Sep 12


I’m a fat yoga teacher. No excuses, no apologies… a real, full-time fatty who teaches yoga. I’ve had people leave because they didn’t think they could learn from me. I’ve also had people stick around and say what I taught was unexpected, and how much they got out of it. I have a lot of tricks and tips from living with a debilitating, progressive autoimmune condition. I do not have another single second to waste hating my body. I am really freaking happy when I get up and my ankles work. Really. I enjoy handstands and backbends, but it’s stuff like being limber enough today to type this message that gives me pause and deep gratitude for my breath, for the times I can touch the floor, for the thousand small miracles that happen in the minutia of my daily life.

I’ve gotten a lot of officious people off the street, in my classes, who feel it’s their right and obligation to come up to me and tell me there are WAYS of getting rid of my weight. What I’d rather be rid of was their projected judgment, sanctimony, and amazed wonder.

In a community that professes fierce love of your body, we still see students and teachers AMAZED that a fat person could be joyously embodied, be present, and have a beautiful practice. We see a lot of value placed on their “success stories,” where they have lost half themselves and become yoga teachers to share their joy. We undertake ridiculous experiments and pat ourselves on the back for the bravery of “career suicide” to “understand fat bodies,” when all you need is to respectfully use your training, curiosity and a sense of human decency. A fat student can tell you through posture that their belly is impeding their forward fold. A manual self adjustment (lifting from pelvic creases upward) could CHANGE THEIR LIVES, and your expectations. Teach that adjustment as an exploration of extreme Uddhiyana Bandha and you’ll teach anyone with a belly how to be a better steward to their practice without singling them out.

Watch your students. If you’re really curious, offer someone who needs a lot of in-class adjustments a free private lesson and allow both of you to teach the other. It will be more priceless than rubies to both of you.

There are One Response

  1. So much love! For this post in particular, but also for you being your awesome self in general. I thought you were really helpful to me the one time I was fortunate enough to get to share a yoga class with you.

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