The “yoga body”??

January 23, 2017 in Recovery

Hi guys and happy Monday! Hope you all had a good weekend. I had a great first weekend back at school and it was great being with my friends again. 🙂

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My best friend Jillian and I 

Anyways, I wanted to talk to y’all about something that’s been bugging me a bit.

I feel like there’s this idea that all yogi’s are pretty slim and have the most defined abs. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. But it’s just what I’ve been feeling and sensing off Instagram. All the super popular and famous yogi Instagrams are of girls who really don’t have the typical body. They don’t have rolls on their stomach or cellulite on their thighs, which is obviously something a whole lot of women have.

I guess what bugs me the most about this is is that yoga is not even all about the workout in my opinion. It is so much more. It is a practice that welcomes all people, of all sizes, and of all ages. And no one should ever feel intimated to step into a yoga class because they may not have a six-pack or their core may be a bit fluffier than that girl who posted a picture of her crow on Instagram.

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The thing is, I could do all the core exercises in the world and I would never have a six-pack. I’m never going to look like @the_southern_yogi on Instagram. And that is okay! Does that mean I’m not fit for yoga? Absolutely not. My legs will always have some stretch marks. My stomach is never going to be completely flat. And that is okay. That doesn’t mean I’m not capable of doing yoga. We often forget of all the amazing things our bodies can do because we are so focused on what they look like. I don’t have the most toned body but I am still able to do headstands, handstands, and different inversions. I am capable of all these things even though the rolls on my stomach show when I sit. (which most everyone’s do!!)

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One of the things I love so much about entering a yoga class is the diversity of people there. There are men and women. There are people of different ages. And we all look different. Can you imagine if we all looked the same and were stick thin with toned abs? Idk, if ya ask me that would just be pretty freakin’ weird.

I went to a new yoga studio last week and I really connected with the teacher. Her outlook on yoga was so inspiring and eye-opening for me. The energy she brought to the practice was tangible and I loved how the environment was so opening and accepting. Each woman in that studio was there for her own reason, and each woman was accepting of that. There was NO judgment or shame in that room. The teacher ended the practice saying that yoga is not about working out. It’s about working within. When she said that I was just kinda like “woahhhhh.” I’ve never thought of yoga like that. Because to be honest, I get caught up in the competition of it all. I get frustrated when I can’t do a certain inversion and I get jealous sometimes that I am not as good or as strong as @the_southern_yogi. Sometimes I feel like I always have to be doing a fast flow or I get trapped in the idea that I don’t even look like I do yoga. I’m not perfect and I will never claim to be. Because I do get caught in these detrimental thought cycles like each and every other person out there.

But the thing is there is not right or wrong body type for yoga. All you need is a body, a mat, and an open mindset. Go into your practice with the mindset that this is a practice working from within. There is no right or wrong body type for yoga. Yoga is what you make of it. If your body isn’t capable of doing a bridge, don’t do it. It doesn’t make you a bad yogi. Just modify it. But maybe you’ll be able to do another pose instead that someone else can’t do. Yoga meets us where we are, and it knows exactly where we need to be. Entering into yoga with this open mindset instead of a poor attitude and the belief that your body isn’t fit for this practice won’t get you anywhere. Accept your body for what it is and have fun with it. This isn’t even a practice of how you look. This is a practice of how you feelIf you feel good at the end of your practice, that’s all that counts. Not if your body doesn’t look like the girl next to you in a headstand. All of that is so insignificant. Trust your feelings in that moment and leave the studio with those feelings of strength and confidence. In my opinion, that’s the most beautiful thing about yoga. It has nothing to do with the whole body type, six-pack ab crap or those perfect poses we see on Instagram. It’s about that feeling of confidence we get when we finish a practice, that overwhelming sensation of strength.

Comment any thoughts you have on this. I’d love to hear them!! 

Have a lovely Monday friends. 🙂

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34 Comments

  • Reply Lynne (Lynne's Recipe Trails) January 23, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Thank you for this. I need to get back into my yoga again. It is just so good for the mind 🙂 x
    Lynne (Lynne’s Recipe Trails) recently posted…Chickpea and Spinach CakesMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:51 am

      yes you totally should 🙂

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It January 23, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I absolutely 100% agree!!! Yoga is not about the way you look, it’s about the depth of your mind and spirit. Some of the most incredible yoga teachers I’ve ever had could be considered “bigger” by our society’s screwed up standards, but they could do every single pose with ease, grace, and strength. So powerful!
    Marina @ A Dancer’s Live-It recently posted…Let Go of What You Can’t ControlMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:51 am

      so so true- it is about the depth of our mind and spirit. Love you girl!

  • Reply Stephanie January 23, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Hello,
    My lady Anja who teaches yoga for years says that’s why she loves yoga, not in the same words but that yoga is more spiritual not a race or a contest!! So right on Alyssa! Keep fighting that outside force that says we all need to look a certain way! LOVE YOU!

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:52 am

      yoga isn’t a contest!! I love that 🙂

  • Reply Emily January 23, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    YES! This is like running; there isn’t a ‘runner’s body.’ All you need is a pair of shoes, a desire to run, and a thirst for adventure… WE’re all made so differently but God made us all to move. And you don’t need to look a certain way to move. THANK YOU for this. <3
    Emily recently posted…Apple Cinnamon Maca Stuffed French ToastMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:52 am

      exactly!! thank you for reading em!

  • Reply Trine January 23, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Yes, yes, yes. Thank you so much for this. I have felt this way too and it’s really frustrating. But it really is about sooo much more than the exercise and moving your body piece. I am still actively learning to think of yoga as a mind AND body practice and not just a body one. Love you girl!

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:54 am

      YES GIRL!! Love YOU

  • Reply Heather @ Polyglot Jot January 23, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I remember going in to yoga thinking that I wanted to do something new and wanted to get a good workout. I don’t think those were bad motivators, but it’s amazing how much you learn about yourself in the process that has nothing to do with a workout at all!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Saturday Snuggles & Sunday BrunchMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:55 am

      you do learn so much about yourself in yoga!

  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law January 24, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Any body that does yoga is a yoga body – if you ask me!

    What you said is exactly why I love yoga so much. As someone with a shoulder disability, I always loved that yoga can work for every body – a few adjustments to a move are all it takes to make it work for you and no one discourages that!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Easy Vegan Pikelets (Gluten Free)My Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:57 am

      YES. Amen to that. And yoga can work with every body. That’s what I love so much about it <3

  • Reply Lisa January 24, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Hi ! Happy to have found your blog! I love the layout, the style the content…everything! I’ve read some of your posts and I can’t wait to read more! Looking forward to following you 🙂

    Lisa | http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net/

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:58 am

      thank you lisa!

  • Reply Sarah January 24, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Wow that yoga instructor is spot on! I like the way she put it- working in. For me yoga has never been about burning calories or working out. It has been about connecting with my body and spirit and nourishing both. Just like any body is a bikini body, and body is a yoga body!
    Sarah recently posted…A Killer Glutes and Hamstrings WorkoutMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 3:59 am

      yoga does help me connect with my body SO much. That’s why I adore it ! and yes to everything you said chica

  • Reply Kate January 25, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I really appreciate you addressing this. I so wish that workout videos and such featured more body diversity. Genetics decide so much as far as we look, but that doesn’t get in say in whether we love a specific type of exercise/movement/sport.
    continue rocking and blowing our minds with your awesome practice!
    Kate recently posted…I can do hard thingsMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 4:00 am

      aw thank you kate 🙂 I feel the same way about workout vids too. We def need more body diversity!

  • Reply Melanie January 25, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    The reason I started yoga was because I always felt so loved and accepted, even though I was a beginner. I love yoga because you don’t have to be an expert with a toned body, it’s all about connecting with your mind and body. I’m not sure if you keep up with Recovery Warriors, but I read a similar article yesterday about comparison. It’s a great reminder to love our imperfections- they are what make us US. 🙂

    https://www.recoverywarriors.com/game-of-comparison/?utm_source=Recovery+Warriors+Newsletter&utm_campaign=ec26bd6de6-Newsletter_list_A_B_Headline_01_23_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_55796c44a2-ec26bd6de6-96734901&mc_cid=ec26bd6de6&mc_eid=7bf8f92028

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 4:01 am

      ah thank you for sharing that article with me!! I love recovery warriors. And thank you for reading love <3

  • Reply Elaine @ FoodParsed January 26, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Lovely post! Strength and confidence are so much more than just physical appearance.
    Elaine @ FoodParsed recently posted…Pan Fried Brussel SproutsMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 4:02 am

      thank you so much elaine 🙂

  • Reply kat January 26, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I have to say that I completely fall into this “trap”, if you will. If someone asked me to describe a yogi I would probably describe them as tall, thin and lanky. It’s just the picture that I get in my head! And while I don’t think that is a BAD thing per say you are right – there is no right or wrong yoga body. Shoot, I wish I could do yoga but my wrist just won’t allow that much pressure. And girl you are amazing. I absolutely love that shot of you and love that you are trying to break down these barriers and perceptions. I think if you love it and it brings you joy you should do it, so keep doing YOU girl! <3
    kat recently posted…TOL #118 – Fitness Model? And more random fun!My Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 4:03 am

      aw Kat thank you!! It’s funny how we get that image in our head of a yogi… thank you so much for your kind words love !!

  • Reply Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday January 27, 2017 at 1:45 am

    YES. This is why I love fitness so much. There is this notion of a “______ body”, but I see diversity everywhere. When I’m running, not everyone is super lean. When I’m doing yoga, most people in the room look totally different. And even when I’m lifting, you’ve got everyone from your little old man to a hulking dude to an average woman in the weight room. No big deal. I think that’s how you break down those sorts of stereotypes: by doing your own thing.

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 4:03 am

      Amen!! that is why I love fitness too. Thank you ellen 🙂

  • Reply GiGi Eats January 27, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Yoga body – ha! I definitely don’t have one of those. I mean. I don’t do yoga, so duh! LOL! But seriously. I am short. I have muscles on my legs. I have a different build. But everyone is unique and sexy in their own ways!! 🙂

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 4:04 am

      yes everyone is!! <3

  • Reply Laura Olinger January 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    As a yoga instructor, I can tell you that you are absolutely right! I see all body types, all skill levels, etc. come through my classes and that’s what makes it so exciting!

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 4:04 am

      thank you Laura!! that means a lot coming from a yoga teacher <3

  • Reply Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar January 28, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    I’m so behind on my blog reading–I only just saw this! And I love it. I agree with the stereotype that yogis–that athletes in general, honestly–can only look a certain way. It is, as you’ve said, a practice of how you feel–not how you look.
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…A Low-FODMAP Super BowlMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa February 1, 2017 at 4:05 am

      no worries- I am too! and yesss- working out in general should be how we feel!

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