It's been a year since I started teaching Yoga for Round Bodies. I started teaching Yoga for Round Bodies for a very specific, somewhat selfish, reason; my mother. I wanted to share the practice of yoga with her but she always refused because of her body. When I heard of the training, I was instantaneously excited at the fact that I would finally be able to share with my mother what has truly been a life changing practice. And although I haven't gotten her in the studio yet, I've been able to introduce the practice to many many others who may not have found their way into a studio if it hadn't been for this specific class offering.
The training was very comprehensive for a 25 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. Aside from the physical asana exploration, the training uses the Health at Every Size model. This model is a health-based, not weight-based, paradigm for health and is based on the idea that being able to honor your body is the best way to find optimal health. And, rather than promoting weight control, it focuses on and supports people in seeking change for the purpose of health and well-being. Tiina Veer, the developer of the Yoga for Round Bodies program, was very knowledgeable about this model, yoga philosophy and anatomy. As a massage therapist, and experienced yogi, she knew the topic inside and out. She uses the 3 B's: Boobs, Bellies & Bums, with her students, as a way to make everyone comfortable discussing if something is, well, in the way. We delved in; taping pillowcases filled with blankets to ourselves, to emulate what it feels like to be in a round body. Was I ever naive! My whole perception on the traditional sun salutation changed as soon as I was in a different body shape. Forward folds felt uncomfortable, and every asana was completely different. My lower back felt a pulling and moving quickly and fluidly was difficult. My understanding of different body types was changed,and I felt very fortunate to be able to learn more and share with my yoga community.
After completing my 25 hour Yoga for Round Bodies Yoga Teacher Training, I started teaching classes at the Yoga Kula Co-Op. The response to and for the classes was great. A little Newfoundland Yoga for Round Bodies community started to form. It was fabulous!
Every class is different. Gentle movements, helping to increase mobility, lengthen tight muscles, and build core strength, are mixed with pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation. Those who come have said how beneficial it is. It’s not always about the yoga either. It's about the community. The men and women who have been attending have formed friendships, talking about recipes, work and family. In a few of the 'regulars', I've seen tremendous change and growth. One woman, in particular, found it extremely difficult to stand up from the floor, and now is moving through full sun salutations with ease. The ability to balance on one foot has moved from milliseconds to full trees and dancers, smiles brimming from ear to ear. And, like all practitioners of yoga, the benefits and changes aren't just physical, they're emotional and mental too. People feel much more relaxed, less stress and an increase in confidence.
Of course, there isn't a yoga teacher anywhere who would turn anyone away because of their size or body type. Yoga is for EVERY body no matter what shape or size you are. The reason why this class was created and is being offered here is to give those who fall into this category a safe and open place to practice yoga. So if you or someone you love have been thinking about starting your own yoga practice or have been seeking out a place where you feel can feel confident and comfortable in your body, come explore with us on Monday or Thursday evenings.
If you have any questions or would like to connect, please feel free to visit us on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 709.222.9687.
Love Love Yoga... Love Yoga, Love Yourself!