yoga1

Yoga is inclusive of all shapes and sizes, right? I'm not so sure anymore. Maybe it has to do with where I take yoga, but each time I attend a class, I find myself looking at the buffet of bodies before me--most are tight, toned, muscular, and skinny. I don't see curves, unless we're all in cat pose.

Now, I'm a somewhat curvy girl. I have breasts. I have an ample ass. I have hips. I feel like an ogre when I'm taking class with women who are all size zeros. I see myself in the mirror, and I can't help but think negative things about the body staring back at me. It doesn't help that I can never find yoga clothes at the studio I attend in my size. Sure, there are plenty of size zeros, and fours, and sixes, but I don't fit those.

One of the reasons I initially got into yoga was for its "acceptance" of body shapes. As a former dancer, I wanted to get away from the obsessive body ideal that was repeatedly shoved in my face in ballet. I remember being in ballet class, looking at myself in the mirror for hours, never thinking I was good enough or thin enough, even though I was both. Teachers would often say to the class, "Suck your ribs in," which always translated to me as, "SUCK IN YOUR LARGE BELLY." During my yoga teacher training last fall, my body image issues came back to me unexpectedly. I even began eating disorderdly again, but luckily, was able to snap out of it. When I quit dance in college, I knew I wanted to replace it with some form of movement, so I began taking yoga classes. I never seemed to think too much about bodies back then, but now it's what I focus on each time I enter a yoga space. I hate it. I try to let go--I try not to care, but I do. I feel like my body doesn't fit in with the others in the room. I feel like my body is the third-wheel on a date. I feel like it doesn't belong. This all sounds very overdramatic, and it probably is to some extent, but I can't help thinking the now commercialized look and feel of yoga is somewhat to blame.

I just wish I could see the truth.

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