The Yoga Body: Body Image and Yoga | YOGA TEACHER TRAINING

The Yoga Body: Body Image and Yoga

We have all seen the images and read the articles that tout yoga as giving you the strong, lean, flexible, sexy body…and lets be honest, these bodies look good, really good. It’s a great advertisement for yoga.


I’ve been practicing yoga for over 20 years and even during my most intense periods of practice I was never as rake thin as is portrayed in the media and modern yoga world.

So what was I doing wrong?

Sure, I was toned and strong and flexible. I could hold postures for long amounts of time, I could wrap my legs around my head and I of course was a vegetarian. So why wasn’t I this thin…? Was I eating too much (I hardly ate a thing), was I not working hard enough (I was pushing my body to its limits on a weekly basis).

SO here is what I concluded..

Well first of all we all have different body types and with any type of training you can only push your body so far. Then there is the intensity. I practiced 6 days a week, but even with my strongest practice I could never burn enough calories to be stick thin. It wasn’t until I started working out seriously in the gym, doing daily cardio and strength workouts with a PT, cutting our carbs, counting my calories and cross training my body that I found I could actually reduce my weight and streamline my body. But ultimately this wasn’t sustainable.

So this begs the question, are the bodies we see as the archetype of yogic perfect real? And, does it really matter what you look like? A fellow yoga girl recently sent me an article entitled “Yoga Body”: The Conspiracy.. and man this really struck a cord with me… The opening paragraph of Danielle Prohom Olson blog hits right at the heart of it –

The taut and toned “yoga body” on display in the media marketplace is a lie. It is NOT obtained from a regular yoga routine (as many would have you believe) – no , its obtained at the price of constant work, a Herculean effort to burn calories, and a saintly denial of carbs

Yes, ok, im not the only person thinking this…

So please dear readers, if you have been asking yourself the same questions about your yoga practice please check out the full article and  create your own opinion.


Shades of Yoga is a yoga teacher training company running year-long yoga teacher training courses in Bali and Costa Rica.

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