I always offer my classes to everyone.
Yes if you ask me I offer to all bodies and every body. However are my adverts are me a white able bodied women of middle age. That already is suggesting a typical yogi. If I’m advertising yoga classes using teens, which teens am I representing. Are the poses gymnastics or yoga. Am I showing diversity in yoga with posts I’m sharing, information I’m sharing. Is the class accessible for teens with disabilities, how can I make sure the class is open to everyone from both affluent and poverty homes.
I am not a racist,
I am not a racist but am I anti racist? What am I doing to fight racism. What am I doing to promote the work of BIPOC? Am I actively fighting racism in my everyday life, Online and it work. Am I anti racist when there is movement or always and everyday. Am I finding discussions difficult- if yes than I need to keep going it means something is changing. One picture of a different body shape, colour, gender does not make a interesting SM.
My class is a space for everyone-
Is it if you stand out due to the way you look, after all these are teens who already feel self conscious. I have had one balcony student in the class, have I ensured they felt safe and welcomed. This is where the idea of equality vs equity. To ensure access to yoga it may be that we need to not be equal with how we treat all our students to ensure systemic racism is not inherent.
So what I will do
Learn- if one positive of highlighting the inequalities is that I’ve been signposted to some great resources.
Don’t assume- personal lesson learnt assuming intentions does not mean that racism isn’t present.
Diversify my feed- why would any teen come to a class that they don’t feel welcome in. Where are photos of them In yoga where are stories from them
Reach out to diversify my groups- BIPOC are already disadvantaged form day one regarding poverty, opportunity, discrimination. Read some already shared accounts and stories. Why would students think ah I should do yoga there is a great teacher in Bromley. I need to do the work to teach students.
I won’t ask my black friends and colleagues what to do- seriously they have enough crap without me being ignorant. Do your own research put your neck out. You may get it wrong but then you will learn. We as yoga teachers want to heal the world and we can’t do that if we won’t except we may get a few wounds along the way.
Learn some more, follow accounts on Instagram and Facebook who are already sharing stuff.
Think about platforms, I have a great one I can share and give someone else that platform.
Think about what I view, should seeing a photo of a BIPOC, person with a dissability, larger bodies (please see the current information on body acceptance also readily available) be a “oh wow cool moment” or is this just a regular part of what I view.
Keep checking my privilege and using it for positive. I can be asking questions about diversity with companies, employers, schools. I can afford to attend workshops and classes by different teachers with different styles and personal stories. I can write this little.
Blog and signpost to the yogis I admire AND ask that you share back yogis who I haven’t yet met. Acknowledge that yes I’m not actively discriminatory and yes I treat everyone equally but actually I need to be working at removing the barriers to ensure justice.