Saturday, August 9, 2014

Love Your Curves? An Open Letter to Yoga Journal

Okay, for months now, I've been bitching that there hasn't been a whole heck of a lot of diversity in the pages of Yoga Journal, aside from the occasional injection of testosterone from male models. So I was actually kind of excited to see the article called Love Your Curves in the September 2014 issue. (Hilaria Baldwin is on the cover, which is a whole other gripe for another blog.)

But, back to my curves...

So, I at first thought this article was going to be about how to modify poses for curvier bodies. Hallelujah! A way to love your body by practicing asana! Making your practice YOURS, no matter what your body type!

Imagine my shock when right there on the first page was the little text box in the corner that read, "Lucky me, I inherited cellulite. How can I conceal my butt dimples?"


Turns out that the article is all about how to DRESS to "cover up" your "imperfections" and "accentuate" your "assets".

Oh, give me a fucking break.

This? Again?

A whole freaking article about which $65 yoga tops and $80 yoga pants will help you take the "angst" out of "dressing" for yoga class.

Other helpful bits of advice from this article:
  • "My bottom doesn't fill out my yoga pants. How can I create curves?"
  • "Which prints look best on thicker thighs?"
  • "My thong underwear rides up in Down Dog, but I don't want my panty lines to show. Should I just go commando?" 
Holy hell, it reads like Cosmo's Guide to Getting Your Yoga On.

Needless to say, I am more than a little upset about this article. It seems to go against some of the very yogic principles I (and millions of other American yogis and yoginis) are pursuing. No wonder people think that American yoga is a big joke!

Stuff like non-attachment to material things ($80 yoga pants, anyone?), acceptance and contentment, compassion for all living things, and celebration of the divine through the self.

The first paragraph of the article talks about how "yoga isn't about achieving the perfect body", and how our own body image issues can cause every yogi a little bit of stress. But instead of telling us how to address these kinds of thoughts and insecurities through our practice of yoga, they tell us that we can solve these problems by how we DRESS.

Wow, YJ. You so totally missed the mark on this one.

According to the article, if you want to feel beautiful on the mat no matter what your body type, it all comes down to what you WEAR.

Tell you what, YJ: you want a REAL article on addressing body image issues on the mat? I'll write one for you, and you can bet it won't include a single sentence about what I'm wearing.

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