This week my “Teaching Tip” is an invitation, an inquiry.
Dear yoga teachers + studio owners :
Look around your practice spaces and ask yourself, who is not present here?Who is not represented in your trainers and workshop presenters? Look at your list of well worn books, manuals, and study tools for practice. Who’s voice is not heard here? Who does your favorite yoga apparel & accessory company not show accessing yoga?
I know we all cultivate a “brand” and that includes who our target audience is and guides a lot of what we do. Yet there’s room for the question what’s missing from our schedule or class offerings?
Stay curious about who’s not present and what we all miss out on because of that…And then, stay deeply curious about why.
Yoga exists within the context of our larger culture and many of the ills of that play out in our sacred spaces. Yet I believe that honest and consistent yoga practice can expand our capacity and ability to grapple with some of the most challenging of these in a mindful, necessarily fierce, and compassionate way.
Only if it matters to us. Only if we are willing to look and see who’s not there and consider our role in sustaining that absence, invisibility, and inaccessibility. Only if we resist “band-aid”, quick fix, solutions that our minds conjure up when what we see creates discomfort or defense.
In this inquiry, if you find dissonance between what you believe and what’s represented in the spaces you teach or own- be gentle, firm, and brave- AND look deeply into that gap. It may present as a pus filled wound. Ickiness, an inclination to blame someone else for pulling off the scab, dressing, or poking it by simply asking the question.
If the question rubs you, perhaps it’s the salve.
So y’all- no tips this week- just an ask of us, yoga teachers and studio owners.
Let’s look and see who we do not see in our practice spaces. Let’s look within ourselves and question how our thoughts, words, and actions perpetuate that…Let us question ourselves and intentions.
Let us ask for honest answers.