When I first started teaching some of the first feedback I received was as follows:
“…. I also love that she’s in the middle age range and has a body shape that some of us can relate to and think we can’t do yoga because of it…”
First, I was like, “shit…. I’m middled aged?” and second, I realized that people not doing yoga because of their body shape was a REAL issue. Yoga was NOT created to create lean “Yoga Bodies” – the fact that it is excellent physical exercise is just the cherry on top for the Mind and Spirit benefits. So I knew that people seeing my body doing Yoga was important. There was a problem though – I am in serious body image issue recovery.
Before Yoga, I was a boot-camp, marathon running, gym 7 days a week Woman. In fact, before I had children, I did not consider Yoga “real” exercise… you know, the whole “no pain, no gain” philosophy. I had so many body image issues attached to working out and the whole gym culture – and I’m so glad IYoga was kept safe until I was ready to change. Very little of my body image struggles have come to my mat – it’s quite shocking really – after all I have believed I’m so relieved that my body is safe on my mat.
I hesitate to take pictures of myself doing yoga. My Yoga Mat is one of the few places in my life that is nearly 100% free from body-shame. I don’t take pictures because I fear I’ll wake that beast and this sacred space I connect to will be compromised.
I hesitate to share any pictures because I don’t want to perpetuate the idea that Yoga is about bending and pretzelling (you can add that to your Dictionary Mr. Webster) or have this sharing misinterpreted as a “look what I can do” arrogance.
So, once the dust has settled in my mind – I realize that if I want the message of Yoga is for every BODY to be legit – I must show MY body doing Yoga.
Here it is; all 42 years of it.
This is #MyYogaBody
Find me on Instagram @love_yoga_grace and share your pictures, pretty please? Make sure you tag me and use the hashtag @MyYogaBody