As a yoga teacher, we want to share the health and wellness benefits of the “ohms” and yoga poses to everyone. And cultural diversity shouldn’t be a problem. With that, we give you tips on how to love and embrace different cultural background through yoga.
Embarking on a wonderful journey with yoga is more exciting most especially if it is culturally diverse. It may be scary at first, because you don’t want to accidentally offend them in such a way that would ruin the integrity of yoga. Thus, it is important to keep in mind these tips:
1. Encourage and make everyone feel comfortable
Most especially if you have a group of beginners, a good impression and a comfortable atmosphere is the key. Because that improves their engagement to you and the poses as well. The first step should start in you, as a teacher – make everyone feel as one, like they belong in the mat and at the studio, of course. If you have a small number of students, it is good to compliment them each or if this is not possible, then at least say positive and inspiring words. Because sometimes, what we think is a small thing can actually become a big thing for others.
2. Include everyone, especially in partner yoga routines
Gestures, in every simple way, can also make or break your integrity. Stay natural to everyone, have people of any race and culture feel like you are one of them. For example, your promotional picture should show different people doing one thing – yoga. This increases the chances of them accepting your invitation as they can see themselves in the picture. Also, as for yoga instructors, be sure to show a good role model to others. Whenever it is time for partner yoga, choose someone who is new to yoga or of different race and culture.
3. Share and learn about their culture
As various cultures have their own share of dos and donts, it is good that you are aware of their culture also. As a guru, it is your responsible to know your student so to inspire them more. There can be a certain part of your yoga class where everyone can participate in sharing their own culture to others. You can also share your own to make them feel comfortable. This even levels up your yoga classes.
4. Teach the benefits
To yogis who are teaching for beginners, take note to present the the benefits along with the poses and routines itself. This makes the class relevant to each and every person present – no racism involved as everyone becomes united through yoga. Moreover, they’ll be surprised to why they should be doing yoga routinely.
5. Always acknowledge what you all have in common
Another tip on how to be comfortable to each other, especially to your students, is to find out what you all have in common. Remember, if you have best friends, certainly you’ll have a bunch of things that you both love. This is also true in building friendship. For you to make your students comfortable with those stretches and uncommon poses, they’ll feel they belong and would more likely enjoy your class.