When I began practicing yoga, I didn’t have a community.
I primarily practiced on my own at home. And when I did venture out to class, I tried not to make much eye contact with people. I didn’t want to see the judgment I assumed would be in their eyes when they saw my curvy body getting on my mat.
This was back when I had a cell phone with about 10 minutes on it in case my car broke down driving the six hours from college to home. And when I probably sent three emails/week — not every ten minutes like I do now.
That time in my life was really hard. There’s just no other way to say it. I had this little thought in the back of my mind that things could be different — that I didn’t always have to struggle with food. That I didn’t have to constantly be on a diet or hate myself. That I could find some movement I enjoyed that didn’t involve team sports (which are so not my thing). But I had no way of knowing if/how it could come true.
Doing yoga was one of the only times that I could firmly feel myself inside my skin without becoming uncomfortable, nervous, or disassociating. ~Mara Glatzel
Fortunately, through the magic of the internet, we can now find our inspiration and community in many places. For me, one of these places is right here — with you.
In addition to blog comments and social media engagement, I hear from a fair number of you via email. What an endless delight! Some of the most common feedback I hear is a sense of relief, an “I’m not the only one” feeling.
Yoga has given me an entirely different relationship with my body, where I judge it by what it can do, rather than its shape. ~Helen Lehndorf
Sparking a Movement
Over the past few years of doing this work, I’ve seen the number of curvy people trying yoga grow exponentially. Excitingly, I also hear more and more often from those of you who are getting inspired to become teachers yourselves and share yoga for people of all shapes and sizes in your community.
I truly believe this is happening because we’re joining together. The more we see each other out there, and connect, the more we can support each other — and welcome more amazing people into our body and yoga lovin’ community.
And this is why Curvy Voices was born. I wanted to share a book that would inspire all of us, especially those of us who may be new(er) to this journey. As I read through the 36 stories in this incredible book, I was struck time and again by the depth and breadth of their beauty.
Our thoughtful and courageous writers cover topics from body lovin’ to childbirth, loss to illness, the thrill of yoga to the fear of stepping on the mat. The incredible quotes shared throughout this post are representative of the inspiring messages shared within these pages.
I’ve become less concerned with what my body looks like and more pleased with how my brain feels. ~Priscilla Warner
Celebration, Gratitude + Get Your Copy!
Today is my birthday and the two-year anniversary of this blog. So to celebrate, I’m gifting you this incredible book! I hope you will soak it in and return to it often. I hope you will share it with the people in your life who may benefit from it.
I am so full of gratitude in relation to this project that I just might pop! I’m first deeply grateful to the writers who chose to share their story here. It takes courage to open your heart and share your story in vulnerability, and I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone who did. The 36 voices in this book showcase a diversity of experiences; I know you will find threads of yourself through many of them thanks to these writers’ thoughtfulness.
I also have to give gigantic thanks to my dear friend, Nora Spencer. Nora is the designer of this book, and as you’ll soon see, it looks amazing! Not only does it look gorgeous, but her design really brings the pieces to life, showcasing them in their unique glory and also bring the book together cohesively. Nora took on this massive undertaking free of charge as a gift of love; yep, she’s pretty much the coolest person ever.
I hope you’ll show the writers and Nora some love in the comments!
Most of all, I hope you will use Curvy Voices as a springboard and reminder of your own awesomeness. Yoga can be an incredible tool for accepting and loving your body; may this book help you find or continue your own journey.
Click here to sign up and get your free copy! (FYI: You’ll get a few messages before the links arrive. Once they do, the download may take a minute, but it’s totally worth the wait. Let me know if you have any issues with it.)
I now know that I don’t have to wait until I am an ideal size to pursue my dreams. ~Rebecca Park