While inclusion is almost a knee-jerk stated value these days, it’s worth noting that to form a really good community, inclusion needs to be balanced with boundaries.

The Embodied Facilitator Course and Embodied Yoga Principles communities are powerful and contain many types of people (in terms of ethnicities, sexualities, nationalities, ages etc), but they are also defined by who we don’t let in. I actively discourage certain types of people from joining these groups and some of my ‘spikier’ marketing is about this. Both communities I lead are, in a funny way, elitist. This is what helps them work. Here are some examples of reasons we exclude people:

Qualifications and experience

In order to join, people need to have reached a certain depth with embodied practice already. Neither EFC or EYP are for complete beginners (beginners are better served elsewhere).

Not having their shit together

We filter for this in various ways. Neither course is primarily a healing course. We recognise that healing and education can’t be separated, and we don’t shoot our wounded. However, these courses are not for people who should be getting one-to-one therapy and who are not robust.

Commitment

Both courses are a commitment and we take this seriously. Finances are part of this. Neither course is cheap and I’d say this is actually helpful to far more than the company bank balance. We ask for an upfront commitment – in terms of both time and money – and we hold people to it (barring serious health issues or family emergencies).

Course requirements and standards

While we’re flexible, we have standards in terms of coursework, exams and attendance. You can be kicked out and you can not qualify. Much to our sadness, and despite the high level of support we offer, every year, there are people who do not make the grade.

Values

While each member of these communities do not share the exact same beliefs or politics, we have some core values around the body (obviously), learning and being of service to the world. We also value humour and fun. (It’s worth mentioning here that after a course finishes, there is ongoing learning and support, with things like reunions, cheap/free access to future trainings, room support positions, and trainers being easily accessible.)

Ethics

Our ethics include not having dual relationships (eg don’t have sexual relationships with clients or students), maintaining appropriate confidentiality, not discriminating, and not touching or giving feedback without permission. Also, we are against the guru model, which is the norm in transformational communities, and is always unhealthy. While I founded EFC and EYP, I consult with my co-lead trainers and core teams, so I don’t just get my way. If people want a guru to follow, we turn them away.

Do these put you off or turn you on?

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