Teach As COVID-19 Reveals the Cracks in the Yoga Industry,...

As COVID-19 Reveals the Cracks in the Yoga Industry, Could a Universal Teachers’ Union Help Reshape Our Community?


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This story is part of a series covering the future of yoga during and after the coronavirus pandemic. Here, we take a look at the progress the yoga unionization effort has made. Read more about the the specific challenges facing the industry in our second story: The Future of Yoga: The Change We Need.

An empty yoga studio

For yoga teachers around the world, their worst case career scenario arrived mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of yoga studios and limited in-person contact for an indefinite period of time. As more than 40 million Americans file for unemployment, many of whom lack health insurance or paid sick leave, there has never been a more pressing time than the present to consider the possibilities associated with a yoga teachers’ union.

It’s not a new thought. In fact, it’s an initiative that started with a small group of YogaWorks teachers in New York back in February 2019. These teachers formed Unionize Yoga, the first-ever yoga teachers’ union to become certified by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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