If you are in the North San Diego, CA area, Naomi of Gentle Yoga is THE best. She is compassionate, knowing, and motivational. Very sensitive and supportive of someone who is overweight. Helps you to learn to love and appreciate yourself.
I just want to say thank you! I used to weight 360lbs and am 8 years post gastric bypass surgery. I'm still at about 215lbs and started yoga,my instructor keeps telling me that I need to stop thinking of myself as obese that I'm really flexible and that my left over belly is not in the way.
I came home from class today and googled "yoga practice for plus size", I emailed her a bunch of links.
Thank you for hope!
Having average or full-figure models on the cover of Yoga Journal is essential if we are going to successfully promote yoga for everyone. Yoga is about accepting oneself just as we are and letting go of the critical self-judgment. The Kripalu catalogs have models of all sizes, ages and of both genders; it is very encouraging for those new to yoga. I almost did not attend yoga teacher training 4 years ago due to my size (12) and age (49) I cannot tell you how many women have said they feel they can do yoga and are encouraged because I am not a young, petite instructor. We have to meet people where they are, make our classes and teaching styles accessible to all. Yoga is so much more than asana and we need to share the love with so many!
i am a yoga instructor who spent most of my early life obese and have been 'normal ' sized for about 30 years. i am thrilled when larger students come to my class and am very greatful for anything that is written to help me encourage them to love yoga and their bodies.
Wait, is the above photo supposed to be of an "overweight" yogi? That's what I look like! I'm hoping it's just a stock photo and has no correlation to the article. If a size six is the largest lady you could find, then ???
This is a wonderful article that is totally consistent with my experience as a very heavy, short yogi. If you are fat and thinking about taking up yoga, please go for it! And if you tried it and encounted an unpleasant experience, please keep trying new places until you find a good teacher. Classes should be supportive environments. There is NO excuse for attitude or judgment. Shame on any teacher or student who makes a fat person feel bad about themselves in class. Yoga has been so empowering and enlightening for me. I am always by far the heaviest student in the room, but I have been really lucky to have had WONDERFUL instructors who helped me modify poses without condescending or pushing me too hard or singling me out. I have learned SO much about my body and I'm doing poses I never thought I could do. I'm getting stronger and bendier and more peaceful and joyful all the time. Namaste!
I agree with Synthia, Ray, and Julia. I have waited and waited for Yoga Journal to show photos of average-looking people. Pretty much all I see are blondish young size 0 yoginis (oh, one very pretty, skinny African American here and one very pretty, skinny Asian there), and it sends a very elitist, absolutely non-yogic message. The woman pictured in "Living Large" has the body I can only dream of! It bothers me that Yoga Journal thinks this woman is large. In this last issue about the person who lost weight... I thought "finally!"--but alas, no "before" picture. The editors would do well to visit soozeyoga.com. Now those are beautiful and inspiring pictures of people studying yoga!
I agree with Synthia, it would be great if yoga journal could have some bigger bodies - and more men too - rather than totally fit and thin women.
I have been taking Hatha classes for two years and love it. Yes there are poses I cannot manage but I do as much as my body allows. I joined another class and was deeply disappointed inthe teacher, as she keeps on me to see if I can keep up with the class. I really resent that! I probably will not rejoin and I will stay with my hatha yogi.
I was intrigued by this quote, "It can be hard to feel welcomed in a world where yoga has an image as the exclusive territory of the lean and the limber, where ads glamorize buff yoga bodies, and where teachers aren't always knowledgeable about and sensitive to the needs of large students." By featuring photos of larger persons in various postures and including more articles like this, Yoga Journal can go a long way in helping people of all shapes and sizes embrace yoga.