Building Racial Equity into your studio
Racism is a truth. It’s a real life experience for so many people of color.
You, as a yoga studio owner, have a unique opportunity to be the change and take action in building racial equity.
TRUTH → This is your chance to activate change in your studio and build a space of community, peace and love.
Recently, our Yogapreneur community had the chance to speak to Dr. Monea Abdul-Majeed, a guest presenter who is a Racial Justice Educator and Certified Yoga Teacher. She gave us a crash course in racial equity with tangible takeaways to make our studios and our brands more inclusive and equitable.
To take action you need to be equipped with the right message. You need to know what racial equity is and how you and your studio have an obligation to uphold this truth.
Racial equity is giving equal opportunities to people of all races.
Telling people, “All are welcome!” isn’t enough. You have to do the hard work to listen, learn, and make sure your Black and Latinx clients have the same opportunities in your studio. You NEED to get uncomfortable if you want to make change!
Truth → Racial equity isn’t something you can choose, it’s a responsibility if you want to follow the yoga path.
What does it mean to sit in your discomfort? You need to recognize the areas you have failed or fallen short in – and be ready to fix them!
Some common roadblocks to building racial equity in yoga studios include:
- Homogeneity – or thinking we’re all the same. This is super common for yoga studio owners to think their members have more in common than they actually do. Yoga attracts a lot of different people!
- TRY INSTEAD: Offering classes at different times of the day – not everyone comes from the same economic background. A lot of people have to work!
- Spiritual bypassing – the common idea that “we are too spiritual to be racist” or “You are not your material body so it shouldn’t matter”. This denies the truth of others!
- TRY INSTEAD: Recognizing the times you have spiritually bypassed the truth of others. Acknowledge how you can be more present and authentic.
- Stereotypes – A common one among the yoga community is “Black people don’t practice yoga”. WRONG. Figure out what stereotypes you have built up and work to break them.
- TRY INSTEAD: Bring in a Racial Equity speaker to educate yourself and your staff. Make sure everyone is ready to actively build equity.
Confronting roadblocks to racial equity in your business can be hard and uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. It’s okay if you’re not where you want to be. The key is asking for help and moving forward.
Truth → Nobody does anti-racist work perfectly. You have to keep learning and taking action!
Tangible changes you can start today!
Racism is a daily reality for Black and Latinx people in your community. It doesn’t take a day off or end when it stops trending on social media. Your anti-racism work can’t stop either. How can you make tangible changes in your business to get to racial equity?
Build a FOUNDATION
Equity Statement – Every studio should have one. Stand behind it and call people out if they don’t follow it!
Update your Website – Show different people on your website. Yoga is for everyone!
Check Social Media – Make sure your messaging lines up with your equity statement. Who is being represented in the photos you post? Who is NOT being represented?
Build the EXPERIENCE
- Learn your client’s names! If you don’t know how to pronounce them, ASK!
- Start a book club showcasing Black or Latinx authors.
- If you have a shower, offer shampoo for different hair types.
- Buy art from Black and Latinx artists. Diversify your music!
- Invite Black or Latinx guest teachers to teach a class.
- Reassess the organizations you donate to. There isn’t anything wrong with donating to animal rights, but are there other causes you could financially support?
- Choose an accountability CHAMPION – someone on staff whose job it is to always bring racial equity to the forefront. Pick someone who will hold the studio accountable and help you think outside the box.
- Train your teachers – Get your teachers to attend courses, see speakers or read books to keep them educated.
- Include racial equity in EVERY DECISION.
Building racial equity is going to be hard work. It’s your responsibility – as a yoga enthusiast, as a business owner, and more importantly as a human being – to make this a priority.
Truth → Yoga is for every body.
Put that truth into action by doing the hard work to make racial equity a reality in your studio.
For more super relevant information, including our racial equity webinar recording, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these lives webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.
➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.