In defense of the skinny/rich/white yogis {Elephant Journal}

This is my first published article in "Elephant Journal". I'm thrilled to contribute to one of my FAVORITE SITES EVER. Check out the excerpt below and get your trunk over to EJ to read the rest.

Once reserved for the “weird hippies”, yoga has become mainstream in the West.

The new image of yoga has since become a thin, caucasian, privileged woman dressed from head to toe in Lululemon on her way to a fancy yoga studio.

In case you missed it, there’s a movement that’s currently shaking up the yoga world that challenges the aforementioned skinny/rich/white yogi stereotype. Campaigns assert that yoga is for everybody and every body.

I dig it. A lot. Truly. One of my goals as a yoga instructor is to bring the power and healing of yoga to people who might not otherwise be inclined to step into a yoga studio. I strive to make my classes non-dogmatic and non-intimidating. It’s what I love about teaching in a gym setting—it’s accessible (it’s free for gym members) and I’m able to teach an extremely diverse group of people that range from complete beginners to strong athletes to seasoned yogis.

That being said, something still rubs me the wrong way with some of these campaigns that aim to bring yoga to those who aren’t the stereotypical skinny/rich/white female. Sometimes this stereotypical woman is vilified. She’s seen as what’s “wrong” with yoga today and the reason yoga has become commercialized. She’s taken the soul out of yoga and made it trendy. She makes others feel uncomfortable in the studio and shames people who don’t wear size 2 Lululemon pants.

Read the rest on Elephant Journal.