How I stopped comparing myself to the ideal “yoga body” that doesn’t actually exist

How I stopped comparing myself to the ideal “yoga body” that doesn’t actually exist


How I stopped comparing myself to the ideal “yoga body” that doesn’t actually exist

I found my yoga teacher, Joy, when my oldest daughter was 4 months old. In the middle of deep postpartum anxiety, taking her class was the first time I left the baby and did something entirely for myself. I chose Joy’s class because she taught “curvy yoga.” I hoped I would find a safe space to practice without feeling like an outsider because of my body.

For five years, I followed Joy through different studios, and every class brought new ways to challenge myself and work with my body instead of treating it like a hindrance. Belly limiting your movement? Let’s adjust. This doesn’t work for you? Let’s try something else. Joy never sidelined a student for not fitting a predetermined idea of how yoga practice should look.

When Joy announced that she was taking a sabbatical from teaching, I had to figure out what yoga looks like for me, without her and our familiar judgment-free classes.

Trying to scratch out a start to this new path, I asked Joy, “What is your philosophy for yoga?” Instead she gave me her philosophy for life: “I exist.”

“As I have been teaching,” she said, “I am seeing it in everyone—that they too want to exist.”


One summer Saturday afternoon, about a dozen of us sat on mats around the loft studio for Joy’s last curvy yoga workshop before her sabbatical. We chatted about parking and the weather, then a deeper conversation began: Why had we each joined a curvy yoga workshop that day? A confessional of inexperience and insecurities followed.

I listened to women who were taking their first-ever yoga class and were drawn to Joy because she used the “curvy yoga” label. They talked about how they never felt like they had the right body type for yoga, so they were too intimidated to join a room full of “yoga bodies.” I also listened to Joy’s regular curvy yoga students bemoan her break from teaching and their fears of finding a new class where they can fit in.

I thought about the times in class when a folding or twisting pose made anger swell up from deep in my long-hated gut — all the times yoga was a physical expression of my emotions.

I weigh 250 pounds; I do not have a “yoga body,” but there is no such thing as a yoga body.

I have a body, and I have yoga.

Books and Instagram accounts tell the stories of curvy yogis and nontraditional yoga practitioners. When I google images of “yoga body” today, the first few results are pictures of Jessamyn Stanley, author of Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body. Stanley and Anna Guest-Jelly, founder of a Curvy Yoga-branded teacher training program and author of Curvy Yoga: Love Yourself & Your Body a Little More Each Day, challenge assumptions about what yoga looks like and who can practice. Dana Falsetti’s Instagram is filled with daring poses and minimal clothing, a striking image against the idea that bendy yogis MUST be small and taut.

These women are challenging expectations associated with yoga, and I want to do the same. So when my teacher left, I retained these lessons:

I am my own teacher.

I had a mission when I went to Joy’s last workshop—to figure out what I would do next. In the quiet of savasana and deep breath, I wondered, what would Joy tell me to do? I imagined her response at once both compassionate and DGAF: “You figure it out. This is not about me.”

Yoga is for every body.

We are doing accidental yoga all day. My two-year-old executes a perfect downward-facing dog before her sister tickle-tackles her. Both the pose and the laughter are yoga. On the rug, my husband grimaces into an awkward frog pose to loosen up after a long run. I suggest a modification because “Joy says…” Both the pose and the communication are aspects of yoga. The practice does not only consist of people perched on mats, defying gravity and joint mechanics.

Practicing yoga when others think we don’t belong is a subversive act. It allows us to be an ambassador for all those people who are too nervous to take that first class.

Joy isn’t here. It’s time for me to try new classes with new teachers and new peers. My calendar is populated with the class schedule of the nearby gym. It’s five minutes away, offers childcare, and has an attached cafe. Still, I think about walking into that room for the first time and wonder if my body will be too disparate from the other bodies there.

But I go to class because showing up is the first step.

I will try not to be the one committing the offense of comparison: She is older than I am, she is shorter than I am, she is more graceful than I am. We all belong in yoga because we chose to be there, and at the same time, no one will have an identical practice. I will focus on commonalities, not differences when I practice yoga—even if that means the common experience of feeling different.

The post How I stopped comparing myself to the ideal “yoga body” that doesn’t actually exist appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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10 of the best yoga holidays in UK and Europe

Beautiful locations and activities such as running or simply hanging out on the beach complement quality yoga teaching at these retreats

Combine yoga and Greek sunshine with a holiday on Santorini, the southernmost of the Cyclades islands, staying in whitewashed houses at a boutique hotel with pool outside the village of Oia. There are two daily classes for all levels with warm, encouraging teacher Louise Gillespie-Smith, who balances creative, breath-led flow with gentle, mindful yin. An optional 10-mile hike is included, and guests are also able to enjoy sailing, sea kayaking and wine-tasting if they wish. Louise also leads holidays in the UK and French Alps.
From £795, with breakfast and three evening meals, 29 June-6 July, adventureyogi.com

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Travel | The Guardian

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Claim That She (and Goop) Popularized Yoga Is, Well, a Stretch

Since launching Goop in 2008, actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been a divisive presence in the burgeoning wellness industry. Her comments in a Wall Street Journal Magazine profile, in which she claimed claimed credit for making yoga popular, may end up making that ambivalence even stronger.

Paltrow was a subject of a puff piece in the magazine showing how she “is living her best life–and believes she can help you live yours better, too.” To Goop’s many adherents, that may ring true. But Paltrow’s critics zeroed in on comments she made that appeared to take credit for popularizing yoga.

“Forgive me if this comes out wrong, but I went to do a yoga class in LA recently and the 22-year-old girl behind the counter was like, ‘Have you ever done yoga before?’ ” Paltrow said in the interview. “And literally I turned to my friend, and I was like, ‘(She has) this job because I’ve done yoga before.’ ”

While Paltrow’s use of “literally” may leave grammar nerds feeling as if their heads are about to explode, health professionals will surely be puzzled by another quote that seems to regard the age-old wisdom that food affects health as somehow radical in concept.

“That was the beginning of people thinking I was a crackpot,” Paltrow said about Goop’s founding in September 2008. “Like, ‘What do you mean food can affect your health, you (expletive) psycho? I remember when I started doing yoga and people were like, ‘What is yoga? She’s a witch. She’s a freak.'”

To be fair, the story notes that Paltrow’s conversion to a healthier lifestyle began after her father faced surgery for throat cancer in 1998. And the comments read like flippant, off-hand remarks made in conversation, rather than for an interview for print. Nonetheless, they don’t exactly mesh with reality.

For example, yoga has been popular in the U.S. for decades. According to Yoga Journal, Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the U.S. in the late 1800s. It slowly but steadily gained in popularity over the following decades. By the 1960s, there were books about yoga that sold millions of volumes, dozens of yoga studios, and even a TV show featuring yoga workouts.

A Harris survey that Yoga Journal commissioned in 2003 found that between 15 million and 18 million people, or between 7% and 9% of the population, were practicing yoga. What’s more, the survey found:

more than 12% of the U.S. population, or 25.5 million people, is very or extremely interested in the practice of yoga; one in six respondents, or 35.3 million people, express the intention to try yoga within the next 12 months; and more than half of the general population, or 109.7 million people, has at least a casual interest in the practice of yoga.

What’s more, a Google search of Goop’s early web site–described by the Daily Beast as “a spare gray and white design and a vague promise of future inspiration”–shows only a handful of references to yoga before 2010, and most of those mentioning the practice only in passing.

Paltrow’s comments were also greeted on Twitter with more that a raised eyebrow.

By some measures, Paltrow’s Goop is a success: It’s 2017 revenue was reportedly between $ 45 million and $ 60 million, up from a range of $ 15 million to $ 20 million a year earlier. But that growth has come with some controversies, such as the $ 145,000 settlement Goop paid this year for making unsupported medical claims about “jade eggs for your yoni.”

If Paltrow wants to keep Goop’s brand healthy, unsupported claims about making yoga popular won’t help.

Fortune

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Hero used a broom to fight gunman during Tallahassee yoga class killing

ABC News

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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3 dead, including shooter, at Florida yoga studio

A gunman killed two people and wounded five others at a yoga studio in Florida's capital before killing himself Friday evening, officials said.
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