Body Positive Yoga Teaching
Despite the increasing popularity of yoga, not everyone feels welcome in classes. While many instructors are making an effort to make their studios more welcoming, this is only part of the picture. In order for yoga to truly be inclusive, it must also go beyond merely providing access to the mat and into how we teach. This is where body positive yoga teaching comes in.
A Yoga Teacher Training for bigger bodies online instructor is someone who is willing to make their class accessible and safe for all bodies regardless of age, size, ability or even appearance. They use mindful language, offer support in poses that may be challenging or painful and make modifications to pose variations that are more accessible. In body-positive yoga, students feel supported and welcomed to take their practice at their own pace and recognise their unique body as perfect.
This training will help yoga teachers build confidence in modifying their classes for a variety of body types. By offering a range of props such as blocks, straps and bolsters to allow for greater support, as well as giving clear instructions on how to modify poses so they are more accessible to all bodies, instructors can give students the confidence to come to their mat and to take their practice as far as they want without feeling intimidated or self-conscious.
Body Positive Yoga Teaching: Online Training for Inclusive Practice
The Body Positive Yoga Teaching: Online Training for Inclusive Practice will be a valuable resource for yoga instructors as it examines the ways in which yoga has been presented and the messages that, even though they have been traditionally accepted, perpetuate harm and exclude people who could benefit from the physical and mental health benefits of yoga. In the book, Noble explains that yoga is a form of personal transformation that can be enjoyed by all bodies and encourages instructors to take the time to create a supportive space for their students.
A big problem in the yoga world is that the images used in marketing campaigns tend to be skinny women with long, lean limbs holding themselves in challenging poses. This can be off putting for potential students and may discourage them from attending a class. The book offers suggestions to reduce this bias and increase sensitivity to issues such as racism, homophobia, ageism and ableism.
Other factors that can contribute to a body-positive environment include the design of the space, removing large mirrors and considering how and when touch is offered in a class (for example, if touching is done to release tension or provide assistance with alignment, students who don’t feel comfortable being touched should be given the opportunity to decline). It is also important for yoga teachers to have consent cards so that anyone who does not wish to be touched can easily indicate this. This can be as simple as using a standard playing card or a handmade one. It is also a good idea for instructors to consider whether or not to use hand-on adjustments in their classes at all.