It’s Curvy Seven time — yay! For other interviews with fabulous curvy yogis, please click here.
1. What’s your yoga origin story?
I wanted to try yoga, but wasn’t sure if I could actually “do” yoga. I went my first gentle class and throughout the practice I was thinking, “This isn’t so hard!” The next day my muscles told me a different story.
That led me to try many different classes and teachers. The first time I went to an Anusara class I had my heart blown open! The philosophy of intrinsic goodness was so foreign to me, but I wanted to learn more. My town didn’t have a Certified Anusara teacher, so I had to find one! My teacher lives three hours away from where I live, so I had to make an effort to take my training. In 2011, I was authorized to be an Anusara-Inspired teacher! A dream realized!
2. What pose do you love? Loathe?
My all time favorite is Parsvottanasana–Pyramid Pose. I love the way it stretches my entire body. It is my go to standing pose!
I really don’t like saying I loathe any pose, but the truth is, I do! Headstand would definitely fit into that category! After practicing it and after a few nasty kinks in my neck, I just said, “You know, I don’t have to do this pose!” It was liberating!
3. What advice would you share with other curvy yogis?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that I can’t let others determine my practice or what I should or shouldn’t do. Practice, investigate, figure out what works and then practice!
4. Who’s your favorite curvy icon?
This is a tough one! There simply are not enough curvy icons! When I did a curvy icon internet search, it pulled up women like Marilyn Monroe, Beyoncé, Sophia Loren, Kate Winslet. All of these women are beautiful, but I hardly consider any of them to be plus sized. It is unfortunate that the magazines and catalogs that are specifically geared toward the plus size population are showcasing women who are not plus sized. I know there are a few companies out there representing us, but they are few and far between!
5. What’s your favorite yoga resource?
I love Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax and Renew. This book is really well done; it is an invaluable resource on restorative yoga, something we all need desperately.
6. What quote inspires you?
It is so hard to pick one! I have to share two!
“We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light.” ~Hafiz (It is on my desk; I love it!)
“Freeing the body leads inevitably to freeing the heart.” ~Gabrielle Roth (I have experienced the truth in this quote. Through my practices, I have opened my body and heart.)
7. Wild card: anything else you’d like to share?
There are many paths in yoga, often we focus on asana, but there are many more practices. I have personally connected with Bhakti yoga. I have experienced incredible heart opening through kirtan. I was inspired to learn to play the harmonium and to lead kirtan. When I first started, I could hardly lead a chant! I never imagined that I would want to sing in front of other people, but here I am finding my voice and sharing my heart.
Cami Cote is an Anusara-Inspired yoga teacher (RYT500) in Missoula, MT, offering all levels, restorative yoga classes and kirtan. Cami’s classes are soulful, devotional and rejuvenating. Fusing the principles of hatha yoga (the union of body, breath, and movement) and the qualities of bhakti yoga (gratitude, open-heartedness, humility, compassion, and devotion. In class we explore a wide range of yogic tools and techniques including vinyasa asana sequences (flowing yoga poses with the breath), longer held poses, restorative poses, pranayama (yogic breathing), kirtan (devotional chanting), and much more to enhance our experience. Connect with her on her website.