Hi, I’m Keri Perkins, Jivamukti yoga teacher from London.
I’m here to set the record straight on a few yoga myths. First, a bit about me.
I used to be in Comms, traveling the world, leading music strategy and working with great musical talent. The roots of my journey to yoga began in Austria seven years ago. On route to a snow festival a friend of a friend – let’s call him “Andy” – started up a conversation about yoga. I had never been interested in yoga but Andy was hugely passionate. He talked about physical injuries healing and mental clarity. I muttered to myself those eternal words: “Yoga’s not for me”.
The truth is, back then the thought of yoga made me rather uncomfortable. Tie dye, hippies chanting crossed legged; slow and boring. I was a ‘cool’ PR that hung out with rock stars and sweated it out in HIIT. “Promise me you’ll try Jivamukti yoga – you’ll love it,” came Andy’s resounding words. Jivamukti Yoga is a dynamic vinyasa (flow), with cool music being played in class – and my first experience was incredible. A workout, way better than any HIIT class and I found myself only focusing on what I was doing in that moment. I left the studio on a high.
“Self-love and compassion for yourself and others are at the core of yoga.”
The rest is history. I practiced regularly and soon noticed feeling less stressed at work, relationships improved. I felt stronger and more confident. Then came the call, quit your job and teach yoga. My mission – like many others – is to teach people who like I did, think yoga is not for them. Music is an amazing addition to a yoga experience: Music brings people together; Music is uplifting and healing. I work with many musicians from electronic DJs, to drummers, to classical musicians under my brand We Are Boogie Sound.
I teach Vinyasa Flow Yoga, which is when yoga postures are strung together so you move seamlessly from one to another using your breath. This style of yoga is physical, but because of the linking of movement to breath, it is a moving meditation.
Now, are these myths getting between you and your yoga bliss?
Yoga is for bendy people
Many of us get put off by images of very flexible people doing extreme yoga backbends on mountain peaks. Yoga through practice will absolutely help you build strength, flexibility and balance; however, you don’t need be a master yogi to flow. Yoga is meant to adapt to you – not the other way around!
Yoga is religious
Yoga’s ancient roots go back to India. It ties to Hinduism so often mistakenly labeled as a religion. Yoga, however, transcends religion, race, culture, and background! Naturally, some do engage in yoga religiously but there is no dogma nor required systematic belief. Yoga is a philosophy; and a science of self-realization.
Yoga is for people with a certain body type
The last thing yoga should do is leave you with body insecurity. Self-love and compassion for yourself and others are at the core of yoga. Some postures (asanas) can be more challenging, we all get that; my big breasts make certain poses a source of amusement! When you start understanding yoga is more about what you can do and not what you can’t do, you approach life with lightness, rather than frustration.
Please don’t be put off by the narrow-minded narratives on how ‘yoga people’ should look. It’s completely false! There are so many diverse yogis and yoginis out there. You can be one of them! I encourage all of you to find those with authenticity in the community: link up, follow their insta pages for inspiration and nurture your journey of inner growth.