For exclusive access to all our stories, including sequences, teacher tips, video classes, and more, join Outside+ today.
Something truly special is currently happening in yoga. We, as teachers and practitioners, are so fortunate to be witness to the ongoing growth, expansion, and diversification of our community—via age, race, body size, ability, gender, socioeconomic background, and more. But if, as a teacher, you feel unsure how to teach in a way that includes and resonates with everyone at once, you’re not alone. If, as a student, you feel isolated in class because you don’t see yourself reflected in your studio, you’re not alone either!
In the spirit of inclusivity, I have developed the new online course with Yoga Journal, Inclusivity Training for Yoga: Building Community with Compassion, to help students with different strengths, challenges, and experiences feel at home at their local yoga studios. The goal is to help us all be more mindful with our words, compassionate with our hearts, and effective in our teaching and practice. This course will help you feel more comfortable in class and become more aware of unconscious assumptions you may make as you teach—and then overcome them. Learning how to work with students in a way that doesn’t inadvertently offend, demoralize, dismiss, or exclude is as essential to teaching yoga as learning anatomy.
In the course, you’ll hear deeply personal stories from teachers who have made inclusion in yoga their life’s work. For example, Teo Drake shares what it is like being at the frontline of making yoga studios and classes gender inclusive and queer friendly; Dianne Bondy and Anna Guest-Jelley share their experiences in bigger bodies and offer practice tips for moving comfortably in them; and Tyrone Beverly talks about how you can expand your community by thoughtfully reaching out to others. Seane Corn adds insight on how to serve with integrity and without burning out.
As your guide through this six-week course, I’ll help you find and use language that includes all, avoid assists that could trigger students, create classes that serve diverse students, become aware of your own unintentional biases and habits, and take care of yourself as you continue to give as a teacher and a student.
As the reach of yoga expands, why not expand your own toolbox so you can effectively serve as many students as possible?
The tool kit in this course includes:
- Languaging and cueing tips to make every class you teach speak to all students
- Role-playing exercises that reveal whether you unknowingly alienate students
- Reviews of common mistakes most teachers make
- Yogic practices that make everyone and every body feel included, no matter their background and ability
- Opportunities for deep reflection on your hidden biases, intentions as a teacher, and actions in front of a class
- Stories and lessons from experts in the field
- Tips for reaching out to new audiences
- A suite of self-care tools to enhance your life on and off the mat
This thoughtful, comprehensive, and unique sensitivity training will help you stand out as a teacher who actively makes all students feel welcome, adept, and at home—and make you more comfortable as a student. I hope you join me on this journey! Learn more about the course now.