Check out that image to your right.
A beautiful woman in a beautiful setting doing a beautiful posture.
I love to look at images like that.
But it’s not the kind of image I’ve chosen for the cover of my book Forty Days of Yoga.
I’ve chosen an image of me sitting on a chair – not even a beautiful chair – just a nondescript chair on a white background.
I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
I’m not doing a recognisable yoga posture.
But I am in a state of yoga. I am Yoga.
I could be sitting at my desk. In my lounge. At my dining room table. I could be you, I could be the guy down the street, the elderly lady across the road. Anybody could sit on a chair wearing their regular clothes like I am and be in a state of yoga.
It’s accessible. It’s inclusive. And it’s promoting the idea that yoga is a state of being, not necessarily a physical contortion of the body.
This is important.
It’s all too easy for the elderly lady down the street to see that beautiful image of a beautiful young woman in a beautiful setting doing a beautiful posture and think:
That’s not me.
By extension, that elderly lady is thinking:
Yoga’s not me.
But Yoga is her and it’s you and it’s every single person in this world.
Yoga is a state of being where we are present to our immediate reality, neither avoiding it or denying it or running away from it.
We practice asana as a means of practicing Yoga, this state of being. But there are many other ways to practice Yoga. That elderly woman could practice her Yoga sitting on a chair or lying on the floor. She might use some postures but she might also use pranayama, chanting, mudras or meditation.
I am stoked at the explosion of yoga across the world and the beautiful images we see of yoga all the time. But I’m ready for the next explosion – the explosion of a yoga that meets us where we are. This yoga is personal and it’s something we do by ourselves to meet our needs.
That’s why I’ve written Forty Days of Yoga.
I want to liberate people’s ideas of what yoga is and give them the tools and strategies they need to make yoga an integrated part of their life.
It’s why I’ve chosen a small, quiet, modest photo for the front cover.
I want people to look at that image and think:
I could do that.
I could do that. That’s what I want people to think – because they can.
Anybody can practice yoga no matter what their lifestyle is like and no matter how and where they live. Yoga is a broad practice with many tools that adapt to the needs of the individual.
Yesterday, I launched my book.
It’s my way of broadening the way we see yoga and making it more accessible and more inclusive for all people.