We have a wonderful new Curvy Yoga teacher this month! I am excited to share them with you! To see a full list of our Curvy Yoga Certified teachers, please click here.
Location: Berkeley, CA
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching.
I have been doing yoga on and off since 1999. I stumbled upon it while having back pain in college, and viewed it as some kind of miracle! Over the years I’ve struggled BIG time being a bigger bodied person in various yoga classes. It is my favorite form of working out, since It is focused on strength and flexibility as opposed to endurance and sweating (ok, there is some sweating once you really get into yoga!) I finally went to a “Curvy Yoga Retreat” with Anna Guest Jelly who founded Curvy Yoga and realized “I COULD DO THIS!” I seriously never considered being a yoga teacher since I didn’t have the “body type” and wasn’t “spiritual enough”… I signed up for a Yoga Teacher training and got certified in Curvy Yoga! My life has officially changed. I am a big person doing yoga, and embracing the word BIG to mean a GOOD THING!
I started teaching this past January, and it’s been amazing to see what a difference can make in my own practice, and with those around me taking my classes. It’s been a pure joy.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I don’t think there can be ENOUGH people in the world doing this. We need more people to bring a variety of yoga classes to the world. The stereotype of “skinny” and “young” and “white” need to go out the window. Yoga is for all bodies, races, and genders in the world. I can only hope I will scratch the surface in my neck of the woods to help some people get more in touch with their bodies!
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? I lean on the “therapeutic” side of yoga. Using dynamic movements, mindful breathing and figuring out what you need in your own body is the goal. I am just here to help you get in touch with your own needs within.
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? I loved watching all the Curvy yoga training videos! also, realizing it’s ok to “move the belly” and talk “matter of factly” about the body and how each one is different. I admire Anna, and respect how challenging it must have been to start Curvy Yoga! You are an inspiration!
Location: Stuart, FL
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety and disordered eating for years. Yoga and meditation have given me the tools to be at ease with myself and my life as it already is. As a teacher, I’m grateful for the difficulties I’ve had as they make me a more caring and empathetic teacher.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? Curvy Yoga is like a breath of fresh air- or a deep exhale after a long, hard day. We have so few places in our lives where we are told that it’s okay to be who we are, as we are. This methodology allows us to befriend our current experience so that, with curiosity and kindness, we can welcome whatever it is we’re experiencing, no matter how painful. This is training for your whole life!
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? My classes are compassionate and welcoming- I have no expectations of you, and my students are great at cultivating a “no judgment” zone. I provide space and instruction so that you can work with your own body as it is. We’ll practice yoga as inquiry together. Expect to laugh, sweat, and feel at home.
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? The webinars are really top-notch. Anna has a gift for making others feel included and cared-for. Her smile lights up a computer screen!
Location: Swampscott, MA
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I believe that yoga is about self-inquiry, exploration and compassion. This is reflected in both my personal practice and in my role as a teacher. When I am practicing yoga, I try to tune in to what my body needs at that moment, and to listen. Some days, when I take to my yoga mat, I need a grounding, gentle and relaxing practice. Other times I love to move, flow, and feel strong in my body….and sometimes a mix of both. But I always try to remain compassionate with myself and to avoid negative self-talk, while letting go of the idea of being “perfect” and just experiencing the poses, without judgements. This is exactly what I try to offer to my students. My classes are all about listening and exploring their bodies in the present moment, and experiencing how the poses feel.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I want to bring Curvy Yoga to my community because it is very much needed. I know, because I teach chair yoga classes in my area. Some of my students are in curvy bodies and they often tell me they enjoy coming to the class because they feel comfortable and accepted, and they can practice yoga without feeling intimidated. I live in a community where some of yoga studios appear to cater to fit, thin athletic looking students. Ive been told by my curvy students that this is a turn-off. Or I would hear stories of how they went to one of these classes and they left feeling terrible about themselves. I would love to offer the curvy student the opportunity to practice yoga where they can experience yoga just as they are. In a comfortable and welcoming setting with no fear of intimidation. And with a variety of options to meet the needs of the curvy students so they can feel successful in the class and leave feeling good about themselves.
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? They can expect to begin with a few minutes of centering and guided meditation to allow the mind to settle, and for the student to become fully present in their bodies. Students are encouraged to remain mindful and present as we explore the sensations of the body and breath through various movements that may include stretching, folding, balancing, twisting, and flowing. I like to offer students various options and to help them find ways to make the poses work for them. I also like to incorporate breath work (pranayama) into the class. I like my classes to be a safe space where people can be free to feel and move their bodies, without judgement.
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? I have enjoyed all of it, but especially listening to Anna’s live videos, and watching her demonstrations of the poses. I am a visual learner, so seeing the different options of the poses was very helpful for me. Also, Anna has such an honest and compassionate way of presenting the information and I find it is really inspiring as a teacher. I love how she encourages the trainees to really think about the various ways to offer the yoga poses to meet the needs of the curvy student, all while conveying her body positive message.
How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on my website!
Location: Mishawaka, IN
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I started my personal yoga practice while in college taking a class for fun, not knowing anything about what yoga was, and was instantly drawn to it. Back then there weren’t a lot of options for yoga and the class I found was very large, which meant little to no assistance to know if I was even doing it right! Until I went through my first certification class I didn’t realize that there were different ways to move in and out of each pose with modifications or adjustments.
Keeping that experience in mind I structure my teaching to ensure that everyone that wants to start a yoga practice, those of any age, body shape or level of experience, feels comfortable in a space that is welcoming and allows them to learn proper alignment, breathing techniques and how to get into each pose safely with or without modifications. My class size is small (less than 10) by intention which allows a more personal and guided approach.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? A few years ago I attended a community series and noticed over the period of several weeks that students would attend one class and then never return. I kept seeing new faces each week which seemed a bit odd since it was series not a drop -in or so I thought.
Having brief conversations with other students, I realized a pattern was emerging…students in this class were new to yoga and had differing physical needs and thought a community class would be a better fit than a studio class where they didn’t feel they ‘looked’ the part, but the class was being taught in a traditional manner with no adjustments, modifications or discussion on how to properly move in and out of poses.
Seeing this was an eye opener that there was a need for a different approach in our community so that everyone regardless of experience, body shape or physical ability could enjoy the benefits of yoga. Getting certified in Curvy Yoga has given me the tools needed to be mindful of how to create and lead a series that supports and affirms those, sometimes unique, needs in my class.
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? First and foremost they will see an intimate studio space where classes are intentionally kept small (10 or less) so that we have the time to personally welcome each new and returning student offering both group and individual modifications and adjustments in a respectful manner so that each student can experience the benefits of yoga and meditative breath, learn about what their body can do and how to keep that experience active outside the studio each day. It’s important in our classes that students don’t feel they have to look or dress a certain way, they just need to show up, be present in the moment and observe what they personally need and feel safe in a non-judgmental environment where they can ask questions so that they enjoy yoga and want to keep coming back!
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? Anna’s personal style and ability to connect with each of us whether it’s in the live class or in her feedback to homework. She just radiates joy and passion for creating a yoga series that honors all body shapes and levels of experience. Learning the variety of modifications to each pose will aid not only how I structure my group and private classes but also how I can incorporate those same lessons into my own home practice.
Location: Richmond, London, Englad
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I have been practicing yoga for for almost four years. I teach Vinyasa Flow yoga and Yin Yoga.
I first came to the practice as a way to force myself to try something new. I was initially afraid of trying yoga as I had become excessively conscious of how limiting my weight was to me athletically, but overtime I discovered how to get the most from my practice despite this. I discovered a culture and a community which I loved, which was focused on your own personal growth and accepting of the fact that we are all starting from different places. It gave me a route out of the depression and lethargy caused by being overweight and helps me to experiment with and rediscover the capabilities of my own body.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I have encountered so many people in my life that believe that there is so much that they can’t do because of their size or shape or for another reason. I want to bring curvy yoga to my community to help to give these people a root to discovering that they are capable of far far more than they think.
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? My teaching style focuses on showing students how to get the most out of their practice, for me its about showing people how to have fun, connect with each other, experiment in their practice, encouraging them to push out of their comfort zone and have an amazing time in the process. I believe that yoga should be accessible for all shapes and sizes of people and I promise to bring everything that I have learnt about how your practice can be adapted to your individual body to show you how yoga can work for you!
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? I had expected learning a wider range of adjustments to be the most rewarding part of the course, it was just as useful as I expected but I actually found that the discussions about body image and how our students may be feeling was vital to adapting the way I teach. I had got myself into a space where I on some level believed that I was the only one having those hang ups and that convincing people they could do it would be as simple as me showing them that I could do it. Its made me a lot more aware of it in class and I now more frequently speak about how unimportant how you look compared to the person next to you it as its the way your body feels that is most important.
It was also really great to run over the marketing side of things as it is still very much an area that I fall down in, particularly living in London which is swamped with yoga teachers.
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I first started practicing yoga at the age 14 after I bought a little book at the grocery checkout. Truth be told, I wanted to look like the girl on the cover. But after practicing my own daily sequence, I really liked the way I felt internally. Years later, when I began taking regular classes, I found a deep connection to my body – a revelation, after years of body image and weight issues. Yoga has given me the gift of feeling at home in my body, and I hope to pass that amazing experience along to my students!
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? I encounter people every day who say that they’ve tried yoga but they’re not flexible enough, or that had a bad experience, or they want to lose weight first and then try a class. But I believe with all my heart that yoga is a gift for everybody. Though I’m not teaching a specifically Curvy Yoga class at the moment, I feel that everyone can benefit from the concepts of presence, curiosity, affirmation, and challenge….not to mention the use of props and modifications to support the body of the day.
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? I like to create a safe space in my classes, where I can hold space for students to experience their practice in their own way. Students can expect a gentle practice (great for all experience levels and body types), breath work, perhaps a restorative pose or two, nature wisdom with stones and essential oils, and a reading or two to support reflection. Oh, and a healthy dose of light-hearted humor!
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? There was so much rich information in this course! I especially loved learning the clever use of props to create space in the body. That information has changed my own practice, and I’m excited to share it with my students.
How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on Facebook!
Location: New York, NY
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. After struggling with body image issues and disordered eating from my late teens through well into my twenties, yoga guided me into a more loving and grateful appreciation for my body. Through teaching, my hope is to share what I’ve learned so that people can start having more meaningful conversations with their bodies.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? New York City is a beast and there are so many yoga classes, studios, it’s hard to find which one is the right one. My hope is that my Curvy Yoga classes are a safe, loving place for people to figure out how yoga feels in their individual bodies and lives.
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? All-inclusive, no judgement, no pressure, and FUN (I’ve been know to do themed classes (90’s, Hamilton Soundtrack, etc). I weave meditation and breathing into gentle but challenging poses to create a class focused on listening and appreciating your body as it is.
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? I loved learning about how to teach adjustments for ALL body types and how to teach in an all-inclusive, loving way so no one feels singled out. Anna was such a warm, giving teacher.
How can people get in touch with you? People can find me on Twitter!