I’m No Skinny Minnie Yoga Teacher -But, Oh How I Want To Be I realize this continuing preoccupation with weight is shallow and narcissistic – but is it really my fault? Aren’t these the traits the corporate world has spent billions to deeply inculcate into my psyche? By constantly feeding me, all of us, images of already anorexic models, airbrushed to appear even thinner; doesn’t the cog of consumerism keep turning?
Yoga Body: The Conspiracy The taut and toned ‘yoga body’ on display in the media marketplace is a lie. It is NOT obtained from a regular yoga routine (as many would have you believe) – no , its obtained at the price of constant work, a Herculean effort to burn calories, and a saintly denial of carbs…But the point of this post is the shocking depth to which this lie has permeated the yoga world. It seems no one, not even half-starved yoga superstars, will admit that the emperor has no clothes.
Yoga Body: The Backlash Does the yoga body (and it’s shadow) take root in a backlash against a female body that has become increasingly liberated from patriarchal authority? Why, as yoga helped women develop a new sense of positive embodiment, did the yoga body ( and all that it implies) become enshrined as an ideal of feminine virtue? Why do so many western women of privilege, women who enjoy the first world ‘rights’ denied to so many, spend so much free time, energy and money simply keeping their bodies under control?
The Great Belly: A Yogini’s Lament Just google “belly and yoga” and you’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of websites, classes and DVDs all devoted to blasting its fleshy folds to oblivion. Today we desire something called “abs” and getting them is all about cultivating core strength and power, about firing up the third chakra, the seat of our will. And clearly, women are in the greatest need of assistance.
Rewilding The Yoga Body For “inspirational, forget hot babes doing yoga poses at sunset on a cliff, and think “Kabuki she-demon and buzzard pal eating pomegranates under a tree”. Yes, that is probably more like it. Because from Lilith to Kali, to crazed flesh-eating greek Maenads, African Amazons and medieval witches, the wild woman was licentious, disheveled, abandoned and carnal – she was never about being pretty.
Interoception & The Yoga Body: Why We Feel Fat Part of a British health initiative to promote physical activity, the “This Girl Can” video sets out overcome the most cited obstacle in getting women to the gym, the fear that their butts will not look good in tiny shorts. Its shots of heaving breasts, quivering buttocks and bouncing bellies, overlaid with text like “hot” and “foxy” have been hailed by many in the body positivity movement as ground breaking and visionary. But I am not as enthused.