Why the Term “Yoga Porn” Is Bullsh*t

Allie Flavio
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There’s a term floating around out there…. It’s slowly weaving its way through online yoga sites, social media platforms, and conversations. And as it weaves through every channel of communication, it’s stirring up quite the heated debate.
 
And as it should, because it’s an erroneous term. It’s embarrassing. It’s disrespectful. It’s harsh. It’s critical. It’s one sided. It’s everything that the yoga world attempts to undo.
 
The term screams JUDGEMENT.
 
If you are still completely in the dark, I’ll spit it out already. The infamous term floating around is…
 
Yoga Porn.
 
Let me repeat that again to make sure we all understand the term correctly.
 
Yoga Porn.
 
The first time I saw the term, I was pissed. Like legit pissed that someone decided to throw their judgement at people for expressing themselves through yoga photos. Who are we to judge people based on the clothes they wear, the places they live, the words they express, or the yoga postures they perform?
 
Let me rewind real quick so we’re all on the same page. The definition of yoga porn is this:
 
Yoga porn (a bullsh*t term):
 
• Caucasian woman
• Under the age of 30
• Thin
• Beautiful
• And performing a difficult yoga posture with minimal clothing on
 
Oh, and the postures being performed are in front of a dreamy background, can’t forget that part.
 
The debate surrounding yoga porn is that it diminishes the practice of yoga, the overall message that yoga conveys, that it makes people uncomfortable and afraid of yoga, and that it feeds the ego. And while I can agree with a few of these points regarding social media as a whole, I absolutely cannot agree with the term’s definition regarding selfies, categorized women, half naked bodies, and yoga postures.
 
And here’s why:
 
The most ridiculous aspect of the yoga porn term is the definition of who yoga porn represents. According to the definition, yoga porn is limited to Caucasian women, under the age of 30, physically attractive, thin body type, and posing in minimal amounts of clothing.
 
Hello – paging anyone who’s active on social media – people of all ages, sizes, ethnicities, and backgrounds are participating in the online yoga movement. There’s not one single population that overrules the yoga community. And if that’s your view, then expand your damn circle of social media inspiration.
 
To break it down further for you… There are approximately 14 million+ yoga posts on Instagram alone. Please, for the love of my sanity, scroll through some of these posts and find yourself some well-rounded inspiration. And if you do this and still find that your newsfeed is full of the same type of yogi – then who cares! Your social media feed is yours, not mine or anyone else’s. You have full control over what and who is inspiring to you. So please, do us all a favor, and stop moaning about only white, young, skinny, beautiful, half-naked women filling your feed.
 
And before we move on from the most ridiculous aspect of the term, I must touch on the half-naked portion of the definition. I am a half-naked type of person. I’m extremely comfortable in my skin and don’t mind prancing my ass around in a bikini or possibly even less clothing. It’s who I am. It’s part of my being. I prefer less clothing – is that a f*cking crime?
 

A photo posted by Allie (@thejourneyjunkie) on


 
Clothing or the lack thereof is an expression of you. No one, yogi or not yogi, is responsible for telling us what to wear or what not to wear. Whether it’s at the beach, at a restaurant, at the yoga studio, or in the park – we are responsible for our comfort and individuality. So please, do us all a favor, and wear what makes you happy and I’ll wear what makes me happy (half-naked and all).
 
Before we move further into this discussion, thanks for sticking around this long. I promise I’ll wrap it up shortly but for the sake of comfort… maybe grab a glass of wine or cup of tea and get comfy. I have a few more paragraphs to go.
 
Yoga porn also discredits all yoga selfies for the lack of information regarding how to do the posture and displaying the proper form. This is a ludicrous statement. The idea that people should only post informational photos with precise postural alignment is insanity. Social media exists to inspire one another, not to be an informational guide. Yes, it is possible to learn invaluable information from social media, but it’s not a requirement in order to share your personal yoga journey.
 
If people want educational information, then they should seek out a yoga studio, a yoga workshop, a book, or possibly an online yoga course. It’s not anyone’s responsibility to teach through their social media journey and nor should it be expected – yoga teacher or yoga practitioner.
 
And to wrap this conversation up with a bow, let’s touch on the last matter regarding yoga porn (insert cringe face here). The view on yoga and social media is that by posting photos, we are reaching for exterior gratification and acceptance, which in turn feeds our egos. And here is where I can finally relate to this idea. Social media is a mind f*ck. We scroll incessantly in search of other people’s experiences, in search of more likes and followers, and in the end it leaves us emptier than when we began.
 
All social media, yoga related or not, is a tricky balancing act. You and I are responsible for our online experience and it can be challenging. Just like magazines and the pretty girl next to you, it’s easy to compare and grasp for what we don’t have. This is all too true of social media. So yes, can yoga photos feed the ego? Of course they can. But can social media also be a lesson in disguise to teach us how to balance, how to grow, and how to be an inspiration to one another and ourselves?
 
The answer is hell yes.
 
As I always say, it’s your journey. Don’t let anyone else steer it. You are the beholder of your actions, movements, relationships, conversations, and yoga selfies. So with that said, please keep posting your “yoga porn” because it’s an expression of you. And you is what matters.
 

A photo posted by Allie (@thejourneyjunkie) on


 
P.S. I would love to see your yoga selfies, so please tag me @thejourneyjunkie and @yogiapproved to keep the yoga inspiration community thriving. Loving all of you yoga selfie takers extra hard – xoxo.
 

This article has been read 20K+ times. Bada bing!

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Allie Flavio

Allie is the soul behind TheJourneyJunkie.com and a yoga girl at heart. When Allie’s not blogging about yoga/travel advice or doing/teaching yoga, you can find her relaxing by the beach in sunny St. Petersburg, FL. A born and raised Florida girl, Allie is an outdoor junkie who loves the ocean, fresh air, and a delicious fish sandwich! To learn more about her yoga and travel adventures, check out her blog The Journey Junkie.

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