SAAPYA: South Asian Voices in Yoga

SAAPYA: South Asian Art & Perspectives on Yoga and America. A simple platform towards more integration and accessibility in yoga. Arts, advocacy & asana.
Small Business
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
6 Team Members

Just a few more hours: Thank You!

SAAPYA is South Asian Art and Perspectives on Yoga and America.  It is an emerging platform for South Asian voices on yoga at the intersection of race, class, ableism and more.  Right now, we are organizing an in-person public forum in Brooklyn, to build positively off of the recent momentum ushered in by an opinion piece on race(ism) and yoga.  But that is not the only thing we are doing.  SAAPYA is scheduled to present our next panel of South Asian voices in yoga at UC Berkeley in April, for the first ever academic conference on race + yoga.  Thank you so much for your support, towards this idea, this platform, this good work.  

Transparency is so valuable, we want to share with you that this is our first time leading a fundraiser, and well, we are learning a lot.  Here's what you need to know: $18k is SAAPYA's overall funding goal.  We are honored to have a hefty chunk of that 18k amount funded by you, in community with others who believe in this mission.    

Where is the other money going to come from?  Grants.  We are working hard both on this crowd funder and on writing grants for SAAPYA.  Where is my money going?  Your funding helps us build out SAAPYA's projects (cutting edge workshops on race and yoga, yoga classes, art projects that prioritize brown voices in yoga).  Your funding also moves us another step closer to opening our very own studio space.  Here are more details, and thank you again:

Yoga Equality = Asana + Art + Advocacy 

1. Asana: Yoga includes, but is not limited to, asana practice.

SAAPYA's stance is that yoga is path, not just a class.  Our specialized, and by-donation classes will be designed to reclaim yoga as a healing possibility for those who have fallen through the cracks in the yoga industrial complex.  People of color, survivors of violence, working class folks, Hip Hop heads, guys, new moms, the queer community, folks with abundant bodies, all will feel at home here.  The SAAPYA yoga hub will be a place where all bodies are created, and treated, equally. 

2. Advocacy: Yoga is personal and political, because liberation is always both.

 SAAPYA is a main advocacy project of Yoga Equality.  SAAPYA aims to be a platform for South Asian American voices in yoga.  We are also focused on research, like our two year study of Yoga Journal, which highlighted some inequalities in yoga that deserve to be addressed.  We are working hard to ensure that SAAPYA racial justice curriculum will eventually be integrated into yoga teacher trainings around the country.  SAAPYA and future projects (the Yoga Domain Project, the Yoga Think Tank) will help Yoga Equality, and our allies, shape a new yoga future.      

3. Arts: Yoga is a warrior art that includes cultural expression. 

The fuller science of yoga also includes the ability to be creative, and to share, in sangha or community.  SAAPYA will curate and present art in direct conversation with yoga, including visual art, cinema, literary arts and music.      

Your funding will allow for a new yoga future, and that is a good thing, because there has never been more to heal from.  

Yoga Equality is All About Community, So Community Funding Makes Sense.    

$18,200 total, that is what SAAPYA needs, at minimum, towards build out. We are also writing grants, and counting on eventual revenue from yoga classes and events.  What's true is that Yoga Equality is all about community, and deserves to be, in part, community funded.  Here's our break down:

  • $5000 goes towards owning space.  Gentrification has claimed many great endeavors who were pushed out because they could only afford to rent.  We aim to own.  The steady stream of South Asian immigrants to the mid-west is staggering, not only in number, but also in how segregated our communities remain.  Placing SAAPYA here, in Pittsburgh, where real estate is more affordable, and where communities are in real need of more cultural bridges, is a strategic effort to support integration in society and in yoga.  Already, there is a growing stream of local support, including a local woodworker with craft in the Smithsonian who has generously offered to build beautiful furniture for the studio.  Perfect. Now we need your support to help fund our ownership of a sunny space.  
  • $1000 supports our small business practices.  While we work on securing the building, we are also strategizing towards future programming and yoga class schedules.  In addition, we are also forming Yoga Equality into an LLC and SAAPYA into a 501(c)(3) status, non-governmental organization.  This means licensing fees, forming a Board of Advisors, submitting grant applications, joining local business associations, and building a relationship with city movers and shapers.  
  • $4000 supports honing our marketing game.  While we are dedicated to the DIY aesthetic, this is also a crucial time to pay some brilliant folks to help SAAPYA and Yoga Equality market itself strategically.  That means hiring the services of a few trusted and talented folks, like Pittsburgh based Raquel Rodriguez on webpage design, and NYC based Steven Hussein-Bernstein's social media consulting firm, CompuKarma.  
  • $5,200 supports outfitting the studio with crucial gear, like quality yoga gear (blocks, mats, bolsters, straps), a sound system, a projector and a digital camera to document and film with, and basic digital studio gear like a wireless cash register and laptop with studio management software.      
  • $3,000 supports self-publication, of the SAAPYA Anthology of Yoga Essays, and a new book on Hip Hop Yoga.  We are happy that it is easier than ever to publish, *and* we know it is going to take a lot of strategic work to get these unique perspectives on yoga into the hands of people around the world who have already assured us that  they need these books.  $3,000 supports our costs in self-publishing and marketing our initial, visionary titles.   

Other Ways You Can Help Yoga Equality

Totally understand if you just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:

  • Please share this campaign with 5 of your trusted friends, or on your social media, help us make raise awareness about this important campaign. 

Thank you for making this necessary effort happen!

About SAAPYA's founder:

Roopa Singh is a lawyer, yoga teacher, business owner, and writer whose work on the cultural defense of yoga has recently been featured in Huffington Post, Colorlines, Elephant Journal, and Decolonizing Yoga.  Recently, Roopa was an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York where she taught Law and Social Change, and Law and Cinema.  Roopa attended the University of Pittsburgh for her B.A., UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law for her J.D., Tisch School of the Arts (NYU) for her M.A. in Cinema Studies, and the Institute for Audio Research for a certification in sound engineering.  She has experience at National Public Radio (DC), the American Civil Liberties Union (SD), the New Museum (NY), the Center for Media Justice (OAK), Service Employees International Union (SD), and at Third Root Health and Wellness Center in Brooklyn.      

Find This Campaign On
raised by 111 people in 1 month
27% funded
No time left
$18,200 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on February 1, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Every lil bit counts!

    For your effort, we want to give you a special shout out on our Facebook page, something like, "Much love to ___, for helping SAAPYA reach our goal, step by step."

    5 claimed
  • $10USD
    Swag Bookmark For Your Love

    Yoga is not a class, yoga is a path. Part of the path is not letting ego get in the way of giving. We really appreciate you offering this gift of $10, truly believing that you are doing your best, we have been there, trust. We're going to send you a dope bookmark with the new slogan, so you remember that here at Yoga Equality, you are so loved.

    12 claimed
  • $25USD
    The best yoga playlist ever.

    Most yoga teachers have their favorite songs to vibe out to, the Yoga Equality playlist (First Edition) is a collection of my favorite yoga teacher's all time favorite jams.

    42 claimed
  • $50USD
    Soulful T-Shirt to Thank You

    Thank you for giving. We want to offer you a t-shirt with our new slogan, "yoga is not a class, yoga is a path." Black, white, and green, it is a t-shirt we'd really love you to wear to your yoga class. :)

    13 claimed
  • $75USD
    Swag Tote Bag

    Wow, your gift of $75 is so rock on. To thank you, we want you to have a bold, quality tote bag with our slogan emblazoned for your world to see. You know yoga is not just a class, and the strength of your path shows!

    1 claimed
  • $100USD
    Swag Yoga Mat Bag

    Wow. Thanks. For your generous support, we want to offer you a yoga mat bag, you know, the kind that keeps you company as you warrior your way through the day, breathing deep every step of the way. Yoga, your path, and your bag!

    8 claimed
  • $200USD
    Swag Bag & T-shirt

    You are awesome. We want to thank you with a bag of your choice, tote or yoga mat bag, and our fun t-shirt. Yoga is not just a class, it is indeed your path. Wear them with pride!

    2 claimed
  • $500USD
    Seed Funder Status

    Your generous contribution gets you: A permanent plaque on the Yoga Equality office wall, a permanent thank you in all of our output, including films, books, and research reports.

    0 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Founding Funder Status

    Your generosity will get you all of the above and a year long yoga and event pass to all things Yoga Equality.

    0 claimed
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.
Other Campaigns You Might Like