IY(UK) statement on diversity and inclusivity

“I am sure that after me, my family, my pupils, their children, and the next generation will carry the message of yoga to every nook and corner of the globe, so that all may live as one human race without geographical division of race, religion, colour or gender.” B. K. S. Iyengar

The principles of Yoga lead us to seek to eliminate violence, oppression or discrimination from society. Recent events have led us to reflect on the apparent under-representation of members of the BAME community in many of our classes, amongst our teachers and in the Committee structure of IY(UK). In turn, this has led us to consider wider questions around diversity and inclusion, especially whether members of certain communities feel able to join IY(UK) and participate in our classes.

While we do not believe that any of our members consciously discriminates against others for any reason, including race, we believe we can do more to promote diversity and inclusivity. We have reviewed our policies, which include a commitment to avoid discrimination on grounds of race, or any other protected characteristics. We feel that now is the right time to take action to ensure that we understand any concerns, and address these.

In his translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra II:32, Mr Iyengar cites greed, hatred, or delusion as leading to ignorance and violence, and counsels that ‘through introspection comes the end of pain and ignorance.’

We feel that the best way forward is to set up a Working Group whose remit will be to gather data to understand why certain communities may be under-represented in our organisation, and if appropriate, to propose how we can ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to access Iyengar yoga in the UK.

If you are interested in being part of the group, please email us