I will say this about the Olympics, I do like seeing hard work be rewarded. For the most part, those athletes hurling themselves around on the ice and snow have worked really hard to get there, and I appreciate the effort. I'm especially impressed with the women snowboarders, skiers, and hockey players--what a bunch of strong, muscle-y chicks. The New York Times has been covering their training routines (here and here) over the past few weeks, and it's cool to see them in their workout gear running, lifting and--ta da--doing yoga.
And I see their strong, healthy bodies, and read about their determination and how they see themselves as role models for girls, and I think where are yoga leaders who look like that? Who have hips and thighs and meat on their bones and take on the boys at their own game? It's like we get stuck with yoginis who look like willowy figure skaters, fretting about food and starving themselves for their sport, while the winter sports crowd gets these tough gals.
Now, of course, I know yoga is not about surface and appearances; but I also know that that is how it is marketed by the mass media and even by the Yoga Establishment. And we ALL know that these images are pervasive and deeply, deeply damaging. Women have curves, women have babies that stretch out their insides, women have a greater percentage of subcutaneous fat than men. As long as these facts are treated as faults that must be fixed by diet, exercise, and surgery, women will be taught to see their bodies as the enemy, instead of as amazing machines.
I want to focus on the amazing. Bring on the Lindsey Vonns, the Maelle Rickers, the Jenny Potters of yoga! Give me some one that insipres me--who I can identify with, instead of make me feel like I should skip dinner! Where are ya, Sistahs?
Let's develop that brand...