Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance

Workman. Jun. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9781523505210. $15.95. HEALTH
With her book Every Body Yoga and her online yoga community, Stanley has helped change the idea of the “yoga body” and open discourses about the importance of decolonizing fitness. Stanley’s voice is a practical complement to books like Sabrina Strings’s Fearing the Black Body or Christy Harrison’s Anti-Diet. Here, Stanley shares stories of being excluded from all-white Western yoga spaces, and explains that loving the bodies we inhabit must be a part of any form of antiracist, anti-capitalist work. The book begins with raw discussion of imposter syndrome, and Stanley’s experience of it; with each chapter, it becomes clearer that her experiences in yoga have engendered a powerful motivation to interrogate the discourses that made her feel marginal. Her book reads like a conversation with a friend; a friend who drags you to yoga class and calls you out when your negative self-talk functions as microaggression.
VERDICT This is a book for all readers, as a practical manual for embodied spiritual activism, a guide to decolonizing wellness, a tool for recognizing privilege, and a reminder that yoga isn’t the corporate fantasy businesses make it out to be. Essential reading.
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