Way back in January, I started sending off queries for an article on yoga. It was one of the first articles I pitched, when I was just getting started with this whole writing endeavor. It was actually my mom’s idea: debunking the myth of the skinny yogi.
The piece was dear to my heart for three reasons: Firstly, I know how much yoga has meant to a lot of people who live in / have lived in bigger bodies (myself included). It can be, and often is, the catalyst for an entirely different way of living life. Secondly, I also know that it’s utterly fictitious to say that yoga cannot be practiced by any living, breathing human being (and occasionally pets…see: Karma Yoga). Yoga isn’t just Hatha! But even Hatha Yoga can be modified to meet the needs of just about anybody, even people with some severe disabilities. Being bigger-bodied is by no means a disqualifier. Finally, once I got the ball rolling, I was able to speak with a number of passionate, inspiring individuals about their practice, and about how they feel about the subject.
The article has gone live, and you can read it on Elephant Journal.
I’d also like to introduce you to some of those exceptional people who gave me a bit of their time and whose innovative, out-of-the-box thinking really inspired the piece:
Lauren Rose, LCSW, RYT, is a psychotherapist in New York. Her brand of healing is quite literally body and soul: she is also a yoga instructor.
Meera Patricia Kerr is the genious behind the extraordinary book Big Yoga. She fuses all of her learning, including the teachings of her guru, Sri Swami Satchidananda, creator of Integral Yoga, into this excellent resource.
Anna Guest-Jelley is the founder of Curvy Yoga in Nashville, Tennessee. The studio is just one part of Anna’s work – she offers online courses for students not yet ready to practice in public, and sends out regular wellbeing emails to everyone as well.
Janet Zinn is the lovely and tireless psychotherapist from New York who dropped 60 lbs., owing in part to her yoga practice. Mind, she gave the interview whilst jogging…I don’t think I could recite half of the alphabet while jogging! She also encourages her clients to incorporate yoga into their healing, and really walks the talk.
Tony Riposo is the founder and director of Infinite Light Yoga in Syracuse, New York, and was so passionate about this subject, I think he could have written the article far better than I did! His studio and practice are committed to working with every sort of person, especially those with mobility issues.
Dr. Moshe Lewis is a pain rehabilitation expert in San Francisco who often “prescribes” yoga to his clients. He understands how difficult it can be, particularly for people who’ve not had exercise as a part of their lives, to get back in tune with their bodies.
Do let me know your thoughts on the article once you get the chance! Namaste!