The Connective is cooperatively owned and powered by teachers. We provide a sustainable livelihood for yoga and movement professionals and raise industry standards for quality, diversity, anti-racism, and accessibility. We offer students an online space to explore movement, build community, and discover new potential.
Statement on Cultural Appropriation
The Connective recognizes the harm and racism of cultural appropriation and how the wellness and yoga industries have long benefited from silence and inaction on this issue. We are committed toward moving forward in the most respectful way possible. Cultural appropriation is defined as the act of adopting elements of an outside, often minority culture, including knowledge, practices, and symbols, without understanding or respecting the original culture and context (dictionary.com). Yoga in the West often appropriates yoga by glorifying symbols and iconography of yoga and South Asian culture, in addition to presenting yoga with the least possible acknowledgement of where it comes from. Oftentimes zero acknowledgement.
There is no monolithic South Asian perspective on the cultural appropriation of yoga and culture or approaches on how to tackle it. Our voices and views at The Connective are diverse but we all agree that it is our responsibility to tackle this injustice in our teachings, business practices and communities. What is valuable is understanding how cultural appropriation is harmful in ways that go beyond offending people: it erases the complexity of the people whose culture is appropriated.
Discussions around race and cultural appropriation are complex and fluid. We are open to hearing your comments, critiques, and suggestions. We also invite you to visit our resources and business guidelines on cultural appropriation.
Statement on Structural Change and Anti-Racism
The Connective understands that this exploitative industry cannot be changed by one business model. In fact, the wellness industry is the leader of deceiving people with “capitalism can be kind” rhetoric. But we understand that we need to proceed differently.
What we are doing:
Every teacher owns the Connective with equal voting power, 100% ownership of their work on the site and 85% of course earnings. Our board will be tasked with challenging the status quo on race, cultural appropriation, gender and capitalism to ensure our business model will always remain committed to anti-racism and economic justice.
The Connective acknowledges marginalized communities have a right to fitness, movement, Pilates and yoga. We have created a scale for pricing to be able to give access to all and expect our work to be valued without being exploitative, especially of those that have been oppressed in our rigged capitalist society. We encourage our students to be honest and participate in fighting for economic justice for wellness workers.