Sexualization of Yoga, Who is to Blame?

Coworker 1 - "I did yoga every day when I was in the islands.  I did reclining goddess pose, I'll show you a picture later."

Me - "He does yoga too, maybe he'll show you a picture of himself in that pose as well."

Coworker 2 - "I don't think so."

Coworker 1 - "Do you know what that pose is?"

Me - "Yes, it's also known as supta baddha konasana."

Coworker 1 - "If you were Coworker 3, I'd tell you that's why you don't have a man.  You sound too smart."

I'll leave out the rest of the conversation, but I've been hearing about this photo for 2 days now.  I can only imagine what it looks like, bikini clad woman, laying down, submissive ... but just because it is a pose does not make it yoga!  

All of this got me to thinking, maybe the sexualization of yoga is not the fault of the media or the industry.  Maybe it has nothing to do with the instagram yogis out there trying to inspire others with a few photos.

What if it has everything to do with our culture as a whole?  What if the yogi displays a tender heart opening, vulnerable moment, and the world sees and mimics it as sex?  Is this the fault of the yogi, or society as a whole? The mimic takes a photo of a #yoga #pose, and suddenly that is what you find when you search the word yoga.  

The new young yogi excitedly posts a photo in an advanced pose for all their friends to see.  Maybe the pose has faults, but this is a practice, not perfection.  The problem is that suddenly the poses are what our society thinks yoga is all about.   "I can't do yoga, I could never put my feet behind my head."  Good, then don't try.  Yoga is about so much more than where your feet go.  

Here is a short video of the most challenging yoga sequence ever.  I adore this inspirational yogi.  Enjoy and be inspired!

Namaste My Friends - Beth