Having 200, 500, or 1,000 hours of teacher training does not make anyone an expert on politics, war, or views on vaccines.
I can’t believe I have to say this out loud as a reminder, yet a recent experience in a meditation training has shown me it does need to be said.
Being a yoga teacher does not equate to being educated on every single complex topic. And you know what? That’s okay!
It’s okay not to know. It’s okay not to have a strong opinion on certain topics. And it’s definitely not okay for teachers to talk about their political views in their yoga classes or trainings.
Doing a quick Google search or watching one IGTV does not make someone an expert.
I am stunned, appalled, and confused why some yoga teachers feel compelled to share their views on everything, especially controversial topics.
Words matter. Language is powerful.
What teachers say to students makes an impact.
I say this from as loving as a place as possible to all fellow teachers out there… please stop talking about things you are uneducated about. It can be causing more harm than good.
It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.”
It’s okay to be unsure of where you stand on certain political issues.
It’s okay to be confused about the conflict in the Middle East.
When students are paying yoga teachers to teach a yoga class and it goes off the rails and turns into the teacher sharing their views on Bill Gates or war… that’s not okay.
I believe it’s compromising Asteya (non-stealing) in Sanskrit. A teacher taking up the time of a class or a training to talk about their views on politics is stealing the student’s time.
Most students are not coming to yoga classes for that.
Most people find yoga a safe and sacred space to let go of the external world and reconnect to themselves.
Let’s all do our part and keep it that way.
On a related note, a teacher sharing something on their social media versus taking up time in a yoga class or training people are paying them for is different.
Although I disagree with a lot of what I see online, it’s none of my business. With that said, I still think what we put on the internet should be approached mindfully.
Before writing something on Facebook or re-sharing an infographic on Instagram, it’s important to ask ourselves these three questions:
>> Why am I sharing this information?
>> Do I know enough about this topic to get into an educational debate?
>> Is this information potentially causing harm?
Let’s let yoga on the mat be about yoga on the mat.
Let’s keep yoga spaces sacred, inclusive, and welcoming.