The mixed messages we yogis send ourselves can juuuust about be summed up in this little screengrab.
I’m not suggesting that one of these articles is less valid than the other. I’m just noticing the juxtaposition: One article questioning the yoga-body-ideal, and one reinforcing it.
I mean, listen, I WANT to demean the Aniston article. And granted, the YogaDorksters are
KIND OF for sure (ed note: see Yoga Dork comments below) winking and nudging the stereotype. But, seriously, I hate all the hotness sometimes. And the talk of hotness. I would love to take a break from reading and thinking about body image. And focus instead on what amazing things my body can do. Or how about the BORING topic of what yoga does for the mind, the emotions, the heart and soul? Which is where all the deep beauty really is for me.
Yoga lets me go deep. And stand strong, and cry and take flight. And it doesn’t matter if there’s a jelly roll over my lululemons when I do it. Not one little bit. When I am feeling transcendental and buzzing from the vibrations in my body, I couldn’t care less what the outside looks like.
Listen, I get it. I skip the meditation articles in Yoga Journal too sometimes. I flip to the pictures of the pretty lady. I’m human like that.
And I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit to envying those “yoga bodies” out there. Even if they are only a small percentage of the population. I want to make the outside look as amazing as yoga makes me feel on the inside. But I sometimes wish that was an instinct that wasn’t so consistently reinforced by seemingly everything around me. (And if you think I’m too high and mighty to put ‘celebriyogi’ in my post tags, you are mistaken.)
And, as another side note, when we talk about the “yoga body” let’s not forget that what we’re REALLY talking about is the American ideal – with or without yoga. Because until recently the ideal yoga body was one of a 14-year-old Indian boy.