This week I’m the featured yogi on YOGAudacious, and I am pretty excited about it. As I’ve made clear, I’m not a fan of how glamorized yoga has become over the last few years, and I’m disappointed that it’s now often used to make people feel bad about themselves. Today alone there were at least three different pictures on my Facebook feed of people in that one-arm balancing split pose that everyone seems to be doing these days (except me). It frustrates me that these are the pictures of yoga that we see most often, and that we risk developing inferiority complexes about our own practices as a result.
But I’ve already gone on about that, so let me get back to YOGAudacious.
YOGAudacious was started this year by my favorite YogaVibes instructor, Gigi Yogini. One of the things I like most about Gigi is how open she is about the importance of having a positive attitude toward your body. Here’s how she describes the YOGAudacious mission:
In 2014, YOGAudacious is celebrating 52 different courageous women (one each week) to help diversify the faces, bodies and stories of yoga in media. We believe that not only does it take courage to show up on your mat, but doing so can help you feel even more brave. By sharing the different stories of women benefited by yoga, we hope to create new role models who inspire more women to get on their mats.
It took me a while to work up the nerve to contact Gigi about being on the website–ironic as it is, I struggled for a long time about how my picture would look up there alongside other fantastic yoginis. Who was I to put myself in that group? But of course the whole point of YOGAudacious is to show that we’re all already part of that group, and that we just need more visual reminders of that fact. I feel really good about working up the courage to articulate what yoga means to me and how it’s changed my relationship with my body, and submitting my application.
I’m so proud to be part of this initiative, and I hope that YOGAudacious not only inspires women to practice, but also to love and accept themselves. Every body is a yoga body, whether you can balance it on one arm or not.