Each month on my U Can Yoga website I have been featuring yoga related books that I’ve really enjoyed and want to share with you guys reading out there. For anyone who has missed the titles featured so far, I am including some my previous ‘Books of the Month’ here. I hope you enjoy:
Yoga Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body by Melanie Klein and Anna Guest-Jelley
“Our intention is to inspire people who have an interest in developing a practice to begin exploring their options, especially those who thought yoga wasn’t for them. We also want current practitioners to begin or expand inquiry into how yoga and body image intersect in their communities.” – Melanie Klein, Yoga Body Image
For all of us who practise yoga this is an essential read.
Body image is something that many of us struggle with at some point in (or even, much of) our lives regardless of our background, gender, appearance or experience. Yoga has the huge capacity to heal, though with the dominant images presented in modern yoga culture, one could be forgiven for thinking that if they don’t fit these images that yoga may not be for them.
In this inspiring collection of personal stories, twenty-five authors share how yoga has impacted their lives. From Vytas Baskauskas who found a profound connection with yoga after a battle with addiction landed him in jail, to Melody Moore, now a clinical psychologist specialising in recovery from eating disorders, who after several years of practice found that through yoga she was gaining emotional freedom, spiritual clarity and body acceptance. In Melody’s essay I was particularly struck by her admission that, “There were moments of poignancy after about a five-year gestation process of what I now can refer to as striving for perfection in the pose.” And in Dianne Bondy’s ‘Confessions of a Fat, Black Yoga Teacher’, I was reminded of some of my own past experiences including one particular class where I was told by the teacher to sit a pose out because I was “a bit big”.
There is value to be gleaned from every single one of the twenty-five essays in the book. I really could go on and on, but then this would become an essay in itself! I am so grateful to Melanie Klein, Anna Guest-Jelley and Everyone who shared their stories. I am grateful for this book.
Yoga Body Image reminds us that yoga truly is for everyone. And this is a book I look forward to returning to again and again.