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Yoga Selfies for Self-Empowerment

in Public Display of Yoga


You may have noticed you don’t exactly resemble the bodies on the cover of yoga magazines. Or any magazines for that matter. While the age of photoshop and skinny, flexible cover model selection can often bring feelings of self-doubt and judgement, the good news is there’s a shift happening to help break that cycle. And although the value and intention of selfies can be debated until the cows come home, there’s a movement afoot set out to empower our real yogi selves by asking us to “strut your REAL yoga stuff” and share photos of our real yoga bodies.

Called “My Real Yoga Body,” the facebook page has already attracted close to 3,000 likes and many photos of yogis demonstrating their yoga, imperfections and doughnuts and all (see above photo of Robby). It’s a refreshing and beautiful thing, really. The folks behind MRYB explain why they started the page:

This page was started as a personal challenge to celebrate all of the Yogis and Yoginis out there. We want to see youngins’, oldins’, slim, zaftig, male, female, strong, getting strong, restorative, accomplished, burgeoning, all different colors and flavors, falling down, flying, levitating, lying on our backs half asleep!

We love that people have taken to sharing who they really are in yoga with unabashed flair. Some of the photos are sweet, others inspiring and others a bit silly, but they’re people just doing their thing and that’s what’s great. We started a little something like this a while back called the Gallery of YogaDorks which began as a response to Yoga Journal‘s cover model contest. What resulted was a great gallery of diversity and a display of how many different types, styles and sizes of yogis there are out there. (Side note: If you’ve sent in your photo and it’s not up yet, our apologies! It’s on our end of the year list of to dos.)

But we aren’t the only ones. Anna Guest-Jelley of Curvy Yoga also has a gallery. And most recently, Roseanne Harvey of It’s All Yoga, Baby posted about her 21 Day Yoga Body challenge, chronicling not only her daily practice and prescribed diet but her mission to figure out just what IS a “yoga body,” proudly posting some maybe less than conventionally flattering photos along the way.

If there’s one thing we’ve noticed in this selfie state it’s that people really do like to share who they are and what they love. We’re pretty sure that’s why facebook, twitter and instagram are doing just so gosh darn well. When you’re an instagram star with 45,000 followers and you’re always half-naked in your photos, that may elicit some questions of intention, but on the whole, what we love about the idea behind something like “My Real Yoga Body” is that there are no restrictions or requirements. You’re not any less of a yogi/person for not being in some crazy inverted eke pada whosiwhatsit. Also, you’re not any less of one if you prefer NOT to submit your photos. Because there’s nothing wrong with keeping your yoga practice to your own mat, either.

When we are so inundated with images that can make us feel crappy about ourselves, especially in the yoga-related sphere where we are encouraged to feel accepting and loving of ALL of our selves, seeing images of so many real yogis doing their thing is just a simple and beautiful reminder that we’re all real yogis in real yoga bodies just doing our thing.




7 comments… add one
  • Thank you so much for this! So happy to sharing all of this gorgeousness! It makes our day.

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