Black yoga instructors in the UK have been given more time to prepare for a controversial new class they’re teaching to new students.
Key points:The teacher’s group is trying to improve their “ability to be black, male and female” by teaching a new curriculum with “toxic ideas”The new class will teach students “to feel more confident, to be more in control of their emotions and to take control of the situation”.
Black yoga instructors have long been criticised for their lack of diversity in the curriculum and lack of focus on how to build confidence.
Black yoga instructor Yashar Yassin, who has previously said black women are “more vulnerable than white people” and “fiercely intelligent”, says he is “taking a risk” and trying to give black yoga a better shot at success.
But Black yoga teachers in the United Kingdom are facing backlash after teaching a class called The Black Yoga Instructor Course.
In the course, taught by a group called Black Yoga Education for Black Women, it is not taught to new women or men, but to students who are already qualified.
The new curriculum, designed to teach students to feel more “in control of themselves” and to “take control of situations” will also “expose the toxic ideas” and will “encourage self-reflection and self-care”, the organisation said.
“The Black Yoga Educators are not only challenging the toxic and outdated beliefs that have created a culture of silence, shame and silence that leads to an over-policing of women and girls, but also by highlighting the positive aspects of Black yoga and empowering Black women and black people in a challenging and dynamic way,” the group said in a statement.
Black teachers have been warned to be careful about their students and to be open about the course if they feel uncomfortable with its content.
“As a yoga teacher and as a teacher of yoga, I am not going to allow myself to be seen as the bad guy, the bad person,” Ms Yassin said.
“I am going to be a good teacher and teach my students the best things they can learn in a way that is challenging, positive and fun.”
If the course is not appropriate for a student, then that student will not be taught.
“But the curriculum is already being criticised for being offensive to women.
The National Union of Teachers and Students said it was “deeply troubled” by the class, and called for its teacher to be banned.”
It’s a shame that the Black Yoga Teachers Association (BLTA) is promoting this divisive, harmful and exclusionary yoga that is aimed at alienating and demeaning women,” said NUTS president Richard Lloyd.”
This is not the way to be teaching a form of yoga.
It is a way of promoting a dangerous ideology that encourages people to shut themselves off and feel bad about themselves and their bodies.”BLTA is also challenging the teacher’s organisation, which it says is “not representative of the majority of Black people in the British yoga community”.”
If we as Black people want to teach Black yoga, we should be able to do so in a space where we can be our own space and where we’re not seen as a threat to other Black people,” Ms Loyd said.
The group has not responded to a request for comment.