Does Weight Matter?

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Read Maty Ezraty's response:

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Dear Sadia,

When I first read your question, I thought the answer was obvious. Of course you can be overweight and teach yoga. The qualities required to be a good teacher have nothing to do with one's weight or outward appearance.

But I kept coming back to your question and realized how sad it made me feel.

What has caused this idea that yoga teachers need to be skinny? Is it yoga fashion? Magazines? Western ideas and marketing have popularized yoga, but we must wonder at what expense. In the real world, most of our students do not have model figures. Why should our teachers?

Further, let me assure you that not all skinny, beautiful, and well-dressed yoga teachers are good teachers. As a matter of fact, some of the best yoga teachers do not fit that mold at all.

If you are a dedicated student and you love yoga and people, then you are a perfect candidate to participate in a teacher training.

I do not want to give the impression that being overweight is healthy. Regular practice should help practitioners reach a healthier weight. But to repeat: Being overweight has nothing to do with being a good yoga teacher.

Maty Ezraty has been teaching and practicing yoga since 1985, and she founded the Yoga Works schools in Santa Monica, California. Since the sale of the school in 2003, she has lived in Hawaii with her husband, Chuck Miller. Both senior Ashtanga teachers, they lead workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.chuckandmaty.com.