[insert inspirational yoga quote here]
I’ve broken one of Yoga Journals cardinal rules, wearing spaghetti straps with broad shoulders. Ay dios mio, my whole practice is ruined.
Here’s why I wanted to throw the new Yoga Journal out the window this morning.
You know, it’s so much easier to rant. it really is. I purposefully put Rave first on this list of prompts for that exact reason. We could all write novels about the shit that pissed us off. We are too often surrounded by complaining or cutting things and people down, heck most of the time we may even be part of that conversation. You know, the “I love her but….” or “don’t get me wrong, Betty is a super chill chick but I can’t believe she…” It can be much harder to see and express the good stuff. What we are grateful for, what made us smile that day, or the wonderful things that happened in the world. Some days it feels like there aren’t too many of those and the positive stuff certainly doesn’t garner as many clicks as the bad stuff does. This couldn’t be any more evident to me than when I picked up the new Yoga Journal this morning and immediately wanted to throw it out the window.
While I have never thought that Yoga Journal offered the best or most creative content out there (the best stuff is being created by real people, blogs, videos, stuff with heart) I certainly still always read it. I scanned, I stopped and read, maybe tried a few recipes and was never too bothered by the increasing ads, I get it, Yoga Journal’s gotta pay the bills too. I’ve always actually loved the nude ToeSox photos which to me say I’m wearing really silly unnecessary socks but I’m still strong as hell. But I have to draw the line at this month’s article “Love Your Curves” Oh yes, it sure sounds like it’s going to be body positive and align with the way Yoga has helped so many of us learn to love and appreciate our amazing bodies. Unless, say it was exactly the same as the routine Cosmo articles telling women which category their bodies fit into and how to hide forever inside that box. Not enough boobs? have no fear, create cleavage with a princess neckline! Just what my practice was missing, cleavage. I knew it was boobs all along that were gonna be the key to getting to the 4th series.
We’ve all been banging our heads against the wall for years hoping that Yoga Journal would start including a better representation of yogis, you know, men in general who aren’t named Jason, women who aren’t blonde, women who aren’t white, a range of all body types because turns out all bodies do yoga.
I think they must have heard some of our cries, but sorely missed the point. Including different body types other than the usual waif-ish woman or slender white man in tiny shorts does not count if you are only going to use them to serve up more negative body talk. We can love our curves, or love our lack of curves without being talked down to and promptly instructed how to cover them up. Love your curves! but dear lord, please don’t make us look at them. Pear, wedge, hourglass, rectangle, apple, this is just the same crap article that every fitness magazine publishes each month reminding us that we need to fit into their consumer demographics. Don’t you dare wear spaghetti straps, you’ll totally flatten your chest! Pear shaped and you want to wear crops? Oh honey, you’ll look 3 inches shorter and that will have a serious impact on your meditation practice.
uh oh, I’ve broken one of the cardinal rules. “If your shoulders are wide [aka broad, aka STRONG] opt for a broad strapped tank that breaks up the shoulder line, and skip spaghetti straps or T-shirts”
Honestly, I expected more from you Yoga Journal. To be fair, not too much more considering you’ve openly stated you wont put men on the cover because they don’t sell as well as young white women, but this month’s issue feels like you’ve finally lost your roots. I’ve never had much of a problem with the big business aspect of Yoga because, well, anything with this many participants is bound to have an economy surrounding it. But Celebrity covers, body shaming, and the same 3 teacher articles and knee-to-nose sequences for the 17th month in a row is tired, and its lazy.
The yoga world is full of interesting, innovative, compassionate, exciting, and wonderful yogis doing dope shit. All you have to do is look at instagram, look at the kickstarters, the body positive campaigns, and home grown studios, and dedicated communities. How much more interesting would it have been to read a full 3-5 page spread on Brock Cahill’s Kurmalliance and Pluckfastic efforts to clean up our beaches and oceans during SUP yoga classes and saving our precious sea life, instead of the measly 1 paragraph on the last page of a previous issue? Why are these types of content the backstory and how to conceal your flaws during your (ahem, nonjudgemental) practice is the centerfold? Somehow we end up with the same regurgitated material month after month, now with a little extra kick of your-not good-enough-a-la-shape-magazine flair dusted on top.
stop. its handstand time.
twirls totally count as cardio.
all you need is you, your mat, and your breath (and maybe a kitten).
sometimes life is pretty great.
some times I’m just not interested in capturing my practice, taking pictures or filming some complicated transition. sometimes (let’s be real, most of the time) I’m sweaty and my bangs are stuck to my face. I get extra extra rosey cheeks when I practice and I wear cut off ratty old band tshirts. By the end of a practice, sometimes I’m just tired, sometimes I’m blissed out, sometimes I’m mad, and sometimes I just don’t give a shit about taking a photo for Instagram.
Patrick took this picture of me after our home practice this afternoon because I felt like I needed to post something, I hadn’t posted in more than a day (blasphemy). So there you have it. No inspirational quote, just some yoga in my kitchen. (Just be glad I didn’t subject you to my wrinkled lil’ bub tshirt I was wearing :)
cloudy with a chance of yoga.
Summer in Seattle is simply the best.