I agree with the comments above. I am an over 55 teacher, in great shape, not like the models in most pictures, and I even went so far as to compete in an asana competition. Not trying to "win", but to inspire people and to show that anyone, any size, any age can certainly do yoga.
While reading this article, I left it mid-way to suggest the magzine team to do what they believe in. How ironic that even the picture along with this article is of a woman with a perfect body. These pictures lead to unrealistic expectations that consistent yoga, or even a crash course in it will get one such a body.
And reading other comments I realise, I'm not alone in this observation. Pls take note!!!
It's ironic that this article appears in a magazine (YJ) that features so many gorgeous models in their issues. Even the person in the picture that accompanies this article seems to be a model. Why?
What a fantastic article. I see so many gyms/facilities looking for perfect looking instructors, yet they are horrible teachers and the students walk away feeling terrible about themselves. It is so sad that they leave w/out finding the true purpose of yoga. I am a "plus sized" teacher and have had some students leave (thinking I was unqualified or unenlightened) because of my size. I've often had them come back after bad experiences with "perfect" looking instructors who forced them into poses, barked at them, etc. I even have a student w/scoliosis who told me that another instructor pulled her out in front of a class to show them what a bad spine looked like! Outward looking indeed. I agree with others here to please start using more full figured models for poses/asanas. I am glad that you do use older practitioners-age is nothing but a number!! Nemaste.
As someone who is new in recovery from a pretty severe eating disorder for 3 years, I was very happy to get this article in my e-mail newsletter. I started doing yoga consistently a year ago and it became an imperative piece in the success of my recovery. Not only does it foster body acceptance, yoga studios rarely have mirrors, and poses, particularly balancing poses, make it impossible to concentrate on anything other than the pose. I've grown to respect my body for what it can do with me, become proud of the progress that I have made in certain poses, and embraced the gracefulness of my body, all of which is steadily improving my body image, as well as my overall mental health.
I'm as overjoyed to read the comments as I am the fabu article. While I mostly love the magazine, I feel that Yoga Journal practices a double standard, publishing articles that celebrate all bodies, while on cover after cover, in photo after photo, a very different message about what kind of body is worthy or beautiful is sent. Perhaps you could put articles like this in an insert with its own cover, one the reflects the true diversity of practitioners. In a weird way, it would be less hypocritical.
A.S. Kortright RYT
As what society would consider a full-figured woman, I too would like to see more bodies that relfect the average american woman in her forties. This is the time we really begin to struggle with the dreaded wieght gain around the belly as menopause comes to the forefront. I've been teaching for 8 years and practicing for over 11 years, I have seen a definite difference in my body. I'm 35 lbs lighter than I used to be when I first began my practice at the age of 38 but I'm a full and curvy size 12. At most trainings I'm usually one of the 'bigger girls' in the class. It used to bother me when I first began this journey but now with the help of yoga in learning how to love my body, it's not an issue anymore. So for all you ladies out there in the double digit sizes, keep doing your yoga; focus on who you are, love who you are and everything will slowly start to look so much brighter of this I am confident. Namaste.
I agree with all the other comments here. I enjoy reading YJ, but the images of very slim, very flexible, very young people that are used to illustrate the features (not to mention the ads) help to fuel negative body image for readers such as myself. But YJ, like fashion magazines, doesn't exist to make people feel better about themselves--it exists primarily to sell ad space and products.
This article seems hypocritical!
I just wanted to follow up on Mindy's comment. As I read this piece, I thought "yes!" But my next thought was, "so why aren't there any fat people doing yoga in YJ? Or scarred people? Or poor people not wearing the latest yoga fashion?"
As a fat woman (and I use that adjective very intentionally and positively) with chronic illness, I could tell you a thing or two about how yoga has been a form of couples therapy to get me and my body talking again. But I don't *see* that ever really reflected in the pages of YJ, except in occasional commentaries like this.
So, thanks for the piece. But will YJ walk the talk, please?
I'm glad to see YJ run an article about body image. I've struggled with weight gain after hitting 40. I started practicing yoga almost 3 years ago. I have to say it has been a double edged sword. On one hand, I have seen and felt an improvement in my body, but on the other hand, it is hard to ignore all the young yoga bodies you see in ads and photos of your magazine and other yoga websites and catalogs. I know its supposed to be about the journey and not about the results. It would be nice to see, once in while, a photo of a slightly overweight, shortish yogi holding a simple asana like side angle or camel pose. I know this is not glamorous. However, a lot of women and men might relate to photos of yogis that look like them and not feel so alone.