275: Kicked Out of a Yoga Class!? with Shannon Crow

Have you ever been kicked out of a yoga class, or made to feel unwelcome, excluded, or shamed? It may feel shocking to hear if you have never had this experience, but sadly this is something many people in The Connected Yoga Teacher community have experienced.

In this episode, Shannon shares comments from members of The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook community describing their experiences when they were kicked out of a yoga class, or felt uncomfortable, ashamed, and rejected from the class, both because of yoga teachers and other students. 

This episode invites us to consider how we are showing up in our yoga classes and in the world with empathy, compassion, and understanding – and encourages us to think about how we can disrupt harm when we encounter it to create safer and more welcoming yoga spaces for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

[2:55] Shannon explains the topic for this episode – how we don’t want our yoga classes to go and how we don’t want yoga students to feel.

[4:25] Shannon shares the inspiration for this episode – the experience of Shannon’s friends who were kicked out of a yoga class based on their gender.

“How often do people not feel safe or included in a yoga class due to gender?” ~ Shannon Crow 

[7:50] One of the things that people shared was not being allowed to leave or drink water or modify something in a yoga class.

“Why do we feel the need to control other bodies instead of letting them choose what they want to be doing, and not only choose what they want to be doing, choosing what they need to be doing?” ~ Shannon Crow 

[14:05] Shannon shares an audio message from Aarti about not feeling welcome or feeling excluded from yoga.

“When we just pull out a tiny piece [of a culture] and place it on merchandise for sale or change the meaning, that’s cultural appropriation. That’s harmful.” – Aarti

[19:19] Shannon invites us to think about Aarti’s experience and to reflect on our own actions in yoga spaces. 

[20:42] Shannon shares experiences from yoga teachers who have been turned away from yoga or discouraged from practicing it because of their size or age.

[22:35] Shannon shares a comment from community members who felt unwelcome for needing visual cues or modifications in a yoga class.

[25:23] Shannon shares an article Sinéad wrote for OfferingTree.

[28:02] A community member shares two stories of not feeling welcome in a yoga class.

[33:17] Shannon reads a comment from a community member about their experience with non-attachment.

[35:35] Clique behaviors is another common theme that has made people feel unwelcome at yoga classes or studios.

[38:16] Trigger Warning: The next section of this podcast deals with sensitive topics like intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

[38:45] We may also make people feel unwelcome based on things we cannot see or know about them or their experiences. Shannon shares a comment and an audio clip from a community member talking about survivors of intimate partner violence.

[44:39] Shannon shares a comment and a clip from a male community member who felt unwelcome in his class of all women.

[50:10] We have no idea what people are dealing with as they walk into a yoga class with us, which is why it is important to have empathy, understanding, and compassion for others.

[50:42] Shannon shares a few more comments from people who have felt excluded in yoga classes.

[56:21] Shannon invites us to call out harmful practices we may encounter and reflect on our own practices as well.

“We can learn from this, we can definitely take a look at how we are showing up to teach yoga to share yoga and look with a bit of self-compassion and reflection as well.” ~ Shannon Crow 


Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree

OfferingTree all-in-one software