Thursday, March 29, 2012

Body Image Triggers and Yoga (Journal)

I got a free subscription to Yoga magazine recently. While I enjoy Yoga, I can't say I'm fanatical about it. A lot of this magazine is sort of lost on me. I usually flip through it in a few minutes and then pass it on to someone else who might enjoy it more. However, today I took a moment to give it a deeper look. While there are headshots of "normal looking" teachers who offer workshops and write articles for the magazine - people with wrinkles, or people without perfectly straight, white teeth. I find that refreshing. But there seem to be MANY more ads featuring very slim women, and they tend to be wearing very little clothing. Sometimes this is addressed in the reader feedback section but for every "The images of women in this magazine perpetuate a false ideal" comment there are two more, "I find the slim, muscular bodies in this magazine inspiring" comments. In the most recent issue there is an article about eating "healthily" in regards to your yoga practice with mentions of very specific amounts of protein and carbs and all that. I find this kind of talk to be very triggering - it just makes me want to micromanage my food intake which is absolutely unhealthy. It's fine to think about the quality of what you eat and the relative proportion of fat vs. protein vs. whatever, but only in moderation.

 You'd think that yoga people would simply say, "Eat what feels right." I'm sure many do, and I understand that they have to have material for this publication month after month, but I find the beauty ideals featured to be totally out of place with the content of what the magazine is supposed to be about.

I'd really like to see some curvacious, vibrant women modeling yoga wear on these pages someday. I know for a fact that not all yoga people are willows. I've met women who have practiced for years who still struggle with wrapping their arms around their ample bosoms or who can't find yoga pants that are generous enough in the butt.

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