Yoga has gained in popularity and is increasingly used as a means of reducing stress and improving health. Yoga classes are found in spas, gyms, wellness centers and private studios. Along with this trend comes projects aimed at bringing yoga to those who would be unable to afford or access these services and therefore miss out on the benefits that yoga can bring to their lives. A variety of yoga schools offer grants and funding to provide free trainings to target groups.
Yoga for Youth
According to Open Body Mind, yoga teachers interested in working with youth can apply to the Satya Foundation by submitting a proposal about the program. The Y.O.G.A. for Youth mission is to "provide urban youth with tools for self-discovery that foster hope, discipline and respect for self, others and community." Yoga for Youth offers yoga classes based on donation or what you are able to afford.
Yoga and Diversity
If you are interested in teaching yoga in minority or challenged populations, Kripalu offers grants through the Teaching for Diversity Program. You need to be a member of this organization. "Members receive grants and scholarships to teach in disadvantaged schools or to diverse populations, such as ethnic minorities and those socially, economically or physically challenged," reports the Kripalu website.
Yoga in Schools
Through the Rachel Greene Memorial Fund, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health offers scholarships to yoga and elementary school teachers who want to bring yoga into disadvantaged schools.
Grants for Iyengar Practitioners
IyengarYoga.org is a website devoted to grants for certified Iyengar teachers to apply for funding to provide Iyengar Yoga classes free of charge to populations that would otherwise be unable to access these services. An example of a population you might serve would be single mothers in a low income, urban community. Grantees are required to document their program in both writing and photographs.
Research your local or regional yoga associations. Some associations are now offering grant money to provide training in underserved populations. Two examples are the Mid-Atlantic Yoga Association and the Give Back Yoga Foundation. You might also approach your local yoga practitioner to see if she would like to collaborate on a fundraiser or service project. For personal free training needs, you can approach your yoga teacher or yoga studio to see if there is a work study program or other work exchange available.