016. Stop saying “full expression of the pose” [Making Asana Accessible Part 2]

Season #1 Episode #16

Episode 16 is the second in a series about making yoga asana accessible for all bodies. In this episode, Amber and Jivana talk about the language we use as yoga teachers. Jivana shares what the yoga Sutras say about the role of asana in our practice and we talk in-depth about investigating and shifting the language we use to communicate in our teaching spaces. Amber talks briefly about her recent Yoga Journal cover issue, including the history of harm the publication has had in yoga and wellness, and the importance of holding these large organizations accountable. This conversation is a rich exchange about the way our words can create belonging and affirm our students or our words can uphold systems of oppression and perpetuate a yoga practice that is inaccessible to most. 

  • How Amber feels about her recently released Yoga Journal Cover and the history of harm the publication has had in yoga and wellness.
  • How the Sutras talk about the physical asana
  • The focus of western yoga culture to center the physical aspects of the practice while ignoring the other parts
  • How being in inquiry within the body empowers us to going into deeper inquiry around our thoughts and feelings
  • How the phrase “full expression of the pose” creates a hierarchy in our yoga classes
  • The importance of investing the language we use to teach this practice
  • The importance of understanding the stories people are holding about using props
  • How we unlearn ableism within our practice spaces and community 
  • How teaching the foundations and intentions of each pose removes hierarchy of physical ability 
  • The importance of giving our students agency and using language that empowers them, honors consent and welcomes folks to honor the bodies they have