2022 Grants Challenge

A new model for community well-being

The heightened health, social & economic challenges of today have required People’s Yoga to adapt and incorporate a new model that is relevant to the current climate we are all living in. People’s Yoga will open an outdoor-indoor wellness space where children & families can belong, feel safe, & thrive. Our wellness space will offer classes & programming for social & emotional development, mental & physical well being, create access to an outdoor oasis full of color & California native plants, and be a space where community members can gather.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Community Safety

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

East LA

South LA

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Historically, low income communities of color face structural inequality and racism in all sectors. With this lived experience, two eastside born and raised Women of Color opened People’s Yoga (PY) in 2014 to address our community needs. The COVID-19 pandemic along with gentrification have exacerbated this inequality. The Latinx community has the highest Covid case rate and deaths than any other demographic in the County at 42% cases and 48% deaths respectively. This devastating virus affects the physical, mental and emotional health of countless families. PY primarily serves the Latinx community and the need for our services has intensified. We have expanded to offer more socio-emotional children’s programming and we are actively searching for a new outdoor-indoor space to offer in-person services in a Covid safe way. We have seen too many health spaces serving Latinx communities with no outdoor access close down while those with outdoor spaces, primarily in affluent areas thrive.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

This grant will be the seed money to open People’s Yoga’s outdoor-indoor wellness space which will serve as new headquarters to offer existing programs and expand services to include an outdoor garden focus. Opening an outdoor-indoor wellness space will allow us the opportunity to regain momentum, accommodate our elder and immunocompromised communities, and enhance our capacity to offer more programming and classes for children and families to be well. In this new outdoor-indoor space, People’s Yoga will continue to offer and grow it’s current services listed below: - Teacher training program with an emphasis on social entrepreneurship to lead, support and develop community leaders to advocate and create healing spaces in their communities. - Partnerships with LAUSD to provide programming focused on social & emotional development, and coping skills for grief and trauma. - Multilingual, intergenerational and culturally relevant classes and programming for children and families, including indoor/outdoor exercise, meditation, and yoga for children, adults and families.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The County will be better off with our outdoor-indoor wellness space in full activation. PY will enhance our current model of health & healing that is culturally relevant, welcoming, intergenerational and deeply connected to nature. It will be multilingual English/Spanish and continue to serve the eastside Latinx community. In light of gentrification and displacement, our outdoor-indoor wellness space will be a grounding and stabilizing place for attendees to move, breathe and be well. Our vision for success and intended impact will be that our new outdoor-indoor wellness space, programs and services are well attended by community members and that they feel COVID safe in outdoor classes. The families who attend will incorporate mind body practices and breathwork into their daily lives. Our vision of success includes the building upon and spreading of this model in partnership with other leaders to develop multiple outdoor-indoor wellness spaces throughout the County.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

The outdoor-indoor wellness space builds upon our existing business model of studio classes, yoga teacher training, and K-6 partnerships. Currently we solicit and receive ongoing feedback and evaluation from clients through online surveys and testimonies. We measure our impact by reviewing these results, talking to clients and monitoring participation levels. We’ve received recent qualitative feedback from studio participants. In response to “What Keeps You Coming Back to People’s Yoga?”, Aimee S said: “The biggest thing is that it's a women of color led space that centers other folks of color. That was seriously lacking in my previous experiences with other yoga studios in a way that made it feel hard to practice. The asana classes also really align with how I like to practice, which isn't just about fitness but about mental and emotional wellness. I also appreciate the trauma-informed language… The community is also great! This is more than just fitness and that's what I want.”

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 1,000

Indirect Impact: 4,000