We Are Not Fitness Instructors

This is a short blog. It’s primary purpose is to convey that

We are not fitness instructors.

We won’t be helping you count your calories. 

That’s about diet culture. We want you to enjoy, celebrate and nourish your body. 

We won’t only teach you asana.

An asana based practice not only reeks of cultural appropriation but it leaves students bereft of experiencing yoga as a full practice – which begins with the yamas and niyamas (ethical and moral foundations).

We won’t only share from our perspectives on yoga

We have a diverse teaching team of people from all cultural and religious backgrounds. Trainers who have been immersed in the lived experience of yoga as part of family life. We seek out current information and diverse perspectives on issues pertinent to modern yoga. When we know better, we do better.

We won’t advertise yoga while on the beach in our bikinis

Because honestly, what is that about? Sex sells, right? That is just as true for yoga as it is for all wellness traditions.

We will teach in ways which are accessible and inclusive

Can’t touch your toes? No problem. Need to practice in a chair? Great, we can do that. Living with a chronic illness? As Yoga Therapists, we know how to help.

We won’t focus on how you look

We are more interested in how you feel. How is yoga flowing into your life? How does it support you to be authentic and real? How can we help? What is your felt experience of the practice? We won’t tell you HOW you should feel.

The intersection of yoga, diet culture, weight loss and appearance has begun to shock us. We became yoga teachers as this felt like our Dharma. Sure we can teach you how to do a great chaturanga push up, but that’s not where our interest lies. 

We want you to shine bright. To undo all the damage and conditioning that fitness culture has created. We want you to love your body and find ways to heal.

We don’t need you commenting on our yoga pants and how tight they are. We don’t need to be told we look “puffy” six weeks after giving birth. Why does a yoga teacher return to teaching only weeks after birthing? Because it is her dharma, not because she is a fitness instructor. We also don’t need to hear “you look better and fitter than ever” during a time in life wherein there is a lot of inner turmoil and that external physique is not a healthful state.

We are not fitness instructors. We don’t train teachers to be so.

Yoga is so much more than the side effects it brings.

We would love to celebrate you and unpack all of this together in training.

For yoga training that encompasses the whole person, join us…

 

Yours in yoga

Jean & Chandrika

2 responses to “We Are Not Fitness Instructors”

  1. Hi there,

    I have been teaching yoga teachers for more than 50 years (yes, fifty) and it has gone from a spiritual practice to a fitness regime, and i am so pleased you are taking a stand (alongside me and my students). My teacher training course is long because we teach the philosophy and we don’t just skim over the top. We have classes on it for the general public. We are proud of our heritage and learn from it every day. You can’t teach a yoga teacher in 200 hours, with an afternoon of yamas thrown in. That isn’t yoga, and philosophy should me mandatory in order to register – it is in my school.

    Thank you again.

  2. Diane Mooy-Summers says:

    Thank you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see this on every studio wall.

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