The truth about that sexy yoga body on Instagram

That yoga body.

That bewitchingly beautiful, lean, bendy yoga body — perfectly positioned in a majestic pose; a goddess. 

You've seen her. She's all over Pinterest and Instagram. She's stunning, isn't she?

I pin her. I "like" her. I admire her strength and beauty. She has a yoga body, just like me. 

Just like who?

Just like me.

I can't match all her poses. I don't have a chiseled stomach. My thighs rub together and sometimes I make funny faces during my yoga practice. But I have a yoga body.

In every yoga class I attend, I am surrounded by yoga bodies. Beautiful yoga bodies. Some of them are lean and chiseled and look like the goddess on Instagram. But most of them aren't. Some are thick, some are thin, some are wrinkled, some are freckled, some have large breasts and some have small breasts. And every single one of them has a yoga body.

If you practice yoga, you have a yoga body.

I know that yoga classes are diverse. I feel inspired — not threatened — by those yoga goddesses online. Until I read this article by Haley Overland, I never considered the "harm" the inspirational yoga goddesses on social media could cause. 

It's certainly not the fault of the goddesses in question. I don't think there is blame to put on anyone. But I can see how these beautiful images could intimidate a person who has never tried yoga.  I don't look like that and I know my body can't bend like that. Yoga definitely isn't for me. 

This isn't true.  

Those yoga goddesses, as I've been calling them, couldn't always bend like that. Yoga isn't something you either can or can't do. It's a practice — a lifelong practice. There are some poses those goddesses probably can't do, and might never do. Every yoga body is different. If somebody tells you they have mastered every yoga pose, they are an imposture. I don't believe them. It's impossible. 

I am tall. I have thick legs and small arms. I have fine straight hair that stops below my shoulders. It doesn't drape down my back. I eat vegetables and ice cream and drink wine. I don't practice yoga on a beach. I don't even live near a beach. I don't practice yoga naked or in a bikini. I do practice yoga in tight-fitting clothes, because that's what's most comfortable to me. I fall out of yoga poses and I can't do an unassisted headstand. Yet. I know I don't look like those yoga goddesses on Instagram, but I feel beautiful when I practice yoga.

I have a yoga body. A beautiful yoga body, just like them.