Happy International Day of Yoga! This international day is relatively young. The twenty-first of June was declared as the International Day of Yoga in December 2014 by United Nations. There are many celebrations happening globally across the week. Hopefully you have the opportunity to attend an event near you.
Yoga is something that can be practiced by everybody and every body. Tonight, I’m finishing off my blog series ‘Can I do Yoga?’
This question can be fuelled by various doubts. These doubts could come from each time you see someone doing yoga better than what you imagine doing. There are memes for this line of thought. But seriously, who are you doing yoga for? You. It’s your body and mind journey and you just happen to be doing your yoga with a larger community of yogis and yoginis all practicing at their individual level of ability.
I have seen people with a range of bodies and abilities give yoga a try and I’ve spoken with people who say they haven’t stopped because of the difference it made to them. Here are some examples of different yogis and yoginis to illustrate how accessible yoga can be.
The photos have been kindly contributed by people in the global yoga community. You can see Nanna and Nonno doing chair yoga in one photo and yoga running in the family in another photo, a prenatal yogini, plus some lovely yoga instructors. Each photo has its own story. I will link these contributors at the end of this post so you can find out about their yoga story by checking out their pages.
A larger, well established project of ‘What a Yogi Looks Like’ is out there.
Simply visit Yoga and Body Image Coalition and Accessible Yoga to see many other yogis and yoginis showing the world that yoga is available to anyone. You may not see someone in mainstream media who you can relate to right now with the same body proportions, mental or physical conditions, or even a financial situation like yours, but we are here as an example of a yoga community that is diverse in its teachers and students and you can do some yoga too.
So get out there and give it a go! You may want to try a couple of different classes as there are various forms of yoga and while teachers may have trained together, they each bring their own personality and style to their classes. In Australia, there are a number of classes being offered for free or by donation this week. Yoga Australia has a page with International Day of Yoga class options which you can access here. I taught one on Saturday 17 June, which was great!
Have a great week and I hope to post again soon.
Top left: Lindsay from Wave Wellness
Top right: Bonnie, a yoga instructor in Ontario
Middle left: Allie from Yoga HQ
Middle right: Angela from Angela Lyn
Bottom left: Maisie from Grace Yoga Online
Bottom right: Silvia from Silvia Hatha Yoga