why consent cards are important...
I created Yoga Consent Cards in order to:
Disrupt the traditional teacher-student power dynamics present in many modern postural yoga settings, encouraging mutual respect and healthy boundaries.
Clarify and cultivate the conversations around consent, promoting self-reflection, self-determination, and confidence.
Acknowledge and respect the presence of diverse backgrounds, histories, and perspectives, including trauma, that might influence a student to decline physical touch.
I'd been pondering the ethics of physical touch as a yoga teacher, and I knew I wanted a better way to communicate with my students.
After attending a week long training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga (through the Trauma Center), I gained a new appreciation for the importance of informed consent in the yoga classroom.
The most important stick-with-me-forever message I learned through the training is the simple fact that even if I only teach "regular" public classes, there WILL be students who have experienced trauma present in the room.
This is the unavoidable harsh reality we live in.
And physical touch can be both incredibly healing OR potentially triggering for those of us who have survived trauma. Yoga Consent Cards were born out of my desire to have clarity, choice, and mutual respect as an integral part of my students' experience.
There are also plenty of other reasons besides trauma that might influence someone to decline physical touch. If yoga is to be healing and transformative, the power of choice needs to always be with the student, not the will of the teacher.
To be clear: I think the VAST majority of teachers have the BEST intentions when offering assists! But it's impossible for us to know what's going on for each of our students--Yoga Consent Cards take the guesswork out of this important communication.
There are so many incredible teachers out there helping others find peace and healing through the practices of yoga. I believe Yoga Consent Cards can be a tool to aid in that process of healing and growth.
Have questions or want to know more? Contact me.