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.
[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
- Original Facebook Thread
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast Episode 265: Teach LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Yoga with Gabi Parkham
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast Episode 181: Grow an Online Yoga Business with Nikki Naab-Levy
- Rebecca C
- Jennifer Downing: Instagram and Website
- Anti-Oppression, Inclusion and Accessibility in Yoga Resources
- This Woman Shared Her Awful Experience Getting Body Shamed And Judged At A Yoga Studio And Thousands Of People Are Sharing Similar Experiences, Buzzfeed Article
- Yves Cedano: Website and Instagram
- Tiffany on Instagram
- 6 Easy-to-Implement Tips for Fantastic Client Retention, By Sinead O’Connor for OfferingTree
- Cindy Beers
- Yoga for Mental Health Program, Omega Institute
- Eleonora Cordovani
- Nikki Desalvo, Survivor-Led Movement
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast Episode 268: Yoga for Survivors of Sexual Assault with Nikki Adams
- Michael Symon
- Elaine: Facebook and Website
- Native Land Digital
- Shannon Crow on Instagram
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group
Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree
wow. So many circumstances where I was left agog, thinking “that’s not yoga!”. I have a deeper reverence for my teachers and the trainings I’ve been lucky to have. When I show up to my mat teaching or not, I move with gratitude: for the lessons I’ve received and the students that come wish to experience what I can offer. This podcast is important for all of us in the yoga community to be witness to so we can continue to be tender, welcoming and inclusive. Thanks for all that you do Shannon with the yoga teachers podcast and Pelvic Floor website and teachings.
Thank you for listening, sharing your thoughts and caring for yoga — and the spaces we create Janna!
I went to a yoga class years ago where we were told to do a headstand. I opted not to participate and was called out in front of the class as a result. It took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to try again.