Stop Making Excuses: You Can Be a Happy Yogi Even If You’re Not a Hot, Young, Skinny Gumby doll.

Marilyn Regan
4 min readFeb 21, 2019
Photo by CATHY PHAM on Unsplash

Let’s get it straight: not all yoga practitioners or instructors are the super lithe, flexible models you see on the cover of Yoga Journal.

And guess what else? We don’t care. We love yoga for the way it settles our minds, loosens our limbs, and creates space in our bodies. That’s right, after a good yoga class, you actually feel like you have more space to breathe.

Yoga practitioners and instructors come in all ages, shapes, and sizes and we make no apologies for not fitting into the perceived stereotype. We are people with body types, just like you.

My physical ability to do yoga is the result of years of sweat, burning/aching muscles and dedication. In short, practice. My body is probably the best it can be, but nowadays that means strong more than skinny. I am flexible because I’ve moved and stretched my entire life.

This image of the “skinny Gumby” has been projected, in part, by the yoga industry with help from the Yoga Journal. (NOTE: If you don’t know who Gumby is, please click the link.) Of late, they have made their issues more inclusive with older, overweight, non-whites and one of their most under represented populations, men, on their web page and/or covers. Don’t believe me? Please click on the above link and scroll down. It’s refreshing.

Not flexible you say?

I have been teaching yoga since 2014 and practicing since 2008. I have spoken to many people over the years, including friends, who refuse to attend my classes because of their weight or due to their ability, or inability, to “perform” during class. However, the number one excuse I’ve encountered is : “I’m not flexible.”

So sit still and do nothing and that will really help,” is what I think.

What I say is: “You don’t need to be. Yoga is not about being flexible. And if you can’t reach your toes, we have these things called blocks to bring the floor up closer to you.”

Sorry, I can’t completely dispense with the sarcasm.

It’s true. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga. Yoga can and will improve your flexibility with regular practice. Your aim is to…

Marilyn Regan

Marilyn is a writer, yogi, and spiritual medium. Her favorite people are animals, especially ones that meow. She loves the ocean and hates one-use plastic.