Demonstrating Social Impact: Introducing Yoga In Our City

Jun 21, 2023

by TJ Clynch

At Civic Mind, we believe that every company has the power to make a positive impact in their community. And this isn’t just some lofty pipe dream: with intentional social impact design and the right partners in place, we’ve seen that incredible impact first hand.

Our non-profit initiative Yoga In Our City (YIOC) is a great example, but reaching dozens of communities and hundreds of thousands of people didn’t happen overnight. As YIOC expands across the state, we’re taking a step back to look at how our vision for social impact design can help drive success like YIOC’s and be applied to help strengthen more communities. 

Lesson #1. Companies of all kinds can create social value through the ways in which they work. 

Whether it’s the delivery of a needed product or service, the equitable treatment of workers, or the sustainable sourcing of materials – every company makes an impact. 

Lesson #2. How to think about profits.

We encourage companies to move beyond traditional models of corporate social responsibility and strategically reinvest their profits into initiatives such as better benefits for workers, community well-being, or a more environmentally sustainable supply chain.

Practicing What We Preach

We’ve modeled these lessons of social value creation in our own enterprise. Civic Mind’s core business helps clients advance their unique vision for social and environmental impact and our agency rates ensure an equitable, living wage for our team. Profits from our agency work are then redistributed to our community projects such as Yoga In Our City and The Hartford Times. 

The Growth of Yoga In Our City

Yoga In Our City is a non-profit organization providing high quality yoga instruction and wellness education founded to address persistent inequities found in urban communities across our state.

We saw that access to opportunities proven to improve physical and mental health, such as exercise, community connections, and being in nature, were often a luxury commodity versus a public good. In the summer of 2012, Yoga In Our City began offering free, inclusive, trauma-informed yoga classes in Hartford’s Bushnell Park.

Now, 11 years later, the program is active in six cities, providing more than 600 classes from May to October, all designed to improve a statewide culture of community health and well-being. We are proud to be joined by ConnectiCare and our community partners in a shared effort to improve public health infrastructure and community resilience, while reducing stress, illness, and healthcare costs. The next phase of development for this program will be expanding access to yoga instruction and economic opportunity, so stay tuned to learn more.

Meet us on the mat in a city near you.

Visit to learn how to join us in building stronger, more compassionate communities.


by TJ Clynch

TJ founded Civic Mind in 2011 as the political and economic climate of the “Great Recession” created a market in demand of social impact through community organization, creativity, and collaboration. His blend of social entrepreneurship and public interest advocacy has made him a recognized leader in community wealth building, social equity, and economic justice.