Require BODY POSITIVITY TRAINING for yoga teachers- at least 4 hours for all RYT200, and 10 hours for all RYT500. Require 2 hours (RYT200) / 5 hours (RYT500) of study on the ethics of body positivity, 2/5 hours of study on inclusive teaching techniques.
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All Bodies Rise Yoga is asking Yoga Alliance to include body positivity training as a requirement for all registered yoga teachers. The Ellipses Project defines body positivity as, "a radical redefinition and reclamation of the body. It arose in response to Western culture that recognizes only white, able-bodied, heterosexual, and thin bodies as worthy and beautiful. Body positivity must be inclusive and intersectional if it is to make a real change in society." We would like yoga alliance to adopt this definition.
The yoga precept of nonviolence (ahimsa) must include a closer examination of how westernized yoga culture has adopted the same harmful beauty standards as popular media, and how this contributes to mass body dysmorphia and body shame. Yoga teachers registered with Yoga Alliance need a minimum of four hours (200RYT) or ten hours (RYT500) of training to learn how to reduce the embodied trauma of narrow, and often unattainable, definitions of beauty that follow our students onto the yoga mat.
Of the total training hours, two hours (RYT200) /five hours (RYT500) will focus on the study of ethics of body positivity, which should include an examination of personal and cultural body biases, body politics, and language. The additional 2 (RYT200) / 5 (RYT500) hours should focus on teaching techniques for body diversity in the classroom, including props and accessibility of poses.
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