What yoga is for

Yoga juli 2012 007-1(Warning: this is a bit of a rant!)  Since starting this blogging business, I’ve been reading lots of stuff on the web about yoga and why people do, or do not, go to yoga classes.  And  I’m in despair about the amount of it that still relates, in one way or another, to the need to be stick thin before you can be seen walking around with a yoga mat under a skeletal arm.  And also to having to be able to wrap one leg around your neck while balancing on the other. Wake up people. Yoga is not aerobics, And three decades (or more) have passed since the obsession with flat stomachs, thin thighs and high kicks. Seminal feminist texts that changed the lives of many in the 70’s and 80’s have clearly been buried under mounds of glossy magazines that still peddle the ‘thin is beautiful’ story.  And it seems we are still buying into unachievable aims (without even knowing why we would want them).

Hear this people.  Yoga is not about this stuff. In fact, yoga is the antithesis of all of it.  Practising yoga regularly, at home as well as in class, removes that persistent need to be better, perfect, or anything other than you are.  It teaches you that you are, simply, good enough already.  And you can’t be either good or bad at yoga because your yoga practice is just that – yours – however you choose to do it.  You don’t need to hang upside down to get this fresh perspective on life (‘though it helps).

Imagine, for just one minute, what the world would be like if we all practised yoga!  Now that really would be something.

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4 thoughts on “What yoga is for

  1. Hey there!
    I agree with everything you write. It hurts me sometimes to see how little “Yoga” is actually contained in all those things labelled “Yoga”.

    However, I truly believe that Yoga will continue to speak for itself.
    You say it so well: “It teaches you that you are, simply, good enough already.” So, Yoga is about union with our Selves, as we are. There are so many people, so there’s so many possible Yogas.
    But we can recognize “Yoga” because we feel in ourselves and others the ripples created by authentic experience and expression. Yoga can not be harmed and hurt, because it IS the human truth. It can only be concealed – e.g. under glossy magazine covers.

    There are many people practicing and teaching Yoga with genuine respect. So I’m optimistic 🙂

    Sending you much love!

  2. My yoga experience | losing the last 40 pounds

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