Fat girls yoga pt.1

Each of the three words in the title elicit some response in the reader. I like all three. Fat whether it be from bacon or a good looking woman is usually pleasant to me. Girls are nice or at least hopefully are. Yoga is my preferred exercise and spiritual practice so combine all three and I’ve got a powerhouse of innuendo.

Recently it came to light that Paula Deen is diabetic. I felt an odd sense of well, duh when I first saw the article and after criticising her brunch donut sandwich felt like this announcement was the point I’d been trying to make while discussing Deen with friends recently.

I don’t want anyone to have diabetes. My mother is diabetic. It’s not fun, doesn’t make life easier and with high healthcare costs do we want even higher rates of diabetes showing up? I don’t. It’s a huge mix of issues from nature to nurture but people get diabetes for a whole host of reasons due to genetic factors and lifestyle. Can Paula Deen do yoga? Sure, whether or not she’s male or female or has diabetes has nothing to do with the practice.

Yoga was not originally taught to women. It was a men’s club in India. Fat people were less common because you had to figure out how to get enough food to become fat. McDonald’s didn’t exist when the vedas were written. Yoga is now an American institution and with ample food we wind up with fat girls in yoga class.

I’ll never forget a young lady showing up to work with me on yoga privately. We discussed health, diet, exercise and yoga. If allowed I have very relaxed meetings and discussions. My client announced in no uncertain terms that she would not allow me to tell her she should lose weight. If I pressured her in any way she would resist and cease working with me. To this point I’d mentioned nothing like this at all and found myself perplexed. I just felt puzzled and said, “what does being overweight have to do with health?”

We didn’t wind up working together but in retrospect I think she’d had so many health care workers focus on her weight that she had an assumption that anyone who worked in health would make issue of it. You’re fat? Ok. I’m not sure what that has to do with your ability to do yoga, live a long life or be healthy. People come in all shapes and sizes and it’s my firm belief that yoga is for everyone, not just the limber and biological elite.

I never want anyone to think they couldn’t come to my yoga classes. General classes would be difficult to work out if you were in a wheelchair but that’s just due to shooting to the middle of ability in a class with 6 people. Fat people can do yoga just as well as thin ones. The question is what is yoga?

For most it’s just a physical exercise. To me it’s more than this. It’s not your ability to do a certain pose but your ability to harness and focus your attention while in the pose. The practice can be done by anyone and is supposed to bring health, wholeness and make people at ease. I’ve never heard any mention of fat getting in the way. Your body is where it is. Start where you are, grow your roots.

People who aren’t some societal vision of physical perfection can stand, can sit, lay down and therefore you can do hatha yoga. If you go to yoga classes where the teacher or students look at you oddly then ignore the students and find another teacher. It’s as simple as that. You are wherever you are. Size has nothing to do with yoga.

I posted this video on my business facebook page and had quite the response.

Some announced this was why they couldn’t do yoga. They were comparing themselves to the woman in the video and announcing they’d never be able to do those things. Others like myself were in awe of her muscular control and grace in the middle of difficult poses. I found it tremendously beautiful.

I was discouraged to find that I could not find the video I wanted of big sexy girls doing yoga. If you type big sexy girls yoga into youtube or google be preprared for near pornographic non-yogic focus to your video. Much hilarity ensued.

My friend was asking me why I don’t use my wife and students to shoot a video of big sexy girls doing yoga and my first comment was, “because it’ll turn into my own personal youtube video of sexual shame!” I like big girls. I like girls that are considered fat. Nothing gives me as much joy as coming home after a Bikram yoga class where I have sweated and worked out in a hot room to my lovely curvy wife relaxing on the couch. She asks how class was, I get her a slice of cheescake. It’s not everyone’s choice but fat girls do yourself a favor and hang out with men and yoga teachers who appreciate bigger women.

I’ll see you in yoga class. Just remember I’m married.