Yoga is for “girls”. It’s one of the most ingrained yoga myths. In North America, the overwhelming perception is that yoga falls decidedly within the realm of all things female. This myth has given birth to at least two unfortunate consequences. One is that women’s monumental achievement in reshaping yoga in their own image has been erased and forgotten.
Contrary to the common North American perception, asana yoga has historically been very much — generally exclusively, in fact — a man thing. Only in the last 40 years has that changed through the joint efforts of women determined to gain access to this once-male only study and men like B.K.S. Iyengar, who rebelled against the common practice of excluding and subordinating women.
The effect has been a phenomenal yoga revolution whereby women in yoga managed to completely change its image from quintessentially male to typically female in major areas of the world. Women’s staggering success in this incredible feat is surpassed only by the silence surrounding it.
Surprisingly few people know about this incredible transformation that has taken place during many of our own lifetimes. It’s a metamorphosis that deserves far more recognition and celebration. What better day to celebrate women in yoga than today, International Women’s Day?
Image credit: Tracee Stanley Yoga
contributing author: Che Nolan