I started hot yoga in Brooklyn when a running buddy (yes, fat girls do this too) told me about a living social deal at Sacred Studios– 10 classes for $20. I was just 3 classes shy of getting all of my money’s worth, but I really enjoyed going. I can’t afford to pay the regular prices now and I miss it so. The poses are challenging for me – I don’t bend and balance like the other long and lean people in the class. And that’s kind of beautiful. I’m NOT the other people in the class – I’m ME. And, because I’m me, I will not perform like everyone else. By the second visit to the studio I learned how to forgive and accept myself. Maybe that forgiveness and acceptance only lasted while I was in the studio, but it was the best feeling I’ve experienced from a “workout” in a long time.
I recently stumbled upon a few posts about being the fat girl in yoga and I realize I’m not alone in my thoughts and feelings. Here’s an old post written by Joshilyn Jackson titled, An Open Letter to the Fat Girl I Saw at Hot Yoga in New York City. Here’s an excerpt…
Dear Fat Girl I Saw at Hot Yoga in New York City,
Perhaps I should call you OTHER fat girl at Hot Yoga, as I was there too, easing back into my Fat Down Dog, forward to Fat Plank, then melting and pushing up to Fat Cobra, etc etc, all the way through my big fat hot Vinyasa flow. (This should be a movie—My Big Fat Hot Vinyasa Flow—I would SO go to see that.)
Is it wrong that I am half in love with you? For being fat and at Hot Yoga? For shaving your legs and getting a GOOD pedicure and putting your big ol’ ass into yoga pants ? For unrolling your mat and claiming your space, a rounded duck standing defiantly on one squatty leg among flamingos.
Were you as happy to see me as I was to see you? I think you were. You kept PEEKING at me, under your armpit and between your thighs, when you should have had been looking at your Drishti, only to find I had abandoned MY Drishti and was misaligning my spine to peek at you.
We both tipped over out of tree because of it. But it was okay. We were a secret club of Fat Girls at Hot Yoga. We understood each other.
“I am perfect in my practice. It is yoga practice and not yoga perfect, right?”
I totally get what both ladies are saying and will proudly co-sign both of their sentiments. The endless fat-shaming of ourselves ends now, ladies. Have a read if you’d like. I’ll wait…
Can you imagine my excitement when I also learned that there is a hot yoga place, S Hot Yoga Studio, in my future Korean city of Uijeongbu? I’m not sure where it is located exactly, but I’m going to make it my mission to figure it out once I arrive. From the pictures I’ve seen online, this place looks amazing. I wish I read hangul and understood Korean so that I could figure out the class schedule and package pricing. I’m sure I’ll be the only foreigner in the studio, but that’s OK. I’m also sure I’ll be the biggest thing in there – foreign or domestic – and that’s OK too. I am simply looking forward to continuing a hot yoga practice to help my physical health and mental sanity. I’m certain I’ll need it once I move abroad.