You may (we were not) be delighted to know that yoga can “help” with weight loss.
We are so fucking sick of the insane universe we live in insisting that the only thing healthy exercise is about is weight loss.
Laurie says: “As someone who has been doing yoga for a long time, this makes me really angry. Yoga is about flexibility; it’s about strength; it can be about spirituality. It is not supposed to burn calories; it’s designed not to stress your body. Doing yoga is an important part of my life. Making it about weight truly profanes the discipline.”
Sri Swami Satchidananda says, “there are gazelle people and there are elephant people and yoga will not change this.”
Debbie says: “As someone who does tai chi and loves it, what’s important to me is that “exercise” doesn’t have to be an obligation. It can be fun, and interesting, and involving, and satisfying. The point of tai chi for me is that I like the way it makes me feel. If I saw an article saying that tai chi would affect my weight, by now it wouldn’t matter; at the beginning, it would probably have had a negative effect on my wanting to do tai chi.”
Here’s the problem: A friend of Laurie’s was having back problems. She found an affordable gym. The gym’s entire philosophy was about weight loss; in effect, her personal trainer told her that if her back got better and her weight stayed stable, she’d still have failed. Since when has living pain-free counted as failure?
With this obsession, our society has managed to lose track of the fact that exercise is fun, feels good, and is about living in your body. It has recently been conclusively proved that fat people who exercise become healthy fat people, are healthier than thin people who don’t exercise. Any message that makes exercising about weight undermines the real values, and real pleasures, of exercise.