Introduction – Amber Karnes and Body Positive Yoga
2:40 Consent, Agency, Body Sovereignty
Consent: There is culture around touch in yoga. Many people don’t want to be touched. Only uses touch in cases of safety or to point out certain things the student may not understand. How to ensure a consent mindset is to set a focus that the student and teacher are working together but student controls what the body does. Touch is not optional; students are the experts concerning their bodies. Each pose is an enquiry about your own body and you have agency about what your body will do. Models of Consent: must an enthusiastic yes, consent cards, students understand what adjustment means and how it might be done, students have the right during any part of class to refuse touch. Amber is interested in any other techniques from the listeners about how they handle consent.
14:20 Agency – Amber has practiced yoga in a fat body for 15 years. Originally, she couldn’t find a teacher to modify her poses to accommodate her body. She had to create her own practice to make it work for the body she had. Loved the benefits of yoga so she figured out a lot on her own. Large-bodied individuals, disabled students need modifications. Not here to fix someone or someone’s body, we are offering tools to empower students to do yoga. We need to learn how to teach others since we were trained to teach other yoga teachers in our teacher training. If the student leaves with a successful experience, then they will probably return.
22:10 Tips for studio owners, teachers to make the space inclusive. Is it physically accessible for people disabled or elderly or injured? Is it financially accessible? Do you offer scholarship opportunities or subsidised rates? Letting others who can afford to pay above the rate to help those who cannot pay. Do you have diverse teachers? Are students going to see someone like them? What kind of photographs do you use in your marketing? Yoga language or?
What is the purpose of the Asana? Can you duplicate that purpose with modifications, props or other asanas if the first asana is not appropriate?
30:45 How did yoga help Amber make peace with her body? Recommended by her physical trainer to do yoga on the off days since it would burn calories but wasn’t considered exercise. Went to her first class and she was the only bigger bodied person. She attended the class and left when it was over and noticed that the negative self-talk started which meant that at some period before it had stopped. She felt so good afterwards that she returned to class. Yoga made a huge difference in her emotional state. Found a teacher who could help. She had been fighting against her body, but yoga gave her the tools to partner with her body and accept her body.
38:38 Body Positive Movement – get to a place of acceptance and peace with the body. Free of emotional energy in not fighting the boy. Yoga is the best tool for self-regulation.
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