Yoga for a better bedtime

Recommended read for a belated occasion


Feb. 26-March 3 was National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I meant to write a post about yoga and eating disorders – or, rather, food and body awareness – that week, but got too busy. (Trust me, the irony of a freelance writer-yoga teacher being too busy to write about yoga is not lost on me.) There’s always next year.

In the meantime, Yoga International took up the topic in its March issue with a feature by Linda Sparrowe titled Making Friends with Your Body. This article is well worth reading, not only in honor of the time set aside for eating disorders awareness, but also in light of current events in the yoga world – publications questioning yoga’s safety, scandals involving gurus taking advantage of their students, etc.

Passages like the following, I found, raised relevant questions about what we’re doing, and why, when we practice yoga:

Yoga postures make up a small part of this ancient practice, but pulled out of context—in gyms, rec centers, and even some yoga studios—they can become little more than a means to sweat and stretch our way to a better, thinner, more ‘acceptable’ body.”

Sparrowe even touches on the pressure yoga teachers feel to maintain model figures as they stand in front of expectant students and mingle with other teachers.

Yoga is different things to different people, but I am unaware of any school that encourages emotional insecurity, and the basic tenet of ahimsa (non-harming) precludes destruction of the body, such as anorexic starvation.

Given that, Sparrowe’s advice seems applicable to just about any style of practice. Use it to make your body your ally in all endeavors (emotional, physical and spiritual) and you’re practicing yoking, yoga, in its most basic sense.

Author: Heidi Kyser

I am a freelance writer and part-time yoga instructor in Las Vegas. I started my yoga practice in 2000, at City Yoga Los Angeles. In early 2004, I moved to Las Vegas and began practicing at Sherry Goldstein's Yoga Sanctuary. In 2006, following some big changes in my life, I went through a teacher training and started teaching at Yoga Sanctuary. I knew after my first class that I wanted to keep teaching yoga for as long as I could. In 2007, I completed a 200-hour Anusara teacher training with Noah Mazé and City Yoga founder Anthony Benenati. As part of that training, I received Yoga Alliance RYT 200 certification. From 2008 to 2011, I also was an Anusara Inspired™ instructor. While continuing my career in journalism, I've simultaneously nurtured my skills as a yoga instructor, in order to better communicate with and help my students. The trainings and workshops I've taken have focused increasingly on the therapeutic benefits of the practice. Thanks for visiting. If you like my posts, please subscribe and comment. I hope that you will read and contribute often.

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