body image in yoga culture: YJ san diego conversation

body image in yoga culture: YJ san diego conversation

IAYB is in the middle of a cross-country move and right now taking it easy in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia! Even though I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out on beaches (and digging Kelowna’s body positive public beach art: see the featured photo), I’ve still been paying attention to the yogasphere.

The latest session in the Practice of Leadership conversation series will take place this weekend at the Yoga Journal San Diego conference, with a focus on the complicated issue of body image in yoga culture. Activists Melanie Klein, Dianne Bondy, Dana Smith and Brigitte Kouba will join Carin Gorrell, editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal, and Rachel Acheson, lululemon’s VP of Brand and Community, to dig into this much-needed conversation.

According to the Yoga Journal website: ¨The gathering will be an open and honest dialogue that gets at the heart of our practice, our role as conscious leaders and how to make yoga accessible and welcoming to every BODY.¨

Yoga Journal and lululemon are among the most heavily criticized perpetuators of unrealistic standards of women’s bodies and reinforcing dominant culture’s ideals, so this conversation has the potential to be a game-changer.

¨If yoga culture is truly a conscious community devoted to evolution and enlightenment,¨ panel participant Melanie Klein wrote on YogaDork, ¨we need to dig deep, do the work and have the dialogue, even if it’s uncomfortable. As a result, we can shape the culture instead of replicating the toxic aspects of the larger culture thereby reflecting the existing sexism, age-ism, heterosexism, size-ism, racism etc. that exists in that space.¨

This conversation coincides with the launch of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, who are committed to body positive and accessible yoga for all, and to carrying out the next steps and key points that will get brought up in this conversation.

IAYB will take a break from the beach to follow the conversation on Twitter. Stay tuned!

yoga for larger bodies: one woman’s animated story

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yoga for larger bodies: one woman's animated story

The power of personal narrative comes alive in a heartwarming illustrated short created by activist & artist Stacy Bias.