Yoga For All Movement’s Statement on Safety in Yoga
Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Every year, there are about 237, 868 sexual assault victims. 70% of victims are assaulted by someone they know. The global #metoo and #timesup campaigns are unveiling the overwhelming statistics of sexual violence that have perpetually affected all humans regardless of their race, gender or socioeconomic status though these acts disproportionately affect women and disproportionately perpetuated by men . Violence can be defined as a crossing of boundaries without permission, with the intent and/or result of harming, controlling or forcing another being.
Too often we hear stories of sexual violence emerging from the yoga community, and we know that only one in five people report their experience of sexual assault. We know that sexual violence has been particularly relevant for young women of color, ( 54% to be exact), whom are least likely to report sexual harassment in the workplace or domestic and/or interpersonal violence within their homes, work environments and perceived communities of safety like, yoga studios.
Yoga For All Movement is committed to being part of the solution towards ending sexual violence as well as leading by example and setting the precedent for safety within the yoga community. We understand there is a power dynamic present in the yoga teacher/student relationship and we believe this is no excuse for violence to be perpetuated. We believe yoga can be used as a healing modality and we know now is the time to hold yoga communities accountable to continue to promote safety for themselves, their teachers and students, and the broader community. Inappropriate touch, language and behavior degrade the yoga experience and contribute to a cycle that perpetuates harm in our society.
Yoga For All Movement is also committed to continuing to take action that promotes safety, equity, dignity and wellbeing for all. Therefore, we will require our teachers to receive clearly spoken and adamant consent in regards to any touching/hands on adjustments, as well as promote self-advocacy and safe reporting of harm. We will continue to encourage and support reporting of any inappropriate behavior within studios, centers and other establishments providing yoga and mindfulness services.
It really is about yoga for all and for us that means a commitment to support survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and domestic violence in creating a safe place for refuge within themselves through yoga practice. We are also committed to working with yoga classes, studios and healing centers in the community to make this happen. We will continue to uphold our mission for making yoga accessible to all by also providing education that promotes the linkage between yoga and trauma-informed care. We will continue to ensure an equitable society for all by supporting and promoting yoga studios and programs that stand with us in the mission to protect yoga as a sanctuary from sexual violence.
We are committed to providing resources to individuals that may still be feeling the long-term effects of trauma through referrals to our community partners and by offering community based yoga classes that are accessible, safe and sensitive to trauma. We are working with yoga leadership as well as our community partners in Monarch Services, Survivors Healing Center and Walnut Avenue Women and Family Center to provide safe spaces within our community to support survivors of sexual assault through trauma-informed yoga.
We support processes that safeguard survivors, advocate for adequate legal services and contribute to reducing the impact of trauma including: Seeking Safety support groups through Walnut Avenue, legal aid and when necessary, restraining orders provided through Monarch Services, and restorative justice practices through the Conflict Resolution Center, to name a few.
We call on our community to stand with us and be allies for safety, justice, equity, healing, thriving and wellbeing for all people and to hold us and each other accountable to the values of nonviolence and safety.
To report any unsafe behavior that you see or experience within an establishment that is providing yoga and/or mindfulness-based services, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, please consider utilizing this resource for more information and to make reports- the Trusted Advisor Abuse link: http://complaintweb.trauma-informed-california.org/
We BURN for equity, justice, full-potential and oneness for all.