Beauty, Bravery & Body Image with Melanie Klein


Mind, body and spirit. These all rank equally when author, activist and Women’s Studies professor Melanie Klein thinks about her yoga practice. In fact, it’s the lens through which many people try to approach their yoga practice or any practice that integrates physical activity with state of mind and spirit.

Just last year, Alternative began to reassess and reimagine how we approach our activewear line Move. We hosted a series of events and sessions to delve deeper into the meaning behind movement, and Melanie Klein was instrumental in helping us shape our new outlook on activewear.

Melanie shared that modern day yoga culture can often taint a woman’s yoga practice with unrealistic images of beauty (replete with images of primarily young, white and incredibly thin women). At the same time, Melanie has written about the practice’s ability to establish a positive relationship with our bodies and create a healthy body image. The distinction is between yoga culture, the business of yoga and the practice of yoga.

“Very often women are our own worst critics, especially when it comes to body image and feeling comfortable and beautiful in our own skin. My goal is to promote the positive benefits of yoga on body image.” Melanie’s passion is palpable. You get the feeling she’s cheering you on to be braver and smarter and cut through the everyday bombardment of media and advertising. She’s a proponent of media literacy, and that’s a good thing since media is something we all have a hard time reading sometimes.

“It’s important to sit in silence—especially in today’s world where there’s this cultural cacophony of influences coming at us from all angles.”

Co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body, Melanie is a teacher with applicable lessons in positivity and self-love. “It’s the first anthology of its kind.”

Slated to hit the stands in October 2014, Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body includes stories from Alanis Morissette and many internationally-celebrated yoga luminaries including Seane Corn and Bryan Kest. Look for it this fall! It’ll be the perfect book to tote along as you “Move through the world differently”.

Written by Shannon Flaherty Randall

Image by Sarit Rogers

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