folk yoga

Ethnicity: ½ black, ¼ Mexican, ¼ Japanese

Spanish, English

18, Student

Houston, TX

20 April 28, 2011

Mai Ling performed her family yoga ritual. As she performed the maneuver she called out the positions in order: Downward Dog, to Forward Bend, Arch back, come up, hands on knees, extend back, rise up, hands on hip, Sun salutation 1, hands touch over your head, arms stretch straight up, elbows extend, exhale bring your hands to your heart, lean back, enter bridge pose, hold it for two breaths, kick up into head or hand stand, hold it for a minute, come down, child’s, cat/cow for six breathes, one vinyasa and you’re done.

This small yoga routine is how Mai Ling starts her day every morning. Mai Ling has two aunts who teach yoga one in San Diego and one in Austin and she learned this family progression from them. This sequence is fairly advanced and it took Mai Ling a long time to master it. She looks forward to family reunions when she practice the routine with the adults. She believes the tradition is the best way to start the morning rejuvenated and relaxed. She does the poses with care and grace, as she releases energy into each pose. Her focus is amazing and emphasizes her connection to her practice and the tradition.

This is an example of folk customs and a new category-folk yoga. These positions were strung together generations ago and have remained in Mai Ling’s family. The way they are passed down and the natural variations within the family make it a piece of their folklore. Mai Ling intends to continue the tradition and pass the yoga lesson on, to her kids.

Tim Perille


1027 W. 34th St. Los Angele CA