I became very disheartened this weekend as I was talking to people at an event. There are people refusing to try yoga again because a teacher told them in a yoga class- “just do what you can” and that only included maybe 25% of the class. Most of these individuals were seniors but not all of them. No modifications were explained and chairs were not offered. This was extremely frustrating. One woman was so angry that she raised her voice. What if you went to a restaurant and had to pay full price for 25% of the meal? What if you took your car to a mechanic and had to pay full price for 25% of the service?
This is a demonstration for using a chair. The chair was provided to someone who did not find the floor accessible to her that day. Chairs are provided when the need is so great. When the chair is no longer needed, it goes away. I can not understand how or why this isn’t used more. Now, this is a 2 way street. The consumer has to ask if not offered as well. If you were getting a hair cut and the hair dresser or barber only did 25% of the services, I am sure you would react.
Consumers I beg you to now ask the credentials of the yoga teacher. You would for any other service, right? I am sure a doctor has told you to go do yoga but gave you no guidance as to how to find a qualified teacher or studio. Ask yoga teachers if they know how to modify a yoga practice. If you are not comfortable, use your gut. Think of your body as your home. You do not let anyone work on your home that you are not comfortable with.
Now yoga teachers or teachers in training- remember what you are taught about ahimsa or do no harm. If you are answering customers with “do what you can”, refer to someone who knows what they are doing. There is nothing wrong with that. Doctors referred to specialists all the time. This is no different. Remember to serve others and do what is best for that individual. This requires referral partners and team work.
At the same event, there was another yoga teacher. We do not service the same population and we provide very different services. There was a woman who approached this other teacher about various injuries and past surgeries. She personally walked her over to my table and said this was beyond her scope of practice. I was so surprised and I give this teacher an amazing amount of respect. That is ahimsa.
Originally posted on January 7, 2018 on Soul To Soul Yoga website by Cheryl Albright