“When did yoga become so rigid and prescriptive, so idealised and aspirational? Yoga should be the plae for the injured, the place for anti-yogis who can’t tie their shoelaces because of their bellies, for the people who can’t touch their toes of the people who can’t stand on one leg without going ‘kersplat’. Yoga should be flexible and free.
Michele Pernetta, founder of Fierce Grace yoga agrees. ‘I’d been doing yoga for years and I still felt intimidated walking into serene white studios where nobody talks,’ she tells me.
Pernetta doesn’t take life, or herself too seriously, but even more interestingly, she doesn’t take yoga too seriously either. Odd, you might think, for the whirlwind of a woman who has studied with some of the world’s most prominent yogis, has over twenty years of yoga experience and is now one of the UK’s most highly regarded teachers bringing her brand of yoga to practitioners across London via her six studios. But actually, Pernetta’s success might just be down to that very attitude.
‘I wanted to bring humour into yoga,’ she explains. ‘People get so uptight about yoga, so ‘holier than thou’ and I think this needs to be changed – it can be suppressive. I didn’t want people to feel intimidated in any way.’ Pernetta goes on to explain that she wants to give yoga a tougher image, to allow people to ‘stop thinking yoga is something that it isn’t’ and get down to the practice. ‘I didn’t want people to think that you had to be skinny, or flexible, or even healthy to come and do yoga.’”
Read the rest of the article in Draze Magazine May/June 2015 Issue 4 here.