Okay, so I’m not sure if you’re aware but Sadie Nardini has a new book and it’s called The 21-Day Yoga Body! Yes, you can have a yoga body with this complete “metabolic makeover” that will “get you fit, fierce and fabulous and just 3 weeks,” as the cover copy reminds us.
I’m not going to simply review the book. No, IAYB is going to do the whole thing. All 21 days. I will do everything that Sadie tells me to do.
“Yoga Body”: Fact or Fiction?
First of all, though, I have to ask: Just what the heck is a “yoga body?”
Luckily, Sadie answers this question in her introduction. “A yoga body is freedom,” she writes, “freedom to be who you know you’re meant to be, deep inside. It’s 100-proof you, distilled to your essence on all levels, rocking your mind-bod-spirit-freakin’-entire-life to a miraculous, turbo-boosted new level. Yeah, that good.”
Now, I have to admit that my definition of yoga body (which I consider a culturally loaded term) is a little different. I would define yoga body as “as social construct attributed to practitioners of yoga asana; a body that is most often white, slender, toned, flexible, able and heterosexual; frequently clad in bright-coloured spandex and assuming near-impossible arm balance poses.”
As Danielle Prohom Olson points out on her blog, Body Divine Yoga, “The ‘yoga body’ is a fiction… It is NOT obtained from a regular yoga routine (as many would have you believe) – no , it’s obtained at the price of constant work, a Herculean effort to burn calories, and a saintly denial of carbs.”
So is the idea of the “yoga body” fact or fiction? Who knows! All I know is that I’m not very good at doing constant work on myself, or denying carbs. Regardless, I’m going to do the 21-Day Yoga Body plan as a way to unpack the “yoga body” and challenge what it means. I’ll be blogging about it here and posting on Facebook and Twitter.
But you know what else? I’m also doing it because I wouldn’t mind feeling a little more fit, fierce and fabulous. My body has had a rough go lately. I had some personal trauma early in the summer, which messed up my hormones, and then a weird shoulder injury which limited my asana practice (no downward dogs for me for three months – or swimming, my other favourite body practice). I spent a lot of this summer lying around with ice on various parts of my body.
I’m starting to feel like my strong, healthy self again, but I’m still a little out of touch with myself, as Sadie would say, on many levels. I’m ready to rock my body, Sadie Nardini style.
The Requisite Badly Lit “Before” Photo Without Make-up or Anything
As the name suggests, The 21-Day Yoga Body is a three-week plan that incorporates a daily yoga asana practice, meal suggestions, lifestyle tips and affirmations. Sadie gives us a couple of Core Strength Vinyasa (the style she created) sequences, which serve as the basis. Each day, an extra focus sequence is given, along with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, and a “daily action adventure.”
Lately, my personal practice is all over the place. My asana practice has been restorative and therapeutic, fitting into my life when I can (although I have to do some kind of movement, even just 10 minutes, in the morning, to keep me feeling pain-free). I practice at home (sometimes with videos, sometimes self-directed) or at my neighbourhood studio. My yoga practice also includes breathwork, visualizations, journaling, community building, blogging, cooking, cleaning my home and cuddling with my cat. For the past week, my practice has been in the form of a morning oil and massage routine (the Ayurvedic practice of abhyanga, which I love).
Anyway, here is my current yoga body:
I can’t wait until my regular old yoga body is super duper fabulous yoga body! It’s been a long time since my yoga practice has incorporated a dedicated long morning asana routine. But if I want a yoga body, I gotta move my body – I can’t just lie around on a bolster visualizing white light! (As much as I love doing that.)
21 Days to a Total Body Transformation
I have to admit, Sadie’s plan is pretty fun. The morning sequences look dynamic and interesting, and the affirmations are realistic and relevant. Aside from the whole problematic “yoga body” thing, it seems like a good plan towards total health.
I’m excited about the sequences and action tips, but I will probably be least diligent about the meal plan, as I tend to follow her suggested diet (whole foods, organic, with the occasional glass of wine and chocolate dessert) anyway. I regularly eat lots of quinoa and kale, and don’t eat any processed or refined foods. That said, I probably eat too many grilled cheese sandwiches (they’re just so comforting and warm and cheezy and quick!). Still, glancing through the book, I see a few recipes that I’d like to try.
The grand adventure starts on Monday, November 4, and wraps up on Sunday, November 24, 2013. Follow along!