COMMUNITY AGREEMENTS FOR STUDENTS
As a student at The Connective, I agree to practice anti-racism, respect the gender identities of my teachers and fellow students, honor the roots of yoga, and support my teachers in making a living wage.
STATEMENT ON CULTURAL APPROPRIATION
The wellness and yoga industries have long benefited from silence and inaction on this issue of cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is the adoption of culture, religion, spiritual systems, knowledge and symbols of an exotified or marginalized people. Dominant yoga culture has appropriated the symbols and iconography of yoga and South Asian culture while presenting yoga without barely any acknowledgement of its origins. The issue is not only offending people: it erases the complexity of the people whose culture is appropriated. The commodification of culture, cultural appropriation and racism are enmeshed and support the systematic reification of white supremacy in the yoga industry.
The Connective is committed to decolonizing yoga through deepening our knowledge of the history of yoga, South Asia, colonialism and imperialism. Through actively questioning and challenging wellness and yoga industry practices that continue to denigrate the Indigenous lands and people where the practice of yoga originated, we hope to raise awareness around the harm of cultural appropriation. We also seek the leadership of diverse South Asian voices, with a multitude of experiences and perspectives through paid workshops and trainings.
STATEMENTS ON STRUCTURAL CHANGE AND ANTI-RACISM
The wellness industry has become a leader in deceiving people with rhetoric around how “capitalism can be kind.” The Connective recognizes that this industry has in fact been built on white supremacy, capitalist exploitation and cultural appropriation; essentially feeding on harm and trauma. This is why we have decided to build a new business from the ground up with a commitment to the ethics of yoga, anti-racism and anti-capitalism. We believe that in order for this industry to truly offer wellness, it needs to fully commit to justice.
What we are doing:
Every teacher owns the Connective: With equal voting power, 100% ownership of their work and 85% of course earnings going directly to the teacher. Our Stewards Council (our Board of Directors) challenges the status quo on race, cultural appropriation, gender and capitalism. Through BIPOC caucusing, we center our commitment to antiracism and economic justice that is BIPOC-led.
The Connective acknowledges marginalized communities have a right to fitness, movement, Pilates and yoga. We recognize the importance of both honoring the value of teaching and making those offerings accessible. We have both standard and community pricing available. In deciding which tier works for you, we encourage you to be honest and participate in fighting for economic justice for wellness workers.