020, spurred by the global BLM movement, we started work as a team on our DEI (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion) strategy. This is our journey so far, click on the headers below to read more.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR

We took some time to reflect on the feedback from our community and to educate ourselves on anti-racism, and on the broader issue of intersectionality. As we believe in expert training ourselves, we appointed a DEI consultant, Dr Stacie CC Graham, to support us on our journey. She guided our faculty of teachers and HQ team through self-paced learning, online and a full day in-person, to enable us to better understand intersectional issues across our society and industry. We will keep sharing on this topic, on a semi-formal basis over the coming months.

We believe it is important for us to understand how our community reflects the diversity of the London population; to this extent, we ran a survey covering our graduates, students, team and broader community. We got hundreds of responses, which helped make our sample statistically significant - so thank you. We are now using this data as our start point to measure our progress as We will run our next survey at the end of 2021. This will give us a clear measure for whether the work we are doing has an impact or not and will guide the work that we do in 2022.

This was offered with the aim of increasing accessibility to yoga teacher training as part of our social diversity commitment. We were delighted by the response and our bursary students are successfully progressing through their training.

A London based charity that exists to restore the right to exercise for every woman. In this partnership we will support theMovement through fundraising, providing volunteers, and helping them develop their trauma-informed training programmes.

Whilst we want to authentically reflect our community, we also want to clearly demonstrate that we welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life. We will continue to feature members of our community in our content, and will update our website regularly when we have new photography of recent graduates.

To ensure they were fair and non discriminatory in any way. We also became an accredited Living Wage Employer, a guarantee that we pay our team members a fair salary for their work.

We signed up to the industry research spearheaded by Hotpod Yoga, to find out more about disparities and injustices in our industry - with a broader sample of respondents. The project was delayed due to the continuing national lockdowns in 2021, but we’re hoping it will restart in 2022.

WHAT WE HAVE STRUGGLED WITH

We want our curriculum to truly reflect the needs of under-represented communities, and as such it means appointing new trainers that have an in-depth knowledge of these issues. They have been difficult to come by (so if you’re one of them, please get in touch) But through our new charity partner, theMovement, we believe we will be in a position to deliver this action by 2022.

Our previous action timeline proved totally unattainable... Which even our DEI consultant flagged! We want to be faster in delivering our DEI initiatives, but the honest truth is that we’re a small team balancing the needs of a school and our students during trying times. We need to allow ourselves to take the time to deliver this plan well, as opposed to rushing it.

OUR PLAN FOR 2021

We've asked our faculty of teachers and HQ team, and the causes we have decided to focus on for 2021 are:

  • Racial and ethnic discrimination
  • Poverty and low income

Our DEI plan will be iterative, and we want to appoint two partners, with whom our school resonates, in order to agree what actions need to be taken at our level to best serve the communities we wish to support - for they are their communities, with specific needs and goals. We have ideas, which we will bring to the table - such as creating a bursary programme or increasing access to yoga classes in underserved London communities. But we want to make sure they’re the right ideas. We have found one partner, but we’re still looking for one more. If you want to suggest any association or charity, please let us know.

We recognise that certain individuals face multiple and intersecting forms of structural discrimination, and that here is no singular way of experiencing an injustice. Varied voices and perspectives need to be considered in order to make real, lasting, and equitable change. Throughout this DEI journey and together with our team and partners, we will strive to better understand and consider intersectionality.