That is the question. The Delta variant has put 502PY at another crossroads: How can we protect our community, stay open in-studio, AND continue to empower and inspire students? Our options seem to be limited to:
Require masks for all, or
require vaccinations for all.
I hate each of these options.
502PY was created to be a neutral, safe space, accepting of all, regardless of backstory or beliefs. But it seems no matter what option we choose, we will be polarizing our community in some regard. So what to do?
We created our core values to help us navigate challenges like this:
Integrity & Accountability: We have followed and should continue to follow CDC recommendations, even if they are not mandated. Doing nothing would be irresponsible and out of alignment with our mission.
Acceptance & Inclusivity: Requiring a proof of vaccination would automatically exclude a portion of our population (and would create an administrative headache!). Requiring masks for all evens the playing field without isolating any particular group.
Connection & Community: In order to create a safe environment for our community to gather and connect, and to put parents with small children at ease, masking up right now makes the most sense.
Therefore, requiring masks for all is a simple (albeit annoying) change that will protect all yogis. And, hopefully, it’s temporary.
Effective Wednesday, August 11th, masks will be required by ALL students and instructors, regardless of vaccination status.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding, and as always, reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
502 Power Yoga’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commitments and Updates
Last updated: June 10, 2020
Commit to growth. It’s the fourth Law of Transformation in Baptiste Yoga.
The 502 Power Yoga Team has always been committed to growth. Not just as a business but as yoga students, as teachers, and most importantly as humans.
Since the beginning, the leadership team of 502 Power Yoga has looked at our impact on the community and how we can become more inclusive. We have always been committed to making our classes inclusive to any and everyone, and we know there is still work to be done.
Right now we are looking at ways to further our growth and learning to show up for our Black community, which is affected by systemic oppression and racism every single day.
Here is what we’re doing:
Implementing ongoing, regular Implicit Bias and Inclusivity training for our teachers and staff
Continuing to host weekly Karma Classes that raise money for local organizations (with an emphasis on marginalized communities)
$1,775 was raised for the Louisville Community Bail Fund on June 5th through a pop-up karma class as an immediate action in our efforts
Amplifying more BIPOC voices in our studios and our trainings.
Working toward a scholarship fund for our 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training dedicated to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as a way to create more diversity in the Louisville yoga teaching community.
Incorporating new tools and additional training in our certification programs and 200-hr yoga teacher training to educate trainees on systemic racism, implicit bias, trauma-informed teaching, and more.
Holding our team accountable to ensure a safe, inclusive, and diverse workplace and community at all three of our studios.
This is not an exhaustive list, but where we are right now. We are committed to holding ourselves accountable in this work and will continue to update our community as we learn more and continue taking action.
Just like in our yoga practice, we know we will stumble. We’ll make mistakes and fall out. And just like in yoga, we will keep coming back to our True North. We will continue to put action behind our exclamation that Black Lives Matter. We are committed to growth.
I can picture it clearly. I’m about 75% through the yoga class, we’ve just finished working on abs, and the teacher says the sweetest words I’ll ever hear: “half-pigeon.” The first thing I do at the sound of those words is let out a giant mental sigh of relief at surviving this much of class. The second thing I do is look around to see if the assistant or teacher is near me, and quickly calculate my odds of getting assisted in hip-openers.
If you’ve ever been assisted in a hip-opener, you’ll know one thing to be true about it: it is intense. That intensity is either heavenly or challenging depending on your body/preferences, but either way it can leave you feeling empowered and supported.
It is easy to assume that assisting is meant to correct “bad” form or be a way of fixing something. When I stepped into my second yoga class ever in January 2015, Becca Washer was assisting, and it’s what I assumed she was there for. Since I had basically no previous yoga experience, it’s what I hoped she was there for. I didn’t know what I was doing or what the poses were, but Becca gave me a greater gift than showing me the “correct” way to do things. Her assists landed what the teacher was calling in my body, helped me to keep bringing my attention back into the class, and gave me a sense of support and encouragement.
Assisting can be a powerful tool. We assist in the studio to leave students feeling empowered, to encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone, to stay present in the class and in the moment, to come into their fullest expression, and sometimes to provide ease/comfort (think of those magical Savasana assists!).
It also serves a way to create connection, accountability, and new possibilities. And assisting doesn’t have to look like physical touch. We also assist by making eye contact, throwing a smile, and handing a prop to or breathing with our students.
As a student, you are always welcome to chat with your assistants/teachers outside of class to ask questions or let us know of any individual needs you may have. As assistants/teachers, we hope through our assisting that you as a student feel seen, supported, and valued.