There I said it. The Girls and badonkadonks. Two (three?) things I don’t want to hear about in a yoga class. Oh, and calories. I don’t want to hear about how core work burns calories, either. I have, in the last couple of months, heard well-meaning teachers talk about each of these things.
Teachers. Please don’t give your students reasons to feel self-conscious. Saying things like “my badonkadonk won’t lift in Side Crow”, or “The Girls get in the way of Peacock” – or any other message in which you mention a specific body part, instantly shifts the focus. Instead of going inside, you’ve just encouraged your students to look at your body – and think about their own. I recently read that upwards of 90% of women give themselves negative body messages each day. The %s of men who hate their bodies is growing at a too-rapid pace. I know you’re not trying to hurt your students. As teachers, our students look to us for guidance. Let’s create safe, body-positive places for them.
Students. Your teachers mean well. That’s why we become teachers. I apologize for all of us if you’ve been in a class which has made you feel anything but safe and honored. Yoga is about you coming to your mat exactly the way you are. In all of your glorious wonder. If your backside doesn’t lift in side crow, that isn’t a reflection of a badonkadonk or anything else. It’s a reflection that your backside doesn’t lift in Side Crow. Maybe some day it will. Or not. Either way, you are a beautiful yogi, doing your postures in your own way. It’s my hope that the 90% of women and growing %s of men struggling with body hate images can find body acceptance on the yoga mat. And that the acceptance can carry through to life off the mat, too.
Please join me in heightening our awareness of the messages we’re sending to ourselves and others about how are bodies are supposed to be. The yoga mat is no place for judgment. It’s a place for self-acceptance, self-growth, love, and safety. Together, we can create that for all of us.