Sharing body positive yoga resources this National Yoga Month to help yoga feel a little more accessible to all.
Did you know that September is National Yoga Month?
As a certified yoga instructor, I am a huge believer in the power of yoga to assist in healing. Whether it’s chronic back pain, history of trauma, recovery from an addiction, eating disorder, anxiety, depression, etc., practicing yoga consistently works wonders.
I first tried yoga over 15 years ago, in high school. A friend and I started taking a weekly class at the Himalayan Institute in Buffalo, NY. Then I found yoga again in college when I moved to Boston. At the end of my first semester Freshman year, I started suffering from panic attacks. My anxiety spun out of control and it became pretty isolating and debilitating to say the least. That’s when I sought out yoga once again. The practice helped me to manage my anxiety and panic attacks and I don’t know how I would’ve bounced back without yoga.
Today, yoga is a pretty regular part of my weekly routine. My relationship with yoga has changed a lot over the last few years due to injuries. I used to practice to get stronger and try to work towards inversions and arm balances. Today I practice for my soul. I gravitate towards more restorative and slower flow classes that re more focused on connecting mind, body and breath.
Because of the impact that yoga has had on me and being that it is such a big part of my life and who I am, I was inspired to become a yoga instructor, so that I could help others realize the power of the practice.
The problem with yoga is that there’s not a ton of diversity within the community. Most of the teachers we see (like myself) hold a lot of privilege in that they are white, cis-gender, thin women. This alienates marginalized people from benefiting from this healing practice. People see yoga teachers and think this practice can’t be for me because I don’t see anyone practicing/teaching that looks like me. We need more diversity within the yoga community. And we need more resources for people in larger body sizes to practice yoga.
Yoga can be beneficial for physical, mental and emotional struggles, and it can also be a tremendous tool for healing body image and your relationship to your body. It’s always tricky navigating the group fitness scene when it comes to body image – even yoga classes can be tough sometimes if you end up faced with instructors who make body shaming comments or even just focus too much on the physical aspects of the practice. If you’re looking to ease into the yoga space, check out these body positive yoga resources:
- This YouTube channel, appropriately titled Body Positive Yoga, has a ton of videos led by an instructor in a larger body. Anyone can practice yoga no matter their size, but you don’t often see size diversity in yoga instructors. This channel can be a huge help for those in search of an instructor who truly understands movement in a larger body
- This article links a bunch of body positive yogis on the gram who you can follow including the following and more
Remember that yoga doesn’t refer to just the physical practice, in fact the asana practice is just one of eight limbs of yoga. There’s also deep breathing and meditation, which we can all access at anytime. When we think of yoga in its more holistic definition, we realize that yoga is accessible to all.
I hope you’ll take some time during this year’s National Yoga Month to check out these body positive yoga resources and see how it helps you connect to your here-and-now body, and spirit.
Tell me, what resources would you add to this list? Would love to expand this based on your feedback!
This post was originally published September 2014 and has been updated to give you the most valuable content!
Such a well written blog on yoga , I am a yoga student and this is beneficial for me thank You
Happy to hear that!
Hi, I’m Jordan, your blog is very important to everyone. You have easily defined how important yoga is to us. Anyone who wants to learn yoga can get information about yoga through your blog.
Happy to hear that, Jordan!
Really nice blog, Thanks for sharing this post with us.
Thanks for giving my blog a read! 🙂
Thanks for sharing such an informative post with us.
You’re very welcome 🙂
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Thank you for sharing such a nice and informative blog with us.
Thanks For sharing this article, lovely content.
This the Great blog for the yoga lovers and i like it. Thanku so much for posting this amazing blog to inform us more about yoga.
I love yoga.
Thanks for stopping by!
Beautiful words. Thanks for sharing this amazing well written article with us.
So Great and Informative Blog to read. Keep it up with these types of posts.
Thank you very much!
Its really very helpful post for me.Thanks for sharing your great experience.
Glad to hear it!
Great article yes, yoga can heal and you can do yoga even if you don’t have any problems. The bottom line here is that i think yoga makes you a better person.
I agree with you 100%!
This is amazing. Thanks for sharing such a great content! Loved your work.
Thank you for sharing such a nice and informative blog with us. I am very happy to see that people love yoga and sharing their yoga blog with us. Thanks and please keep sharing!
This is amazing. Thanks for sharing such a great content! Loved your work.
Very informative content.
This is a very informative blog. So tnx for this blog it is such a lovely resource
Thanks for sharing lovely information.
This is exciting Kara, congratulations! I love the non-judgement and encouragement of all body types. 🙂
Thanks, Catherine 🙂
I’ve had to re-evaluate my relationship with yoga, too. I’ve stepped back from it the last few years after getting burnt out from teaching and not loving some of the “yoga pressure” to “practice every day”. This gets me excited about it again. I love the non-judgment here :). Thanks Kara! Maybe I’ll dust off that mat!
I totally get that, Stacey! Thanks for sharing your similar experience <3. It's always an evolving journey right, both on and off the mat!
This is such a great resource!
This is great, so helpful for so many I’m sure…
So many awesome resources!! Thanks for sharing!
Great resources! Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees) did her YTT at a studio near me and a few of my friends were in her training class. She’s an amazing inspiration and yogi!
Oh how cool!
These are some really wonderful resources you have provided! Congratulations on becoming an instructor. i love yoga and it’s many benefits. I wish you nothing but the best in teaching 🙂
Thanks, Whitney! xo
This is such a great body positive message and yoga is so beneficial in so many ways!
Amen! Thanks, Amy.
Congrats and thank you for this important message! Every BODY can be active 🙂
YES! Thanks, Katey.
Do you have any yogi podcast recommendations?
Hey Megan – great question! I don’t know of any off the top of my head but just polled my audience to see if they have any – stay tuned!
I really appreciate and applaud the emphasis on positive body yoga as someone who is 57 and curvy. I’ve found myself going to the yoga-blend or yoga-flow types of classes and luckily in those the instructors tend to be very inclusive. As I age, I’m finding that yoga (or similar) only becomes more important.
Thank you for sharing that, Elaine. Totally agree that yoga is so beneficial to all body types – all ages, shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, etc. <3
Congrats on your certification!! I am a yoga junkie as well. I just started practicing headstands and it’s tough but so awesome at the same time. I’m curious, what type of homeopathy did you do for your anxiety attacks? What did the naturopath help you with?
Thanks, Emily! I’m still working on headstands too :).
I worked with a homeopath named Joette – http://joettecalabrese.com/ – I would definitely recommend her if you’re interested in getting a consultation. I tried a few different remedies and this is going back oh nine years ago so unfortunately I don’t remember the names of the specific remedies off the top of my head.
The naturopath was also helping with my anxiety too and focused on diet (gave up wheat & dairy for a while), supplements, and lifestyle recommendations.
Hope this helps! Email me if you want to chat offline more!
I love your blog it is simply beautiful and I love your recipes.
Yoga is SO healing! Getting out of the mind and into the body has changed things tremendously for me. I totally support a 3 pm yoga break for everyone 🙂
Thanks, Lauren! I love following your yoga practice & journey on Insta. Haha & I’m totally making this happen 🙂
Congrats on being a certified yoga instructor! I was in the same position, I turned to yoga about 2 years ago because of severe anxiety and panic attacks I didn’t know I was having. I am no pro, but I do yoga everyday even if it’s just a few poses to relax/stretch. Love yoga’s healing properties AND gets you strong at the same time 🙂
Thanks, Alanna! And thank you for sharing your personal experience with yoga. I’m so glad that you found it helped you through some rough times as well. I also find that daily yoga (even if it’s only for 5 minutes or a few poses) has such a profound effect on my mental status. I only started practicing daily since I obtained my certification and it’s made such a difference!