Yoga beyond the physical practice

Here is a fun fact for you: I come from an advertising and marketing background and love the communication and creative space. Perhaps not the long hours of high stressed frenetic agency life, but I definitely appreciate creative development. I have worked in Australia, PNG and Canada in small, medium and large advertising agencies, corporates and non profits since 2004. I shared this with a yoga teacher recently and she asked me ‘What do you think about yoga marketing?’…

My gripe with mainstream yoga marketing is that it’s not accessible. It is not diverse and 99.9% of yoga marketing shows the physical practice. Do a search on #yoga in Instagram and the top results show a physical practice. Sure, great to build awareness about where you can go with yoga. But, what if you don’t want to do handstands and poses that take years to become confident with and simply want to breathe and move your body and seeking peace of mind.

I want to know – where are the brown skinned people that look like me?

Brown, black, indigenous and people of colour?

What about people who are over 40, 50 and 60 years with grey hair and a Mum or Dad bod?

Don’t people with wrinkles deserve yoga vibes?

What about if you recently had a baby and finding your way back to movement?

Or if you are a busy executive looking for peace of mind?

In classes, where are the options for all bodies in class?

Where is inclusive language for all genders and LGBTIQ community?

What about the person who doesn’t have lycra and wears tracksuit pants and tshirt (i.e. me)?

For a practice that claims to be inclusive, accessible, kind and caring for all people, it doesn’t seem that way.

I get the yoga imagery and focus is ‘aspirational’ but let’s be clear there is a difference between aspirational, inspirational, impressive and intimidating.

This is something I think about as I share my work as a teacher and on promoting my classes.

Am I focusing purely on the physical, am I inclusive and accessible? Is the intention to serve students and meet them where they are? Do I support, teach and challenge students? Or is teaching a self serving practice for me to show off?

Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash

roxyailayogaI guess I am still finding my way in sharing my work as a teacher and want to highlight- yoga goes beyond the physical asana practice you see in mainstream yoga marketing. Yogic philosophy extends to meditation, focus, breathing and also how people act off the mat and in the world when there is no Instagram or Facebook live stream. That’s where yoga marketing is lacking and not telling the full story of what yoga can be.

2 thoughts on “Yoga beyond the physical practice

    1. Thank you! Something I feel really passionate about and I am putting together an article about what yoga teachers can do to make this practice more accessible so it embraces people from all backgrounds. 🙂

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