As part of my yoga teacher training we had to get in touch with our ‘demons’, those voices in our heads that criticise and put us down. For many people, it was that their class would be boring or that they would forget their class plan. For me my fear was that people would judge me because of my weight, wondering to themselves why their teacher is overweight, and I don’t look like the stereotypically slim yoga teacher commonly seen in magazines and on Instagram.
Not fat but generous
Now I would never refer to myself as fat as I think that it is an ugly negative term, however, in terms of health, I’m aware that I do have more than just a couple of pounds of weight to lose and it’s been a focus of mine for a while. As with my yoga practice aspects of it are personal to me, knowing that when I eat healthily I know that I can take the diabetes that I have into remission. That said rather than affect my practice in a negative way it has enabled me to dialogue more with students who have faced their own battles with weight loss and others who are accepting of their weight but have other life battles. It has enabled me to engage with students both on and off the mat. That said I don’t take it for granted that it is because of my rather generous size but also because I genuinely care about the people who join my class. That’s a trait that comes from within no matter the size and shape of the person holding space for others.
Love, passion, and Yoga
Originally yoga was not about being super slim though I can completely understand the discipline that goes with staying slim if it’s not one’s natural body shape. That said yoga is about love and passion and I happen to have a passion for food that is shared with my family, in fact, it would take a will of iron to turn down some of the food that is cooked by my family who are excellent at what they do.
“Awareness is like the sun, when it shines on things they change.” Thicht Nhat Hahn
What yoga does bring to my students and me is a greater positive awareness of our bodies and what they can achieve. It is not something that can necessarily be placed in a box and labeled. I would love to continue to share my yoga practice with as many people as I can regardless of whether they are a size 0 or size 20 plus.