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Yoga for Every Body

by Melinda Marino, Founder of Esencia Yoga Spa

As a yoga instructor, in this era of disinformation, I do my part to set the record straight. So I feel compelled to comment on the series of articles on yoga that Atención, our local weekly newspaper, is running. Each week they publish a photo of one of my fellow yoga teachers "nailing" a pose (asana).

Of course, I'm happy to see yoga promoted in the popular press. But I have to insist that, contrary to how it is usually presented, yoga is not about hyper-mobile persons, who have no joint mobility issues (yet), achieving the perfect form. It's great that we publicize yoga, but too many people already think of yoga as an out-of-reach practice, with inaccessible, "crazy, pretzel postures" that are not for them. With this focus, the average reader just turns the page, instead of becoming engaged.

Sadly, this is the way that yoga is contextualized in our western body-fetishized canon. This holistic practice becomes just an extension of the perfect, Photoshopped images that litter Facebook and Instagram. I am concerned that the general public reading Atención really doesn't understand what yoga is and isn't.

I would like to make of this a teachable moment. We are teachers, after all. I would like to widen the overly restrictive, distorted focus that generally defines what yoga is. It would be so heartening to see yoga asana presented through a different lens, as something that is accessible and beneficial for everybody and every body.

Esencia Yoga Spa, we promote yoga to those who are not hyper-flexible or fetishized on the perfect or "full expression" of the pose. We want the average "householder" to feel good in their body. We teach yoga to the rest of us.

Yoga means Union. It’s the places in between the forms, the asanas. It's in the willingness to show up, with courage and vulnerability. Yoga is not some remote mountain-top practice of the select. It's about not always getting it right, about perseverance. It's about getting back up when you fail or fall, watching your mind, and breath, and continuing to put one foot in front of the other in equanimity and balance.

I'm sure that my colleague, who is featured in Atención, agrees with me, and that if the paper gave her more space, she would say as much herself. I write this in love, respect, and concern. Because I devote my life to the broader, wider, Dharma of yoga, I founded Esencia Yoga Spa. Here we share the larger focus of this practicce, the yoga lifestyle, with the uninitiated. Let's expand the narrative, already.

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Esencia Yoga Spa, San Miguel's #1 TripAdvisor yoga and spa center, is an oasis for relaxation and rejuvenation. The center is a place to play, explore, discover and find your balance. We are a warm environment (often literally) and feature a variety of daily classes, male and female changing rooms with showers, a fresh juice bar and a spacious classroom where you will find a wealth of new friends and self-awareness.

www.esenciayogaspa.com

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