“Are you ready to start your yoga journey?…….Do you need any special modifications during class?…..You’re not exactly what we are looking for, for our studio. Thank you for your time…..Is this your first yoga class?…” These phrases and questions are ones I hear frequently before or after I take a class…..when I meet a fellow yogi for the first time…or when I apply for yoga jobs. Of course no person or studio will actually say this out loud becuase I could sue them if they did. I have a feeling it’s because of my fluffy exterior, the roundness in me, and my larger than life stomach. So when I am asked these questions…I first respond with a smile…and than insert the following words/phrases…”Well actually I’m looking at continuing my journey, due to being a fellow yoga instructor…….I’ll take any modifications I need on my own thank you. Yoga props have been a focus in the classes I teach. Oh, yes…I’m also a yoga teacher…..No thank for even considering me. I am so humbled and honored!…..No this isn’t my first yoga class, I am also a yoga instructor…” These lovely interactions happen on a weekly basis. I guess not a ton of people are familiar that there are plus size yoga instructors…or maybe they think we are mythical creatures that live in far off lands with endless supplies of kobucha and chocolate? Well let me assure you, we do not live in far off lands with kobucha, even though that would be AMAZING and I would waddle there as fast as I could. And we don’t always stuff our mouths with chocolate…even though I wish I did…on a daily basis…in a dark corner so people wouldn’t judge me. Okay let me for a second give mankind the benefit of the doubt…maybe mankind is that clueless and they think thick people can’t bend. If that is the case? I’m not offended. I would take you by the hand and educate you on the practices of yoga. How yoga is an amazing totally body workout! And that ANYONE can do it. It will/would be a wonderful experience for everyone involved and we can make a day out of it. Now if you know how yoga is for everyone and you still are going to bash the beautifully round yoga instructor or any fellow thick yogi. That’s a totally different story. As much as I don’t like to admit it, being bullied (even at the age of 22) it’s hurtful. My harsh exterior will crumble in a matter of seconds. No one likes to be judged for their job, career choice, where they went to school, any medical issues they have, family life, their weight/height, and the list could go on forever. But, unfortunately it still happens….and will continue to happen as long as there are judgemental people around. So let me do a bit of damage control/educate mankind. Yes, there are plus size yoga instructors. Yes, anyone can practice yoga. It doesn’t matter if your tall, short, thin, or thick..use a wheel chair…have medical condititions that make walking difficult…or anything else that you would think could hinder someone from yoga. Plus size yogis can bend. I’ll use myself as an example. I love back bends, I practice back bends a lot, and I’m constantly trying to incorproate them into my classes. I can also flip myself upside down, sit on my knees and recline all the way back, and can get into the full expression of half pigeon….but, those topics are for another day. The main thing I want anyone reading this to take away is the idea of Non-judgement. Don’t judge me for how I look and I won’t judge you for being an asshole. See the action goes both ways. I’m not saying be hard on yourself for making assumptions, just be mindful on how your making those assumptions about people/places/things. With being more mindful, we can slowly get rid of jugdement and see someone’s imperfections and uniqueness….and that’s what makes a person beautiful….and that’s all that really matters.
So my advice this week is don’t judge, pour a drink, and ask someone to dance.
See you on your mat!
The Curvy Yogini