In response to a few questions I’ve received about doing Yoga when you have curves, I’m sharing this with you.
You can 100% do Yoga no matter what body shape you have. Don’t be ashamed, your body is beautiful and so are you!
If you’re curvy and looking to do some Yoga, then make sure you read the whole thing. This is about finding a curve-friendly yoga class.
Our Friends at Curvy Yoga have some awesome insight on ladies who want to do yoga but are curvy.
With your need list in hand, you can begin researching. Of course, Google is a helpful friend for this task. Spend some time searching things like “yoga” and the name of your town. Scan the websites and read reviews, but hold it all lightly enough for your gut instinct to emerge. Just because a teacher is beloved by some people doesn’t mean she’s right for you. And vice versa, just because some people don’t like a particular teacher doesn’t mean you won’t.
While the number of curvy friendly yoga teachers continues to grow, there is still a dearth of us in most areas. So instead of looking for a Curve-Friendly Yoga class, here are some other possible key words to look for if you are new to yoga: yoga for every body, gentle, accessible, welcoming, hatha, slow flow, beginners, etc. If you prefer a faster-paced class, you’re likely to find words like vinyasa or flow. Any paced class can be a good fit for a curvy practitioner, depending on the needs list you determined earlier (although if you’re brand new I usually recommend a slower pace at first just so you can get a hang of the poses and have more opportunities to ask questions).
Talk with Friends
Odds are fairly good that you know someone who practices yoga — even if indirectly. Word of mouth is a great way to find a yoga teacher. So begin asking around for recommendations. Again, just because someone comes recommended doesn’t mean you’ll connect with them (because the person you ask may have a really different need list than you). But a review from someone you trust is often more relevant than one you find online. In addition, you can ask them questions about the style of the teacher and class to get a better sense of what might be a good fit for you.
Connect with Teachers
I encourage you to gather a list of at least 3 potential teachers whose classes you’d like to try. Once you have their name and contact info, connect with them by phone or email. I love hearing from new students before they come to class; it is a great way to get to know them better and assuage any potential fears. So when you get in touch, be sure to let them know any questions/concerns you have. Here are a few you might consider (feel free to just copy/paste these into your email if you’d like):
- What props are available in your class, and when/how do you incorporate them? (If a teacher uses props in her class, it gives me a clue that she is at least somewhat knowledgeable about adapting poses to her students’ needs.)
- Should I be prepared to come up with my own modifications in class, or do you offer some? (This gives the teacher a clue that you will want/need modifications and will also give you a chance to hear more about the teacher’s thoughts on it.)
- What is your experience teaching curvy-bodied students? (It’s useful to hear that a teacher has taught curvy-bodied students in the past. If they say they don’t have much experience but do have experience modifying poses for a number of different injuries, abilities, ages, etc. then that is a good sign that they can help you come up with creative solutions. Although experience with curvy bodies is obviously ideal, I think the most important thing is that the teacher has a spirit of willingness to help you find what works for you in a non-judgmental atmosphere).
- Do a Gut Check, see how you feel in the class, be honest with yourself
- Snag a Buddy, go with someone else and make it fun
I hope this has answered any questions you might have a laid to rest that ugly stereotyped myth: Yoga isn’t for girls with curves.
Yoga is for everyone, so find a spot that works for you and enjoy! You won’t be the best in the room right away, but as you continue, you’ll notice that your flexibility and even the shape of your muscles will start changing.
If you have any Yoga questions, feel free to ask at www.BizzyYogi.com/Questions
I’ll answer any Yoga Biz, Yoga Life, or Yoga Practice questions that you may have.