The Yoga “ass” asana debate….
I want to talk for a second about abandoning anything to do with posts about physical asana. As my regular students know, Yoga found me to help heal a broken heart, for stillness, and self development. It wasn’t the physicality that draw me to it, it was the cultivation of love and space and feeling light again. Yoga has given me life and passion and this is truly magnificent.
Social Media and Yoga
Yet, in this world obsessed with shape, body image, weight, diet, slim = fit, and the explosion of Yoga celebrities, Yoga asana competitions and visual mechandising supporting the business of Yoga, we as Yoga students run the risk of giving the physical practice a misguided edge if we solely cultivate our healing in this way. Images of yoga asana, (or yoga porn as mentioned in an article published by Yoga Australia, our peak body in their members magazine called Yoga today ), where it talks about the false illusion of what Yoga is when really the misleading depiction is about a focus on looking slim, good and impressing people with images of Yoga that depict pretty, slim, usually white females, or gods/masculine hulks in ridiculous, unattainable to the lay human, asana.
This resonated so much with me. Usually, I think most people think that as a qualified teacher, with over 400 hours of study and accreditation, I must surely be able to sit for hours meditating or never get stressed or feel down about my body or that I can “do” advanced asana. It’s simply not true.
Finding your way on and off the mat
All these things don’t make me any less a better Yogi than the next. I am human. I don’t strive for advanced asana. I abandoned that many years ago, but what I do commit to is a personal practice that is transitioned, evolving and mine. Equally so my students find their own path in practice. We are human. To me, the true meaning of Yoga is found in feeling, space and love, not what you judge someone by in terms of their physical appearance, perceived capability or how long they have been practicing.
It’s all presence.
So the next time you feel the urge to attach to images of Yoga only asana, the physical side I say “get out of your ass”.
Especially in Asana, teachers. There is so much more than to this union that what you see.