Barriers to Yoga for Diverse Populations: What Research Reveals About How to Create Inclusive Yoga Spaces

with Jennifer Webb, PhD

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About this talk

At a time when so many around the world are grappling with the fallout of COVID-19 — from job loss, to social isolation, to grief and mourning — it is both timely and critical to expand access to yoga and ensure all people have an opportunity to benefit from the practice. This is particularly true for individuals of diverse minority backgrounds, whose lives and communities have been hit hardest by the pandemic. However, despite yoga’s potential for benefits, many individuals of diverse backgrounds do not feel welcome in traditional yoga spaces. In this presentation, Dr. Jennifer Webb, a researcher and clinical health psychologist at the University of North Carolina, will discuss her research on the factors that promote (and hinder!) yoga space that feel welcoming for all, ,, especially those of diverse identities. Discover how these findings can inform your teaching and practice and deepen your understanding of health inequalities exacerbated by COVID-19. However, individuals of diverse social identities may find themselves excluded from the opportunity to engage with the practice of yoga. In light of this challenge, this presentation will provide the audience with a window into exploring the multiple evidence-based factors that both hinder and promote realizing a yoga for all.

About Jennifer Webb, PhD

Jennifer B. Webb is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Science and the Health Psychology Ph.D. Program at UNC Charlotte. She is a clinical health psychologist whose research program is informed by a non-dieting, weight-neutral philosophy on health promotion in culturally- and body-diverse groups. Her work emphasizes enhancing the integration, dissemination, and accessibility of evidence-based mind-body approaches (e.g., yoga, self-compassion, mindful and intuitive eating, mindful self-care, etc.). Through these initiatives, she helps strengthen embodied self-regulation, positive body image, and well-being among women during the developmental transitions of young adulthood, pregnancy, and postpartum.

This presentation is eligible for Yoga Alliance Continuing Education (CE) credit.

If you are a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), you can log this time as CE hours in your Teacher Dashboard.

*Of note, symposium discussion topics may include information on Yoga Therapy as presented by individuals with credible expertise in that field. For more on Yoga Alliance’s unique policy on Yoga Therapy, please see their Code of Conduct and Scope of Practice.

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This presentation is part of Wellness After Covid: A Yoga and Healthcare Symposium. Click here to learn more and register for access to video content, slides, and other resources.