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Illustrated image for article Yoga and physique - does it matter if I want to practice yoga?!

Yoga and physique - does it matter if I want to practice yoga?


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While yoga is often associated with improved flexibility, strength, and stress reduction, there is constant discussion about whether body shape and size affect their ability to practice yoga effectively. 

Let's get right to the point - body shape doesn't matter at all when it comes to yoga. Why? Let me simply explain what the point of the whole practice is.

 

...Yoga is for everyone...

 

How many times have I encountered this in a group class with clients who weren't sure if they could even physically do it so that no one would be looking at them and they wouldn't feel uncomfortable looking in the mirror when they transitioned into a particular asana? All that strength comes from within, from the respect we have for our bodies and minds. Our body is a temple that we need to take care of, but it has nothing to do with visual appearance and necessary perfection.

 

"Why don't I put my hands from standing to the ground? Why don't I lift my leg as high as the lady next to me? What about my stiff hips? Why can't I stretch them more and relax them?"

 

Every one of us has asked ourselves this question at least once.

One of the basic principles of yoga is that it is inclusive and accessible to people of all categories, genders, and body types. The essence of this beautiful path is to connect mind, body, and spirit and is not at all limited by the shape of your body. Regardless of whether you are tall, short, thin, or have more pronounced proportions or some genetic disability. Yoga welcomes everyone with open arms.

 

Yoga is an activity or process that knows no BUTs. All that matters is your unique being, creating something amazing on the mat and something that changes your life every day. It's like transforming yourself into the best version of yourself on the mat and using flowing breathing to create a better tomorrow and participate in creating your destiny with a positive charge into your daily life.

 

Body positivity - the path to self-love and empowerment

 

Yoga has evolved significantly over the years, from its early roots in India to the modern yoga studio. 

In the West, it is often associated with the lean, flexible bodies and advanced postures pictured on glamorous magazine covers and social media. However, this portrayal of yoga has contributed to feelings of exclusion and inadequacy for many individuals whose bodies do not quite meet these unrealistic standards.

 

However, the yoga community is experiencing a turnaround, challenging these stereotypes and adopting a more inclusive approach.   

In recent years, the " body positivity" movement has taken hold, promoting self-love and acceptance of all body types. Yoga is very much in tune with this movement as it promotes a sense of self-compassion and positivity. Individuals can learn to appreciate their body for what it can do rather than what it looks like.

The body positivity movement in yoga encourages each practitioner to focus on self-acceptance, self-love, and self-care, regardless of body shape, size, or physical ability.

 

I decided to share a few tips that might help you overcome obstacles with yourself and open up your practice to the fullest...

 

Self-acceptance - this is where body positivity begins. Yogis are encouraged to accept their bodies as they are in the present moment. This acceptance helps to release self-criticism and judgment while creating a more vibrant environment for growth and self-discovery.

 

Mindfulness - this is what yoga emphasizes, a practice in the present moment without judgment. It is in practicing body positivity in yoga that everyone learns to observe their body and thoughts without criticism, fostering a sense of connection with their physical self.

 

Variations and Modifications - Each class offers different variations and modifications of poses to suit different body types and abilities. This then allows everyone to participate and experience the benefits of yoga without feeling excluded.

 

Empowerment - applies to every yogi to trust their body, respect their limitations, and celebrate their achievements. This sense of empowerment extends beyond the mat into everyday life, promoting confidence and resilience.

 

Community support - in a yoga environment, they provide a sense of belonging and most importantly, support. The benefit is that practitioners can connect with like-minded people who share their journey to body positivity and foster a sense of unity and friendship.

 

Do you sometimes just feel like your body is protesting when you try to get into the opening position of the Pigeon King? Why does our body sometimes stagnate and not do what our mind asks it to do?

The answer is clear: It's not the right time yet!

 

Everybody has its limits for a specific reason, to protect itself and not harm itself. Nothing must be pushed through the pain. With each successive gentle transition from asana to asana, suddenly the body gets there automatically without noticing. The only thing that comes is feeling a little better than the last time, and the feeling that your mind is thriving.

 

Of course, total body positivity has its benefits, so let's mention them:

 

Improved mental health - positivity can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem by promoting self-acceptance and compassion.

 

Improved physical support - physical benefits such as flexibility, strength, and balance can be experienced by all individuals of all body types and abilities, of course.

 

Increased body awareness - this helps yogis become more attuned to their bodies, allowing them to better understand their needs and make healthier choices.

 

Stress reduction - the mindfulness aspect can help reduce daily stress and promote emotional well-being.

 

So... I hope I've at least misled you a little bit and you've been able to realize how much your total being matters. 

 

This long-standing yoga process is more than a physical exercise.

It is a journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-love. It is an encouragement to know how to " embrace" your body and respect it. Cultivating a sense of empowerment, yoga becomes a powerful tool for improving mental and physical well-being and finding unlimited inner peace during your human transformation to a happier life.


Do you have any experiences or feelings that you identify with or questions about the topic?

I'm here for you! Write, I'd be happy to receive comments...

 



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Background Photo of the author Linda Culba!
Picture of the author: Linda Culba!

Linda Culba

Prague

Yoga teacher and esoteric enthusiast who discovers new opportunities to improve his life through spirituality!...

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