266: Social Location, Power & Privilege with Raudhah Rahman266: Social Location, Power & Privilege with Raudhah Rahman

What is social location and what does it have to do with teaching yoga? Many of us don’t often think about our identities, how they intersect, and how they afford us privilege and shape our life experiences. In this episode, we learn more from Raudhah Rahman (she/her) about social location and how it is relevant to yoga teachers.

Raudhah Rahman describes herself as connecting people with their voices whether that’s through web design, teacher training or a yoga class. As a yoga teacher, Raudhah practices disruption as a way of creating conditionas of wellness for all of us. She is a self-taught website designer whose business, Wellness + Websites, was born after she lost her job as a yoga studio assistant because of the pandemic. Her main focus is providing websites & branding services to folks who want to embrace all of their identities and share their value driven work with others.

Raudhah explains what social location is, and where we use this as yoga teachers. She also shares more about the importance of recognizing and questioning our privilege and the responsibility we have when we hold privilege. From a yoga philosophy lens, Raudhah sheds light on how the 8 limbs of yoga intersect with social location, how we can deal with mistakes when we make them, and continue to learn and grow.

Key Takeaways:

[3:46] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Raudhah Rahman.

[7:21] Shannon gives a shout-out to OfferingTree and to one of the podcast listeners.

[11:19] What does Raudhah do and who does she do it for? She shares her social location and how that led to the work that she does.

[16:27] What is social location?

“Social location is a practice used to reflect on the groups you belong to because of your place of position and history and society.” – Raudhah Rahman, quoting Michelle Johnson

[18:24] How does social location come into the yoga world and how can yoga teachers use it?

[24:26] What are Raudhah’s thoughts on the pushback people sometimes have on discussing privilege or specific identities?

“If I don’t begin to question that privilege that I have, because I’ve internalized it as normal, I may not realize the harm that I’m doing by normalizing certain actions I’ve taken or normalizing the actions that institutions have taken that marginalize those further away from power.” “Social location is a practice used to reflect on the groups you belong to because of your place of position and history and society.” – Raudhah Rahman

[30:59] What are some different identities we can think about when considering our social location?

“I think personal power really comes from disrupting the identities we’ve internalized.” Raudhah Rahman

[34:59] Citizenship is another element of the social location wheel that can play into a person’s experience of the world.

[37:50] Shannon and Raudhah explore this idea of fighting for privilege vs. fighting for freedom.

“Are we fighting for privilege? Or are we fighting for freedom?” – Raudhah Rahman quoting Alok

[40:56] How can yoga teachers share these ideas or start to look at incorporating this into their messaging? It’s not as simple as tacking on something to your website.

[46:16] Some of this work can feel shocking as we learn about things we didn’t know but it is important to do. What are some tips that can help make this practice easier?

[54:34] What’s the difference between being called in and someone just lashing out? How can we handle both?

[59:41] What are some other things that Raudhah wishes people knew about social location?

[63:00] Shannon chats with Raudhah about how she can ask podcast guests to introduce themselves with their social location.

[65:46] Shannon reflects on her takeaways from this conversation with Raudhah.


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