To the Fat Girl in Yoga Class..
Yep! That girl would be me. I know, body positivity and all but this is a true to life reaction of what happens when a plus size woman goes to her first formal yoga class. What to wear? Well nothing fancy, a mixture of Walmart and Old Navy with elastic that can hold up a suspension bridge. I walk into the class thinking that is going to be nothing but skinny flexible girls that are wearing their cute sports bras and fancy yoga mats. Thinking their flexibly is going to be that similar to Gumby. The class holds a handful of women much leaner and meaner than I and one guy. Ok! This can’t be that bad. I take my new out of the wrapper Yoga mat and toss the end of into the air. It falls gracefully down to the laminate flooring in the back of the class. So far so good. I haven’t been spotted amid the Yogis. I am on my way to becoming a namesake yogi. Alright! I am going to be rocking my way into Instagram stardom of a flexible and poetic Yogi. Let the games begin. The instructor walks in, tall, lean, and posed in front of the class. All I can think is “Sweet! Maybe she didn’t see me. This should be a cake walk.” Class begins.
The hypotizing chanting of music comes on and I find an inner peace come over me. “You got this.” I smile smuggly with my eyes closed breathing in and out. Our warm up poses commense. Then we are summons to stand up onto our feet. Stretching arms over our head and back down. I am happy. I could do this for days. Then we moblize into a pose that cause you to balance on two toes while doing your taxes from 2001. Not really, but I have no other way to explain it. I take my warmed up specimen of a body and replicate this pose. I look like a wildebeest that was just born. Legs shaking, trembling as I am stumbling back and forth, and praying I don’t fall over knocking the person next to me into the wall. I can feel the sweat rolling in places that it shouldn’t be. The instructor can see me struggling and comes over to guide me. She places her hand on my back to straighten it out to “Achieve full balance”. Lord have mercy! It was like knocking the supports out from under a home. I wanted to crash to the ground but I held steady; if steady would be an earthquake shaking the homes on a fault line. Out of the pose. Fantastic!
The next pose is Pawanmuktasana: Wind-Relieving pose. This is help with bloating and gas. My body was ready for this pose because I am “back” on solid ground. The music continued to play as we all played on our backs with our knees. My body was feeling the stretch through out and it was happy. Music is creating a lullaby state for all. Then it happened. Pfft! Oh my God! Was that me? I opened my eyes and glanced around. It wasn’t me. I was so relieved! (not literally) Then again another sound came rushing across the room. It sounded like a five year old squeezing a two day old balloon after his birthday party. Again, I glanced around. No one flinched. I felt like the odd man out. I wanted to giggle like a pre-pubescent boy in the locker room. This went on a couple of different times. One time the odor waft across the yoga mats. It smelt like a locker room after one too many football practices. A couple of us had to cough because the odor was stifling. Will it ever stop? A gentle voice moves us into another pose.
Up from the pose we went with guidance from the instructor. We skillfully (some more than me) contoured into Yoga poses. I was a peace with the lack of fight my body gave me. My fat on the other hand rebelled. I as a “fat” girl completed my first formal yoga class. My body felt refreshed and I felt like I was going to be a full pledged yogi after just one class. The lesson here: yoga is for everyone. Be aware that your body may do thing that you don’t want it to accomplish in a group of people. “I bend so I don’t break.” Namaste from the fat girl in Yoga class.