I taught a hip opening practice last month where I sat in front of the class demonstrating variations of Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle), Upavista Konasana (Seated Wide Legged Forward Bend) and Seated Pigeon (see below). When I got home, I changed out of my yoga pants and noticed a large hole high on my inner thigh, right where the thigh and the pelvis meet. Oh no! Had anyone noticed?? I was up there for, like, 15 minutes! I searched my memory for either horrified or extra smiley faces and couldn’t recall any (nor had anyone inquired afterward about a future naked yoga class), so I took a deep breath and decided I was probably safe.
Later, I thought about our societal norms around nudity and how certain body parts are considered shameful and necessary to hide. I also lamented about the extent to which body shaming is ingrained in our culture; how media images that glorify a certain ideal bring shame and self-doubt to millions of men and women. I can’t think of a single person, including myself, who looks in the mirror without seeing flaws. How about you? What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Here’s what I’d love for us to see this month: more holes. Holes in the theories and media exposure that promote unattainable ideals. Holes in how we internalize body shaming and give it power. Holes in self-doubt that might stop us from doing cool yoga poses or other great things. Let’s shoot even more holes in those theories and see right through them. (Like the hole you did or didn’t see in my pants!)