The Reclamation of the Yogini

“The identification of the human woman with the Universal Goddess is most explicit in tantric theology- yet the very existence of female masters, lineage holders and tantric adepts, although referred to repeatedly by tantric texts, is still doubted by some…Here there is no quarter given to feminist spiritual yearnings, or for women mystics to seek…

Erasing Spirit? The Cultural Appropriation of Yoga

Last year in a marvellous post titled why-i-stopped-teaching-yoga-my-journey-into-spiritual-political-accountability, Andrea MacDonald laid out her reasons for leaving the “industrial complex of yoga”. She writes, “I know in my heart, my mind and my gut that what we are doing in western yoga is an entitled, willfully ignorant act of theft”. This post created a small ruckus…

The Body Divine: The Biology of Immanence

When I first began practicing yoga it was all so simple. Breathe and move in a certain way and the life-enhancing benefits of yoga would flow into your body. Then things got more complicated. Yoga experts began to abound – and they disagreed about practically everything – from technique, methodology and physical alignment, to the…

Yoga, Magical Thinking and Depression

Hemalayaa’s now infamous post “Shocked by Yoga Teachers Who Take Meds” sparked a lot of heated debate in the yoga community.  Her original post (now removed due to the hoopla) has been replaced by a heartfelt apology—so I can’t quote her directly. But her view, as summarized by Matthew Remski, that “people who practice yoga…

Interoception & The Yoga Body: Why We Feel “Fat”

Like many body positivity activists, I’m committed to creating more inclusionary and diverse images of women in mainstream media. I’m concerned that the increasingly unrealistic, unattainable images of beauty in popular culture are contributing to rising rates of body image and eating disorders in young women. That’s why I’ve been busy developing a documentary that…

Rewilding The Yoga Body

Recently a fb image of a young, white, lithe yogini balancing in an extremely deep back bend disturbed me. Not because she was just another example of the yoga Barbie -er yoga body –which saturates my yoga feed, but because she was posing in a sun-dappled forest grove accompanied by the hashtags “Fantastic #yoga” and…

Free Spirits: Yoga Therapy and Girls

“Girls are largely raised without a sense of their own divinity…their worth in the world is tied to their looks, grades, and gifts – not the amazing miracle of mere existence“…Courtney E. Martin, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body It’s no secret that rates of body image disorders, anxiety…

The Yoga of Time: Chronobiology and Your Inner Plant

“We share so much in common with plants that we have to reconsider what characterizes us as human.” Plant geneticist Prof. Daniel Chamovitz Recently a lovely little article appeared in my Facebook feed which invited me to cultivate my inner plant. This was not to be an exercise in anthropomorphism, stated its author, but an…