Author Archive: Elizabeth

Ways to Ask Permission

I’ve been on staycation for the holidays. I’ve taken a few asana classes around town in studio spaces I haven’t been in before.

In two of the classes, the teachers stated at the beginning that they give physical adjustments. Both teachers asked while students were in child’s pose, so that the response was only for the teacher.

One teacher asked students to make a sign if they did NOT WANT to have adjustments. The other said to make a thumbs up if they WANTED adjustments.

I noticed a palpable difference in the degree of consent because of the emotional difference for me between having to actively say no to avoid unwanted touch as opposed to being told I would be left untouched unless I specifically gave permission. There is also a difference between simply allowing touch rather than specifically having to say I want to receive it.

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