To everyone who needs a little motivation to get on the mat. Let me deliver a little PSA: Do not be discouraged by the photos you see of super flexible yogis upside down with their toes touching their noses. Yoga is NOT about how it looks on the outside (though most of westernized society has turned it into a “look what I can do” acrobatic spectacle). Yoga is about so much more than that. More importantly than the exterior is the interior; the way your unique body FEELS on the inside & accepting what your body can do as well as its limitations.
Yoga in the west has become highly commercialized; the mass media has twisted it (no pun intended) it into something it is not, thus robbing it of it’s scared essence.
It’s not your fault if you think your not flexible enough to do yoga because according to the way the west has presented yoga to society, it’s essentially a sport, “something be good at”. The “yoga” images perpetuated by the media delude one into thinking that in order to practice yoga one should be capable of twisting one’s body into a pretzel and standing on one’s head on the first go.
The practice of yoga involves practicing and cultivating acceptance. Which encompasses acceptance of your body and how it is in the exact moment (including it’s limitations). The progress you may wish to achieve comes with time, lots of time, maybe not even one lifetime.
Most of these super flexible yogis you see plastered all over the internet are athletes, dancers and models. Sure they may also be yogis, but many devoted yogis are the ones you don’t see in the media.
And I fully recognize that I am a guilty of contributing to this yoga ideal I speak of and probably sound hypocritical.
I’ve thought about this a lot – the contradiction of reducing a scared inner yoga practice to snapshots of your body in poses that you then share with the world…
So I just want to put it out there that though you may have seen a photo of me or someone on social media in a pencil straight headstand, know that there have been hundreds of imperfect ones that just didn’t get photographed.
Just like all of the photos we see in the media…they’re created to give off a specific image, a message and most times they’re well constructed illusions. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of the progress you’ve made. But recognize that our culture has an obsession with flaunting picture perfect “easy, breezy, woke up like this fabulousness” which is usually not the case at all. There’s so much behind a snapshot. Smiling faces do not equate happiness, fancy yoga poses do not equate perfection.
So this is something to think about yogis. If we do want to post those asana poses, should they come with a disclaimer so as not to deceive those who don’t know so much about the entirety and the complexity of yoga? Or is it simple…just don’t post at all?
I’m interested in hearing thoughts on this…yogis, millenials?
Also..If you’ve made it this far thanks for reading.
Happy practicing & Happy Wednesday 🙂