With the new year, there’s been a onslaught of promotional marketing around various fitness programs and regimens, including many centered around some form of yoga. To that I say, great! The more people that become inspired to practice yoga, the better.
There is a negative message between the lines of a lot of the language I’ve seen, and I don’t like it: the implication that, in terms of yoga, one must look or be a certain way to “achieve” a “yoga body”.
Well. There’s a not-so-secret secret you should know…
Despite all that noise, there is nothing you need to do to get a “yoga body”.
You already HAVE a yoga body.
EVERYBODY has a yoga body. It’s the one you’re born with.
No matter your size; whether you’re a seasoned yogi or just testing the waters; your level of fitness or physical abilities; your shape, height, sex, age, etc. etc. — you have a yoga body.
Take a moment, sit quietly, inhale and exhale deeply through your nose if possible, and focus on your breath. Therein lies one of the simple yet profound foundations of yoga (that can become all the more profound and layered the more you do it!). Move into asana if you want to and can (and that too can look like many different things), or focus on other yoga forms. Explore, and keep exploring, and see what feels right for you.
Like with anything, progress takes time. But yoga is about the process and the now.
Just don’t get deterred by what you think yoga “should” look like. Focus on the physicality of yoga from a structural, safety, cuing and health standpoint.
Yoga is not about looking a certain way. It does not discriminate. It’s a practice and an intention. It’s collective and individual. And it’s for everyone — or, at least, anyone who wants it.