I have been playing with the idea of yoga for a while. Growing up, my plus size mother would do yoga in the living room, and sometimes I would join her. While it was a nice mother-daughter bonding experience, I just never fell in love with yoga.
Flash forward about two decade to when I lived in New York a friend and I decided that we would take a free yoga class after work one day through a local studio. We each had our separate workouts, she a yoga class, and I nervously tried a pilates class. We met up in the changing room afterwards to discover that my friend’s wallet was missing. Someone had stolen her wallet! The changing room didn’t have lockers, so unless you took your wallet into the studio (as I had done) then you were an instant mark. We spent the rest of evening at the police station filing a police report and feeling disappointed after what should have been a relaxing evening of releasing stress. That was the first and last time I went to a yoga studio.
Recently, I have considered doing a yoga again because my once limber body is now growing stiff. The problem is that I am overweight. Cece Olisa, A.K.A. Plus Size Princess, the founder of #pspfit and co-founder of thecurvycon, brought attention to the issue of bigger women and more specifically bigger black women feeling alienated when attending traditional yoga classes. She penned a wonderful rebuttal to Jen Carons’ controversial post on xoJane about how awkward a white woman felt when an overweight black woman attended her yoga class. CeCe, being the PSP that she is, went on to host a body positive curvy yoga party to further prove her point that overweight women can do yoga too. Yoga is for everyone, not just skinny white women who only eat organic food.
Watch CeCe’s video about Plus Size Yoga Essentials.
Add to the mix that there is not just one kind of yoga practice, but a range of practices from Bikram to Vinyasa. If I venture into yoga I want to do it in what is deemed a “safe environment.” I want to find a plus size yoga class. I started doing some tickling of my keyboard and good ole’ Google pulled up a few articles about yoga for larger bodies. I did a bit more research and noted the locations, costs, dates, and times for the classes. And then…nothing. I didn’t follow through. Whomp, whomp!
So here I am again, starting from scratch, but this time I am going to post the information here online for anyone else who is interested in looking into starting a yoga practice. Feel free to share additional resources (DVD’s, websites, apps) in the comment section. Namaste.
Lighthouse Yoga in D.C. Offers yoga for larger bodies
Circle Yoga in DC offers gentle yoga with modifications and props
Blue Heron Wellness in Silver Spring offers modified yoga classes
Disclaimer: photos should be credited to CeCe Olisa and Jessamyn Stanley.