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Yoga Today: Regarding the Yoga Journal Talent Contest

April 4, 2011

Many people in the yoga community are discussing the Yoga Journal Talent Contest (talent.yogajournal.com).  I have an entry in the Contest, and I have been surprised at a few things:

1) The vitriol that is surrounding the entrants:  Really — I think it’s unnecessary.  The majority of those who entered would like to get some message out there (though there are some out there like this who should really recognize the error of their ways).  The prize is not only a photo-shoot, which many people would like, but also a trip to San Francisco for the Yoga Journal Conference.  To me, the people who entered would like to go to this Conference for one reason or another — most, anyway — meaning those who entered are interested in discussing and progressing the yoga community, in some way.  This (in theory) dampens the superficiality of the competition.  They must have changed the prize….or I hallucinated…either way…..no dice on the Conference 😦

2) The “curvy yoga” movement:

First — you can be a heavier person, and wear brightly-colored tighter-fitting clothing. Just a big PSA to the world that I had to get off my chest.  Second — yoga does teach you to love your body, but, as Tara Stiles often says, it should also teach you how best to treat it.  We are told countless times to “listen” to our bodies and not to push it; the same sentiment should hold true in terms of what we put in and what we do with our bodies.  I think in America there is a disconnect between what it means to have a healthy outlook on food and feel good in your body regardless of size, and recognizing when your habits need to change and you need to take better care of yourself regardless of size.  Also, it’s short-sighted and insulting to call anyone more “regular” over anyone else.  A “regular” person is anyone, so please respect everyone, regardless of size. Third — I totally support Anna GJ and her site.  However, I do wish that the original “call to arms” for her readers and other “curvy yogis” to enter the contest had stayed as such.  I personally think their cause would have been a lot more productive.  But I do like the gumption it took.  And I hope that I am wrong — that their point was adequately made and they can make a difference in how people perceive “curvy yogis.”

3) The rating system:  I’m not sure what to make of this.

Neither does anyone who reads Yoga Dork.  But people do need to remember that this is the first YJ Contest of its type, and there are sure to be glitches.

4) The complaints of any yoga contest: Guess what, folks — there has been competition surrounding yoga for a while.  Proof –> Bikram Yoga, Yoga Cup, Philippine Yoga Asana Championship, and finally, just a Google Search.

So, in conclusion: power to the people, power to the yogis.  I hope whomever wins will use this experience to better her or his own practice, teachings, and knowledge; and I hope the yoga community will take this opportunity to examine how yoga is being shown to the world.  As one who is teaching young adolescents, I sometimes struggle with how best to explain “commercial” yoga versus “everyday” yoga, and I do hope that seeing all of the entries can help me wrap my head around this more.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 3:32 pm

    How can I cast a vote?

  2. Sarah permalink
    April 5, 2011 4:38 pm

    Hi Jacqueline! Talentsearch.yogajournal.com brings you to the main page — click on “Vote Now!”

    For my page, go to: http://talentsearch.yogajournal.com/view/2157

  3. May 14, 2011 8:42 pm

    Thank you for a great post.

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