Snarling #12wbt: Fat yoga & the importance of body listening

yoga mat

One of the things I love the most about being connected with movement, is really “listening” to my body.

I know this sounds like hippy dippy bollocks, but I woke up this morning early and didn’t fall naturally back to sleep, so I got up and did a morning yoga routine with Adriene over at Yoga With Adriene. She came highly recommended to me (along with Curvy Yoga and Yoga Glo by many friends – everyone has a great yoga favourite! I like her because she’s laugh out loud funny sometimes and makes me feel ok to experiment and trust my own instincts – which as a beginner, is important, because I have a LOT of anxiety about getting yoga movements “right”.

Fat yoga is hard, though. My body just isn’t a flat thing that can glue itself like a board to the mat. Laying prone is hard because I have an ass, and that ass gets in the way. I’ve finally kind of found a way to lay flat, which involves drawing my shoulders way back and in, and pulling my butt up to my knees. It took me a while though. Many yoga movements are not designed for fat bodies, but they should be.

I’m going to have a deeper look at Curvy Yoga and see if it’s for me. I really enjoy it when someone comes up with an idea and is like “hey! I’m going to make this accessible!” Accessibility is golden, man.

One of the things that I think could be encouraged and talked about more is “listening” to bodies, rather than wholesale listening to external messages. Bodies are not always, but often, good at telling us what we need. Mine said “wake up! do yoga!” and often it says “eat! I’m hungry!”. And learning to listen when full, or tired, or too sore to exercise, or about to pull a ligament, is really important too.

It may sound like crunchy granola nonsense, but I’m trying to get more adept at this.


About laketothelight

Feminist. Tea drinker. Cat snuggler. Canadian marryer. Queer. Fat. Lover of movement. View all posts by laketothelight

2 responses to “Snarling #12wbt: Fat yoga & the importance of body listening

  • Heather Stewart

    I couldn’t agree more with this! That is was one of big reasons why I love yoga so much. It was the first time someone said to listen to my body instead of shouting some nonsense about pushing through the pain. It really makes me appreciate whay my body is capable if, which is really amazing to me. Good luck with your practice!

    • laketothelight

      It’s such a huge part of overcoming disordered eating for me too. Messages about ignoring or pushing my body aren’t good for me. I push if I feel like I have the capacity to, or if it feels right that day, or if emotionally I want a challenge. But as a habit or for a badge of honour…I just think listening and responding is a more healthy process.

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