Published Aug 13, 20 PM
By Rachel Meyer
Yesterday I sat with my kid in my lap and leafed through the latest Yoga Journal. There was a fashion supplement, a celebrity profile of a pretty teacher who married a famous actor, and a whole feature on how to dress to hide your figure flaws and look thinner on the mat (“How can I conceal my butt dimples?”).
I cancelled my subscription.
I felt sad. And dejected. And not good enough, especially since I’m a butt-dimpled new mom with a muffin top and it’s been awhile since I’ve done Natarajasana in high heels on a rooftop like Hilaria Baldwin. But mostly, I felt disappointed, because I’ve written a few pieces for YJ in the past and have always felt proud of finding a market for intelligent mindful writing amidst the glossy rags.
Today I’m sitting on the floor with my kid in my lap and he’s chewing on a soft fabric car with wheels that spin across the three sheet-covered yoga mats that we’ve laid out across the living room floor as a playmat. We’re making frozen toaster waffles (nope, not organic) with maple syrup and reading Where The Wild Things Are, which, incidentally, includes no fashion supplements. He’s learning how to sit by himself, and falling forward into Paschimottanasana every time. I’m wearing old black tutu-leggings with a hole in the crotch; my peeling, calloused feet haven’t had a pedicure since January; I ate 27 dark-chocolate-covered almonds from Trader Joe’s for breakfast (after finishing the peanut butter cups first), and my bare face is blotchy with postpartum rosacea.
It doesn’t look anything like a Yoga Journal spread. There are no high heels or probiotics to be found. And yet, it feels very much like yoga.
My son is the child of two long-time yogis. He’ll grow up learning a lot about yoga. We’ll teach him the Primary Series when he’s ready. He already does Navasana in the bath, and says goodnight to Buddha and Ganesha and Shiva and Vishnu every evening before bed. But I want him to know the kind of yoga that’s about being wild and loving and unpretentious and free. The yoga that means learning how to be real, and fearless, and gentle, and compassionate, and kind. Not the type that was
tes precious life energy worrying about covering up the “flaws” in your “apple- or pear-shaped” temple of All That Is Good And Holy.
So we’ll keep eating waffles. I’ll bandage my blistered toes. And we’ll leave Yoga Journal on the magazine rack
for someone else to buy.
About Rachel Meyer
Rachel Meyer is a San Francisco-based writer and yoga teacher who believes in keeping things real. Someday she’ll actually finish that book manuscript she’s been avoiding. In the meantime, you can find further musings on yoga, meditation, and more at her literary practice mat, www.rawrach.com, or on her website at www.rachelmeyeryoga.com