In the April 2014 interview with Glamour magazine, Lena Dunham–of Girls fame– said some great stuff. When editor Sheila Heti mentions that Lena has become ” a sort of icon for body acceptance”, Lena responds “My body is just a big neon sign broadcasting to the world that I have no willpower and I have no elegance.” And here’s the part I love “I think I radicalized my relationship to my own body in order to accept it. To make my body a prop in my work gave it a value”.
This resonates with me so profoundly. When I first started taking pictures of my plump, menopausal body for the first Big Yoga DVD, I was taking a similar stance. Yes, I got fat. Did that prevent me from doing yoga? NO! Did it prevent me from having a healthy relationship to my body? NO WAY! Because I just felt so damn good.
It’s because of my Yoga practice that I was able to become a model for others with similar body types. Let’s hear it for Kaphas! At the time–back in the ancient days of the early 2000’s, there wasn’t much available online, in yoga classes, or in bookstores, for bigger bodies. I’m delighted to see that things have changed.
If you still haven’t found the courage to get on the mat, let me remind you of the empowering aspect of yoga. When you begin to get comfortable in the Hatha poses, you’ll find your body responds by activating the happy hormones! That’s not very scientific, but it’s true. When you’re constantly worrying about your weight, your size, your looks, you set off the stress hormones that make you feel like crap. So at the very least, yoga will make you happier. It lightens you up physically, and emotionally. Spiritually too, if you go in for that sort of thing. It increases your flexibility and removes gunk out of your cells. It makes your skin glow, gives you more energy, builds strength in the muscles and it tunes you into your own sweet inner Self. Then a beautiful thing happens. You really start to love yourself! Every time you come out of a deep relaxation at the end of yoga class, you feel so terrific, you are empowered to go out into your day at the top of your game.
So kudos to this new generation of big yoginis–Anna Guest Jelley, Tina Veer,Amber Karnes, Annie Carlin, Dianne Bondy, Megan Garcia, Cami Cote, Kristi Rae and others. I’ve been watching you guys on Instagram and am blown away by your strength and boldness. I’m so inspired, I’m going to start a #28daysofSunSalutations, beginning Sunday, February 1. Look for me on YouTube or Instagram–Meerabigyoga-and join me. There’s safety in numbers!