In today’s day and age of “perfect bodies”, it’s no more apparent then when you walk into a yoga class. Just seeing these girls in skimpy clothes with perfect bodies can be a bit obnoxious. Then you add more insult to injury when you see them doing yoga poses that look right out of Cirque Du Soleil. For many women, this reason alone keeps them out of starting their yoga practice. So who is to blame for all of this?
Should We Blame The Media?
Many people blame the media for how women feel about themselves. In recent studies of how the media impacts women’s perceptions, it’s nothing new that we point our fingers at magazines. Women see other women with unattainable beauty and then obsess over this. But is this any reason to then not take a yoga class?
The truth of the matter is, yoga works and to stay away from a class just because you might feel intimidated is only doing yourself a disservice. Many women will actually stay away because in their mind they have given up and feel like there is nothing they can do so why try? Is there any way around this?
Scope Out The Yoga Scene
Each yoga studio has their own vibe and not all of them are filled with people and their perfect bodies. Generally speaking, only the trendy ones like Equinox tend to cater to those model type figures. In fact, many studios now know that they are losing a ton of business because people feel intimidated so they are now trying to cater to those individuals who would like to feel more welcomed. So if you have been thinking about taking a yoga class, just poke around a bit. It’s pretty easy to tell within a few minutes what types of people go there.
They Are Just As Insecure As You Are
The truth is, most of these people are just as insecure as individuals who see themselves as “imperfect” and therefore obsess over their body for this reason. In fact, more then half of the people with perfect bodies are so insecure that this is why they have that type of body and practice yoga all the time. Yoga was really intended to be an “inner” practice and the physical asana component is something that only Westerners have glamorized as “super bendy porn”.
It’s All In Your Head
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you feel intimidated to take a yoga class and that somehow people are going to judge you, then it’s really all in your head. Many of us who feel like we have shortcomings can easily talk ourselves out of doing anything because our minds are so powerful that they can trick us into thinking that something is happening when it really isn’t. I have seen so many “imperfect” woman walk into a yoga training session and can sense their discomfort. From this, I can see the inner dialogue that takes place in their mind that goes something like this:
“I don’t deserve to be here right now. Look at all these people with their great bodies and I am overweight and not in shape”.
If you have ever seen those documentaries where people are so overweight that they cannot leave their home, this is an extreme example of how powerful that inner dialogue is. Our minds really are this powerful and can create situations and circumstances that don’t exist, especially when it has to do with taking a yoga class.
So if you have been staying away from yoga because you feel you are not perfect enough, just remember: you have to start somewhere. And yoga is a great tool not only for the body, but the mind too. This is where real health is accomplished.
Sergio Diazgranados is the founder of Yoga Training Guide where he supports students of all levels explore the power of this ancient practice.