cOMmunity Yoga Collective | A Free & Sliding-Scale Yoga Classes and an Experience Enhancing App

I have 8 years of experience as a special education teacher & yogi. Yoga has been a steady foundation during challenging times, and has become an important part of my physical and mental wellness routine.

I began practicing yoga with my students in City Heights and noticed that they were also benefiting from the calming poses, attention to breathing, and inward focus. Yoga was especially helpful for my students with ADHD and Autism.

Inspired by my experience, I have become passionate about sharing the mind and body healing that can be achieved with yoga. Along the way I have observed barriers that my friends and neighbors experience to accessing yoga in City Heights. The heart of this project seeks to overcome these barriers and envision a future where wellness is accessible to ALL interested people.

PROBLEM STATEMENT | How might a non-profit yoga studio increase access to health & wellness offerings in underserved communities in order to nurture the healing of trauma at the individual and community level with yoga classes enhanced with an app?

PROJECT PLAN

EMPATHIZE

City Heights Community Survey / What I learned: Majority of people surveyed expressed positive attitudes towards yoga. 95% of respondents said that they would try yoga if there was an affordable option nearby. The barriers identified include cost, location, transportation, childcare, family friendliness, and inclusivity. 100% of the residents I asked reported that they think a non-profit yoga studio is a good idea.

Interviews / What I learned: By talking in depth with people who live/work in City Heights I learned that the community wants access to yoga; the residents here believe that yoga can help with physical and mental wellness, and are supportive of a non-profit yoga studio. Those I interviewed expressed not being able to get as much exercise as they would like due to time constraints and affordability.

Research – What Exists Today / What I learned: I learned that there are initiatives that are increasing access to yoga for special populations such as schools and prisons, but that no yoga studios for the general population in City Heights. The Gaia App is a resource for at-home yoga videos, but costs $14 per month.

DEFINE

Map of Yoga Studios in SD / What I learned: By making a map of yoga studios in San Diego, I learned that our city has more than 99 for-profit yoga studios. Despite the large number of studios, there is a disparity between communities; neighborhoods like City Heights have reduced access to yoga.

Mental Health America Fact Sheet: Understanding, Preventing and Healing Trauma / What I learned: Trauma manifests at the individual and community level, and some populations are more affected than others. Implications: Trauma is a serious public health issue that will require a coordinated comprehensive response from health and behavioral health providers. Yoga and mindfulness are tools that can help take a person from trauma to wellbeing. Click link for access.

IDEATE

Divergent (Sketch) / What I learned: I learned that yoga classes and programs can be tailored to meet the needs of different community groups, and that an app may be another way of increasing yoga access.

  • Sliding-scale donation yoga classes for all ages
  • High quality trauma-informed yoga classes taught daily
  • Yoga for teens
  • Family yoga
  • Yoga for kids with disabilities
  • Baby & parent yoga
  • Culturally inclusive classes and programs
  • Pilot yoga lab in underserved community

Convergent (Sketch) / What I learned: I learned that a yoga studio is able to offer many classes and programs that can meet the needs of a diverse community. I also learned that bringing the app idea together with the yoga studio would create an enhanced experience, and cultivate more community participation and engagement.

PROTOTYPE

cOMmunity Yoga & cOMmunity App / What I Learned: I learned that a non-profit yoga studio and an experience enhancing app are innovative ways to address trauma.

Mission Statement: cOMmunity Yoga is a non-profit devoted to increasing accessibility of yoga & mindfulness by offering free & sliding-scale yoga classes and an experience enhancing app. Yoga and mindfulness are our vehicle to nurture healing on the individual and community level. We are body positive, LGBTQ+ friendly, and inclusive of ALL people.

TEST

Coaching Session/What I learned: In my coaching session I learned that I need to come up with a business/feasibility plan and a three-year game plan in order to move forward with this idea. I also received feedback that a physical space is a large expense, so cOMmunity will have to be creative about how it acquires space… exploring a cooperative or collective space model.

SHARE

Instagram / What I learned: By posting my idea to instagram I got more feedback and support. It also gave more members of my community a chance to learn about the idea.

SUMMARY

What I learned: Yoga is an innovative strategy to address trauma at the community level. My community, City Heights has reduced access to yoga. Through the community survey and interviews I learned that people who live and work in City Heights want access to yoga, and think that a yoga non-profit is a good idea.

What others should take away: Efforts that seek to heal trauma are greatly needed at this time. Yoga is an innovative approach that addresses children and family mental health, people in recovery, and wellness for people of all ages.

Next Steps/Call to action: Support cOMmunity yoga in City Heights, and other efforts that heal community trauma as a comprehensive approach.

CONTACT

Interested in learning more about this project? Contact Louise Mettler to learn more via email: mettler.louise@gmail.com

HELP INNOVATE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TODAY

Everyone in our community can contribute their insights and experiences to propose innovative approaches including leveraging technology and connecting people to resources.

LEARN MORE
REGISTER NOW