Frequently Asked Questions
Why curvy classes?
Curvy Yoga provides a safe space for curvy people to practice yoga. There are a variety of reasons why someone might want to attend a class specifically designed to meet the needs of curvy yoga practitioners. These classes are excellent for beginners as well as people with mobility limitations and/or injuries. People can practice exclusively in curvy classes or mix them into a routine of non-curvy classes and/or home practice. The goal is to make options available so that more people can enjoy the benefits of yoga!
What can people expect in a Curvy Yoga class?
Warm, welcoming smiles.
Modifications for the 3 Bs: boobs, belly, butt.
Folks of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities.
Options for practicing while seated or standing.
Sighs of bliss.
What do I need to bring to a Curvy Yoga class?
Yourself! Cheesy, but true. If you have a yoga mat, I recommend you bringing one. But the community centers where I teach also have some available to borrow, so you’re welcome to give those a whirl.
I recommend clothes that you’ll feel comfortable moving around in. You might also like to wear socks/shoes that you can easily take on/off. I usually recommend folks practice barefoot because it helps you to feel your poses more.
How does yoga help people who struggle with their body image and/or disordered eating?
Yoga has been the top tool that has helped me through my journey of compulsive eating and a body image that was in the gutter. In my experience, this happens in two primary ways: first, it helps you to feel your body. Many of us who struggle with these issues have a really hard time hearing and listening to our bodies. The nice thing about yoga is that it gives us concrete ways to actually begin doing that. From there, you may begin to notice your body more off-the-mat, too, and that awareness could lead you into a deeper understanding of yourself and your unique body’s needs.
The second way it helps is by giving your parasympathetic nervous system, or relaxation response, a chance to kick in. Many of us live in a heightened state of stress, and we rarely give ourselves a chance to relax. True relaxation is a skill and looks different than an activity like watching TV (although there is a time and place for that, too!). Relaxation is when our bodies have a chance to heal. And it’s also when we’re often best able to hear the messages our bodies are sending us. Does that mean class is basically a nap? Oh, goodness no! What it does mean is that you’ll have opportunities to connect your breath and movement during class, which are major facilitators of our slowing down. And we wrap up every class with a few minutes of guided relaxation — giving ourselves a chance to incorporate and hear what we learned and revel in a few, rare minutes of quiet before going back about our days.
I’m worried that curvy people are unhealthy. Do curvy yoga classes encourage people not to be healthy?
I’m concerned about people who are unhealthy, too, but research shows that being curvy doesn’t automatically mean that you are unhealthy. There are healthy people of every size, just like there are unhealthy people of every size. I think it serves everyone well to know what healthy means for their unique body: thin, fat, or in-between. Yoga has been the key for me developing a healthy body and body image after a lifetime of dieting, migraines, and hormonal issues. One of the main things I love about yoga is how it helps people cultivate an inner knowledge and move toward balance, and that’s what I hope to share through Curvy Yoga.
There aren’t any curvy classes in my area. What do you recommend?
Check out the Resources page on my site for recommended books, DVDs, websites, and even yoga clothes. In addition, you might like to try my online class, 30 Days of Curvy Yoga. It’s designed to help you cultivate a home yoga practice that works for you and includes a 45-minute video from yours truly, daily emails with tips and encouragement and loads of strategies for practice.