ARLINGTON, VA (September 28, 2022) – Yoga Alliance, the largest nonprofit association representing the international yoga community, proudly announces that it is launching a national initiative to improve health in underserved and under-resourced communities in the United States. Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation have committed $1 million over five years to help drive significant change to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, reduce diet-related disease, as well as close the disparities around these issues through yoga and yoga teaching. The announcement was made as part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health being hosted today by the Biden-Harris Administration.
Using a collective impact model, Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation are developing partnerships with professional societies, trade associations, and for-profit organizations to reach community leaders nationwide and encourage individuals to make changes that improve their health. The organization will launch a robust digital platform with culturally diverse educational materials and resources about yoga and its efficacy in positively impacting whole person health, including physical health and mental and emotional well-being. Yoga Alliance will also activate U.S. yoga professionals to bring yoga, an accessible and often no-cost practice, to as many individuals as possible.
Yoga Alliance believes that a holistic approach is needed to solve the nation’s health crisis and by creating solutions that address the interconnectedness of one’s health – biological, emotional, social, and physical – society can create meaningful impact and systemic change. Yoga is an ancient, multifaceted tradition designed to support whole-person wellness, and yoga professionals have a vested interest in the policy decisions being made at this conference to support expanded education about the benefits of yoga while also expanding access to the yoga practice.
“Addressing hunger, nutrition, and health in the United States is a complex public health challenge that requires cross-sector solutions. Scientific research has proven yoga’s multi-faceted ability to support individuals’ health and well-being, above and beyond physical fitness. Yoga’s unique ability to positively impact one’s whole health illustrates its unique potential to support the White House’s efforts to address the current health crisis across geographies, cultures, and generations,” said Shannon Roche, President and CEO of Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation.
“We are excited to announce our bold commitment anchored in coordinated cross-sector collaborations to accelerate progress and drive transformative change to the health and well-being of people across the country.”
Toni Carey, Vice President of Strategic Communications at Yoga Alliance said, “Millions of Americans experience food insecurity and diet-related diseases, which are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. Additionally, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental health disorder. However, the toll is distributed disproportionately, impacting communities of color, those living in rural areas, people who are differently-abled, older adults, LGBTQIA+ people, military families, and military veterans. Our organization, with nearly 70,000 Registered Yoga Teachers (RYTs) and 2,500-plus Registered Yoga Schools (RYSs) in the United States, is uniquely positioned to reach out to every community nationwide in the style, language, imagery, and methods that resonate with them. Working together we can change the tide of health and wellness disparities in our nation.”
The White House held the first and only White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health in 1969. That pivotal event helped galvanize actions that included the creation of life-changing programs like school lunches, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and changes to food labels. To follow the 2022 event and participate in critical discussions, sign up here and track progress via social media channels using #WHConfHungerHealth.
Professional societies, trade associations, and for-profit organizations interested in partnering with Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation on this initiative should contact Toni Carey at email@example.com.
About Yoga Alliance and the Yoga Alliance Foundation
Founded in 1999, Yoga Alliance is a member-based, non-profit organization that serves yoga schools and teachers across the globe, providing world-recognized, best-in-class credentials and unifying its members around a shared ethical commitment. Yoga Alliance’s goal is to support and foster the high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable teaching of yoga. In addition, Yoga Alliance delivers a strong value proposition to its members through community-building initiatives, educational resources, advocacy efforts, and social impact programs.
Its partner organization, the Yoga Alliance Foundation, leverages yoga for social impact and fosters an expansive, accessible, and equitable yoga community. It does this through broadening access to yoga’s healing potential, fostering greater equity and more diverse representation within the yoga community, and expanding educational, service, and economic opportunities for yoga teachers.
For more information about Yoga Alliance and the Yoga Alliance Foundation, visit yogaalliance.org.
Toni Carey, Vice President of Strategic Communications