Socially Engaged Yoga Network

Socially Engaged Yoga Network (SEYN) supports yoga teachers and community organizations committed to sharing the benefits of yoga with under-resourced communities in the Chicagoland area.  We build partnerships in the fields of community health, social services, environmental sustainability, and education to improve health, empower communities, and leverage resources for positive social change.

1.    SEYN believes that everyone deserves equal access to yoga (regardless of …economic status, ability level etc.…)     
a.    At every meeting, we will have a section devoted to making yoga accessible to underserved groups. 

2.    To be equally accessible to all, SEYN believes yoga teaching needs to be culturally and linguistically responsive to individuals of any ability level.
a.    We will support opportunities for current yoga teachers to increase their understanding of cultural differences and develop skills to connect better with diverse communities.
b.    We will support efforts to increase the diversity of yoga teachers that better represent the diversity of the population at large. 
c.    We strive to make yoga accessible and adapt it to any population’s ability level.

3.    SEYN asserts that values of social engagement need to be more strongly articulated and acted on in various sectors of the North American yoga community. 
a.    Our leadership will work specifically with yoga studios and Chicago-area yoga teacher training programs to help spread these values. 
b.    We will pursue opportunities to promote ideas and practices of socially engaged yoga both within Chicago and nationwide. 

4.    SEYN understands that teaching in service settings requires a unique support system.  We are the coordinated group in Chicagoland to support yoga teachers in community settings.  Building a supportive network of people interested in socially engaged yoga in Chicago is beneficial to individuals and communities both within and outside of the yoga world.  Collaboration takes everyone further than when flying solo.
a.    We will continually look for means of creating strong connections and partnerships among individuals and organizations interested in socially engaged yoga.
b.    We will create application-specific sub-groups for people to meet in and will discuss specific challenges, and best practices.

5.    SEYN understands that additional training is needed for yoga teachers to teach in underserved settings and with underserved populations.
a.    Through our partnerships, we will provide continuing education and mentoring/apprenticeship opportunities to help prepare teachers for teaching in underserved populations.

6.    SEYN values the power of yoga to transform the individual, community, and society. 
a.    At every meeting and on the website, we will highlight stories of local people whose lives have been transformed through yoga.
b.    We will support best practices and research that can document yoga’s impact in our subgroup areas.

7.    SEYN members believe that yoga teachers and other leaders in Chicago’s socially engaged yoga community would benefit from greater access to professional development resources such as training in fundraising and organizational development to make all our work more sustainable.
a.    We will develop, promote, and implement professional development workshops for yoga teachers and other interested stakeholders. 
b.    We will collect feedback and be responsive to SEYN members’ needs.

8.    SEYN believes that yoga teachers should be able to earn a living wage teaching yoga.
a.    We will explore business models of supporting yoga teachers in this work (e.g. unions, worker-owned co-ops, etc.)
b.    We will support efforts to raise yoga teaching to a greater standard of professionalism.
c.    We will explore the feasibility of developing scholarships for dedicated full-time yoga teachers to continue studies.
d.    We will support the marketing, promotion, and development of yoga classes in non-profit and community organizations.

9.    SEYN leadership values balance, service, inclusivity, diversity, and transparent, fun, ethical, and professional working relationships based on yogic principles.  
a.    We practice what we preach.
b.    We hold meetings and events with each other and with our membership to be enjoyable and social, as well as serious and professional. 
c.    We support each other’s practice for balance.
d.    We help keep our work grounded with realism.
e.    We are open to all who are aligned with our mission and who wish to join.
f.    We believe in operating mindfully and consciously (yamas and niyamas).
i.    Educate ourselves and other teachers so that we do not unintentionally harm students.
ii.    Not steal time or resources from our support networks.
iii.    Not hoard grant information, props, or teachers.
iv.    Tell the truth about earnings and distribution of funds. 
v.    Only moderately consume resources from mother earth. 
vi.    Tap into spirit and get clear and grounded before reaching out.
vii.    Be content with our efforts yet continually seek to improve so that we can serve teachers, organizations, and community the best that we can.