Designated months, such as the June Gay Pride month, which serve to celebrate and give voice to marginalized groups tend to lose momentum as the calendar page is flipped at the end of the month. How does one keep the momentum going as the month closes? In order to continue raising awareness and be a part of a larger movement through advocacy, for whatever the good cause is, it is important to keep the fire burning. Quite frankly, being in the “yoga industry” myself, I have been especially proud to see studios around the US making real and genuine efforts to raise money for awareness and bring a little pride with their flow this month. As “pride month” comes to a close, below are 5 studios in U.S. cities you might want to consider to continue your practice at. They not only brought awareness to a current issue, but raised money for organizations who are doing nothing but good.
This Silverlake studio started its June gay pride campaign with a colorful pride flow earlier this month. Throughout the month of June anyone who donated $5 or more to the LA LGBT Center, received 30% off of retail. Moreover, they will “close off” this month by another fun flow by Ducky Punch on June 30th at 7:30pm followed by more fundraising at Akbar, right across the street. The studio owner, Jessica Rosen, will match the donations and 100% of proceeds will be given to the center.
On the official day of pride, if you were unwilling to start your day with brunch or mimosas, Josh Ehrenreich from Laughing Lotus, offered a free Lotus Flow class “to honor this joyous LOVE in the air!” If you missed it this year, look out for future events of the sort at this popular SF studio.
Gay and proud owners, David and Todd, wanted to speak personally to everyone about the Orlando shootings written from their hearts. Advocacy does not only come from events and fundraising, but both very active gay Boston community members wrote a heartfelt message from their personal perspective.
This Seattle studio continues to celebrate Pride till the end of this month. From June 28th-30th, 10% of all proceeds from class pass purchases will be donated to the It Gets Better Project, whose mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them. In addition, this studio handed out 8 Limbs Pride buttons and rainbow jelly beans all week long!
Yay, 8 Limbs!
Last, but definitely not least, this small yoga studio in Rochester not only brought attention to the Orlando shootings, by splitting the gains from two special classes which were held on June 18. The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley and the Islamic Center of Rochester were the recipients of the moneys raised. Tru Yoga also donated $5 for each person who attended these two classes. Personally, this studio was the only one of its kind who also found the importance of raising awareness to the continuing Islamophobia of our country. Huge shout out to Tru Yoga for this.
Karma yoga is described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one orients oneself towards realization by acting in accordance with one’s duty without consideration of personal self-centered desires. Most yoga studios which function in the U.S. are considered “for-profit” businesses. It is however refreshing to see that certain studios make yearly efforts to give back and raise awareness of issues that are vital for a safer, inclusive and diverse communities around this country. Thanks to all studios who made any effort this month to spread the love and word.