Alcohol and Teaching Yoga Don't Mix

To my fellow yoga instructors, a gentle reminder about teaching post-Thanksgiving (and any post-holiday) classes.

1. Don't reference alcohol in your classes. There may be students who are struggling with substance abuse or may be on the path to sobriety. Cues such as "imagine balancing a tray of X, Y, and Z drinks on your back" for halfway lift, or talking about how much you as the instructor drank last week, is inappropriate.

2. Also with regards to alcohol, there are students who may not drink (for example, myself), so your cues are obsolete.

3. There are folks who struggle with eating disorders and/or continually face body shaming from those around them. While yoga can lend to physical fitness, reiterating during class that students need to "work off" their Thanksgiving meals is insensitive. If that's someone's personal reason for coming, then that's fine - creating an intention or environment of "making up" for what one ate, however, is inappropriate.

It's SO EASY for instructors to get caught into these stereotypical teaching traps. Eating and drinking messages are already reinforced societally through the bombardment of targeted marketing that women especially receive. We really don't need this entering into what's supposed to be a safe and non-judgmental studio space.

Sameera Qureshi