Thursday, November 17, 2011

Breasts are not the same as the Penis Yoga Journal

Can we just agree that a breast is not the same as a penis?

Why do men and women continually compare breasts to penises? They are not the same. Look in any anatomy book. Or just look at each other, they are not even located in the same body region!

Recently I saw a letter to the editor in "Yoga Journal Magazine" by a reader (with a woman's name) who said she got a chuckle from the woman who found men in lycra doing backbends in a yoga classes unpleasant. She inquired if that same woman would find it wrong if it was a woman with large breasts in a tight top, or was she only disturbed by a man's anatomy. After all, she asked, isn't yoga about getting comfortable with our bodies.

Well Yeah, but I don't have to be comfortable with YOUR body, especially if your penis is looking back at me, at my eye level, as I come down into a flat back for the sun salutation. (It's a bit disturbing that she says "large" breasts. Only big breasts in tight shirts are distracting? not "average-sized" breasts?)

When women's breasts can penetrate and piss and when men's penises can feed babies, then we can compare.

Men in lycra doing back bends know exactly what they are doing. What if your daughter or your son was in the class with you? How would you feel then? What if you were introducing your niece or nephew to his or her first yoga class? If the yoga studio gave you a questionnaire and said, Class A taught by Man in tight lycra and Class B taught by Man in pants, which teacher would you pick for your son? For your daughter?

Even in a gym environment, personal trainers are required to wear comfortable and APPROPRIATE clothing. So what's up with men in lycra anyhow? Yes, women's bodies are distracting in tight shirts in yoga class, but women's dress is distracting in every environment! At least in the office I work in I don't have to see what is in men's pants even if some women are intent on showing cleavage - there is a difference.

Lycra is ugly on everyone. It is not sexy. And it does not look like it is worn to be comfortable. As a teacher, I'm not going to say you can't come into my class, but while we are on the subject, men in shorts can be just as much a problem, especially on the floor for Prasaritta Padottanasana: legs wide, reach up..... Oops.

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