It is with great pleasure that Melanie Klein and I officially announce our anthology on Yoga + Body Image forthcoming in 2014.
I first met Melanie almost three years ago. I was introduced to her work via a great piece she wrote called “Feminism, Body Image & Yoga.”
I wholeheartedly agreed with and related to everything she shared, and we eventually connected over email and decided we should hop on the phone and chat.
In our first phone conversation, we realized that we had to collaborate on something because of our shared love and background in yoga, body image, and social justice. And after a few months of percolating, we realized what that was — a book about yoga and body image.
Why Body Image
We decided on this topic not only because it’s something we’re both passionate about, but because it’s one we don’t see discussed often enough in the yoga community. Because for something that is often so focused on the body, yoga classes and conversations rarely include the topic of how we feel about our body and how yoga affects our body image and vice versa.
And to us, that is a major gap in the conversation — not only how individuals’ body image can benefit from yoga, but also how yoga has a complicated place in the conversation about body image, both contributing to negative perceptions via media stereotypes of the “yoga body” and contributing to positive change when the practice is focused on connection with one’s body, exactly as it is today.
While Melanie and I could have written a book on yoga and body image on our own based on our own transformative experiences, we were and are fiercely committed to bringing together a diverse collection of voices that span across race/ethnicity, sexuality and sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, sex, class, age and size.
Yoga practitioners and those plagued by distorted body image issues do not come in a uniform mold. We want to reach readers of different backgrounds, casting a wide net and allowing people to draw inspiration from at least one contributor’s body image journey and how their yoga practice facilitated that transformation.
We closed a publication deal in January 2013. We’re so very excited and honored to be working with the fine folks of Llewellyn to bring this book to fruition.
And we are thrilled to announce our fabulous contributors, a group of people from the United States, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, who reflect the diversity of experiences we intend to showcase. We invited each of these thoughtful and inspiring yogis because of their unique perspective and ability to contribute to the critical conversation we wish to create — a wide one about how yoga affects body image. We want this to pique the interest of people who never thought yoga was for them, as well as deepen the conversation among people who are already part of the yoga community.
Without further ado, here are our contributors:
- Carrie Barrepski: Disability rights activist, writer and yoga teacher
- Vytas Baskauskas: Yoga teacher at Yoga Works and Bryan Kest’s Santa Power Yoga; Professor of Mathematics at Santa Monica College
- Dr. Audrey Bilger: Professor of Literature & Faculty Director of the Center for Writing & Public Discourse at Claremont McKenna College; Co-editor of Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage; Author of Laughing Feminism: Subversive Comedy in Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen
- Dianne Bondy: Yoga teacher, writer about yoga & diversity and founder of Eastside Yoga in Windsor, Ontario
- Seane Corn: Internationally celebrated yoga teacher, activist and co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World
- Dr. Dawn Dalili: Naturopath, coach, mentor and yoga teacher
- Teo Drake: Queer yogi and spiritual activist
- Marianne Elliott: Human rights advocate, yoga teacher, creator of 30 Days of Yoga and author of Zen Under Fire: How I Found Peace in the Midst of War
- Rolf Gates: Author of Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, International yoga teacher, speaker and co-founder of the Yoga, Meditation and Recovery Conference (YMRC)
- Dr. Sara Gottfried: Harvard-trained MD, yoga teacher and author of New York Times bestseller The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive & Vitality Naturally with The Gottfried Protocol
- Chelsea Jackson: Educator, yoga teacher and blogger for Chelsea Loves Yoga
- Dr. Kerrie Kauer: Asst. Professor of Sport Sociology at CSU Long Beach
- Bryan Kest: Founder of Power Yoga and international yoga teacher
- Ryan McGraw: MS in Disability and Human Development, yoga teacher and disability rights activist
- Kate Clere McIntyre: Director of Yogawoman
- Shana Meyerson: Founder of Mini Yogis® Yoga for Kids
- Rosie Molinary: Speaker, teacher and author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image and Growing Up Latina
- Dr. Melody Moore: Clinical psychologist and founder of Embody Love
- Alanis Morissette: Grammy award winning singer/songwriter and activist
- Claire Mysko: Speaker, consultant and author of Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby and You’re Amazing! A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self
- Nita Rubio: Priestess of the Tantric Dance of Feminine Power
- Linda Sparrowe: Editor of Yoga International and author of A Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health: A Lifelong Guide to Wellness (with Patricia Walden); Yoga for Healthy Bones; Yoga for Healthy Menstruation; and Yoga: A Yoga Journal Book
- Joni Yung: Executive producer and host at Yoga Chat with the Accidental Yogist and Associate Editor of LA Yoga Magazine
We are honored to have such a fine collection of intellectuals, educators, activists, yoga practitioners and yoga teachers. We are sending each of these people our gratitude for being part of this dialogue. Big thanks to our agents, Elyse Tanzillo & Frank Weimann of The Literary Group International, too.
Finally, we’re extending our thanks to you, too — for supporting us along the way, and for being part of this conversation as it unfolds.
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Anna & Melanie