The western yoga industry has been passing for years the widespread idea that Yoga is mostly for women that look like ballerinas and super flexible. This generalized idea has been distorting what yoga actually is.
Yoga is not a gymnastic practice. Yoga is not meant for a particular group of society. Yoga is not a circus number. Yoga is not a sport. Yoga is a way of life and is a way of life destined for all.
Fortunately, there are a number of people who have been bringing this to light and mentalities are beginning to change. Yet many people give up practicing Yoga even before they start because they feel they have to have a certain body type. If we visit an online store that sells Yoga clothing it is easy to see what I am talking about.
This misconception has to be demystified because it is preventing Yoga from being practiced by many people who would surely reap their benefits just like any other practitioner regardless of their age, weight or gender.
Women are the main focus of this distortion on the type of body one has to have to practice or teach yoga. The curviest women are probably the first to put Yoga aside.
With this in mind, instead of limiting myself to watching videos of gorgeous women practicing asanas on Youtube and feeling even more discouraged, I began to read more about the history and philosophy of Yoga. I quickly realized that Yoga is not just what happens on the mat. I would say, with some confidence, that most Yoga practitioners in the gym do not have the slightest idea of what Yoga is and never will. And I was one of those people.
But as soon as I realized that Yoga is a way of life, it was also easy for me to see more clearly that it was wrong of me to think that I couldn’t teach Yoga because of insecurities regarding my appearance. I cannot say this enough! Yoga is for All! Women, men, children, young, old, skinny, overweight, etc. It doesn’t matter how you look, what kind of person you are or where you are in life. The starting point is not important. Taking the first step is what’s important. Yoga is for all and so it is also for you and for me!
Long story short…next week I am traveling to India to start my 200hrs YTT. And I couldn’t be more proud of myself for taking the step! (I will be sharing my experience with you)
But if you still have doubts, check out these beautiful women and their body positive Instagram accounts!
#1 Jessamyn Stanley
“Unlike other physical activities, yoga awakened my spiritual curiosity even when I was pressed against the boundary of physical exhaustion.”
#2 Valerie Sagun
“Valerie’s yoga practice is about learning to love yourself physically and mentally through yoga. Learning to listen to your body, to know when to push it and when to protect it. “
#3 Lisa Papez
“Yoga cracked something open in me that allowed me to heal my relationship with my body and through the wisdom of both the physical and non-physical practices of yoga, I learned how to stand my sacred ground, take up space and look the world in the eye.”
#4 Dana Falsetti
“While Dana didn’t initially intend on being a yoga teacher, she was called to the profession after seeing what it lacked: a safe space for a community of marginalized people to explore a practice originally intended for all.”
#5 Brittany Danielle
“Throughout my practice, I have grown into a confident, open-minded, strong woman. I now understand that just because you don’t look like or have the “ideal body” that society says is acceptable, it does not mean there’s no value in who you are. To me, value comes from embracing yourself and giving your body the love and respect it deserves, at any size.”
#6 Stacy Bias
And last but not least I want to leave you with this extraordinary animated video by Stacy Bias!
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