Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why I'm Doing a Curvy Yoga Training

Does this look familiar to anyone? This popped up in my news feed on Facebook the other day, shared by the Huffington Post humor page.

But you know, for all the giggles it gave me, it pointed to something worth thinking about. Have you really LOOKED at any of those glossy "women's" magazines lately?

The message they seem to be sending is that if you're not thin, with perfect hair and perfect teeth and dumb as a box of rocks, you're worthless. It seems that the message they are sending is that you need more of everything to be happy.

And truth be told, it's the same way with Yoga Journal, too, in case you haven't noticed. It looks as though there are only skinny, wealthy white women practicing yoga these days.

But is yoga really meant to be exclusive? When I was at Kripalu back in April with my husband, we saw all body types, genders, and races practicing yoga with us, and it was incredibly inspiring. So when I got the opportunity to enroll in a Curvy Yoga training, I jumped on it.

Maybe some of it is from having a mother with multiple lifelong eating disorders. Maybe some of it comes from watching my friends raising daughters to have a healthy body image. Maybe some of it comes from my own struggles when, following the birth of my son and the passing of my mother just a few months apart, I found myself with an extra 40 pounds on my frame, and no idea what to do with any of it.

I have a problem with the portrayal of yogis as always thin, flexible, and athletic. The truth is that anyone of any body size or type can practice yoga asanas. And I want to bring yoga to as many people as possible - even those who have been told or who just think that they're not the right "type" to do yoga.

So I start my training on September 22, and early next year, I'll be looking for a few lucky folks to receive private yoga lessons to get them started on their own path as I practice my new skills. I want to create a welcoming space for everyone in my yoga classes, and this is as good a place as any to start, right?

Until next time, keep breathing, keep practicing.

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