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 xojane.com 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.