[This episode is part of the Health and Wellness Changemakers Series, our collaboration with Shohreh Davoodi's Redefining Health and Wellness Podcast. This post is cross-posted from Shohreh's website.]
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Yoga has the potential to be a healing movement and mindset practice for all if taught in an intentional and inclusive way. But when it’s practiced in a way that centers only one type of body and minimizes others, it can do more harm than good.
Thankfully, there are fantastic yoga teachers and teacher trainers in the world like Amber Karnes who are committed to tearing down hierarchy and building a culture of consent in yoga and beyond. In this episode, Amber and Shohreh chat about ways to achieve this and why it matters.
Discussed in this episode:
- How Amber got started with yoga and why she kept going with it.
- The education Amber received through the internet on feminism, social justice, and Health At Every Size© at the same time she was developing a yoga practice.
- How to move from intellectually understanding body liberation and HAES© to actually embodying it.
- Binary thinking as a tool of oppressive systems.
- The ability of yoga to quiet our minds in order to remember our humanity.
- The importance of decentering thin, white women from yoga practice in America and addressing the barriers that keep other people at the margins.
- Trauma-informed yoga and creating a culture of consent.
- How our words as fitness professionals have the power to either build community or make people feel more lonely.
- Amber’s recommendation to remove hierarchy from your language as much as possible.
- How practitioners of yoga can empower themselves to have a better yoga experience since a lot of teachers will unfortunately not know how to work with everybody.
- How Amber defines health and wellness for herself at this moment in her life.
Mentioned in this Episode:
- Health At Every Size by Dr. Lindo Bacon (formerly known professionally as Dr. Linda Bacon).
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- Dismantling Racism trainer Michelle Cassandra Johnson
- Fat yoga teachers that Amanda recommends: Dianne Bondy; Anna Chapman; Shannon of Fringe(ish); Marc Settembrino of Fat Kid Yoga Club; Rachel Estapa; Jessamyn Stanley of the Underbelly Yoga
This Episode is Part of the Health and Wellness Changemakers Series
Sponsored by Superfit Hero
If you enjoyed the Superfit Hero Wellness Tip of the Week with Geoff Starling from Every Body STRONGER in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, check out the dozens of amazing coaches and trainers on Superfit Hero’s Body Positive Fitness Finder.
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Amber Karnes is the founder of Body Positive Yoga and the co-creator of Yoga For All Teacher Training. She’s a ruckus maker, yoga teacher, social justice advocate, and a lifelong student of her body. Amber trains yoga teachers and studio owners how to create accessible and equitable spaces for wellness and liberation. She also coaches human beings who want to build unshakable confidence and learn to live without shame or apology in the bodies they have today. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband Jimmy and their Boston terrier, Garnet. You can find Amber on her website, Instagram, and Facebook.
Other Ways to Enjoy this Episode:
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- For a full transcript of this episode, click HERE.
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