Am I fat enough?
So, over the last week I have had a couple of people raise with me the fact that "Fat Yoga" is just for people of size. I know it can be confusing as when you look around our classes there is a wide variety of body sizes so I thought I would clarify this for everyone!
I believe most people can access the yoga I teach and I welcome smaller bodied "allies" as really important people in the Fat Positive movement, however the Fat Yoga classes and events are not for you.
If you attend my classes in person I leave it up to you to identify as a fat person, I would never do that for you. But those spaces are only for fat people. This is not a matter of exclusion, because smaller bodies literally have hundreds of places where they are welcomed to practice yoga. Fat bodies, having different needs, do not have this privilege.
Those in bigger bodies are often made to feel uncomfortable, visible or incompetent in traditional yoga studios or gyms and these classes provide an alternative. In addition I have spent many years working to understand my own and my students' bodies in yoga, and the needs of the fat student are different. Our teachers are able to integrate modifications (often 2–3 at at time) so that all the bodies in our classes can practice with ease.
There are very few places where bigger people can exercise with comfort in a class and with a teacher who understands their body and can cater to their needs, so I continue to provide that for larger people only.
So then what if you are not sure if you are "fat"? I don't feel it's the right thing to do to add a number or size here, as everyone is so different. I am always here if you want to talk to me about this issue! I know it can be a tough one, and particularly for me, as I am more comfortable including people rather than excluding them!
A note about Fat Yoga teachers! You will notice we are of all sizes! Fat and thin. There are only a handful of fat bodied yoga teachers in Australia and I can't convince them all to move here so I have sourced and trained educated, compassionate, body positive and skilled teachers regardless of size.
Please reach out to me if you would like to chat about any of these issues! Sarah