Thanks for joining me on my yoga journey!
As you’ve probably gathered, my name is Erin and I do yoga. Basically the story goes:
In February 2011 I decided, despite not having (what I thought was) a typical yoga body, I wanted to give it a go. I ordered a mat and a DVD and excitedly set myself up to achieve inner peace. Twenty minutes in, I was a shaking wreck and the instructor on the DVD was trying to get me to do a headstand up the wall. I packed everything up and decided that yoga was not for me.
I have a history of quitting things that I’m not brilliant at right away – especially things that make me aware of how my body is different to others, and force me to confront its limitations. But, as time went on, and as I became more prepared to accept my body as it is right now in this moment, I wondered whether it was something I should try again. I saw more and more people benefiting from yoga, and through my involvement in Aquaporko discovered that there were yoga instructors out there teaching specifically for fat (large, curvy, plus size) – however you want to describe it – women. In about August 2013 I ordered Megan Garcia’s Mega Yoga DVD and when it arrived tentatively put it on and was happy when I got to the end of a session and had managed to do most of the poses.
I still was hesitant though – I hated the fact that I had to do modified poses, as though somehow this made me a failure as a person. Over time though, I’ve been guided to a deeper understanding of the purpose of yoga. The penny really dropped for me when it struck me – I would never expect myself to be able to run five kilometres without training for it – why should yoga be any different?
In January 2014 I discovered Anna Guest-Jelley’s Curvy Yoga website. I was super excited that there was someone out there in the world offering online support to curvy women who wanted to start an at home yoga practice. I was just about to sign up to her Curvy Monthly program when I was struck by the mother of all sinus infections. I suffered with terrible pain for a few months, and so yoga was put on the back burner until I could comfortably move my head forward.
Then other excuses set in. ‘I’m tired, I don’t have time for yoga every day’. ‘I’m so stressed, I don’t want to add another ‘have to’ to my life’. ‘Maybe I’ll just wait and see if I can find a class that works for me’.
Eventually, I got tired of excuses. In June 2014 I tried Anna’s free ‘Holiday Yoga on the Go‘ video, fell in love with her gentleness and sense of humour, and signed up to Curvy Monthly on the spot. It’s still early days, but I definitely feel as though this is a moment I’ll never look back from – even if there are weeks or months where getting on the mat is difficult, I know now that yoga is an important part of my life.
I normally blog over at erinaree.com, but because I have a tendency to post a LOT when I get excited about a particular thing and I’m not sure that everyone is going to be particularly interested in the ins and outs of my feels on yoga, I’ve decided to separate this one out. This blog is designed to be a kind of ‘yoga journal’, because I’ve found myself reflecting after every practice (and in between practices) and want to share it with people!
By sharing this publicly, I’m hoping that people in a similar position to me are inspired to try yoga for themselves, and that those who aren’t can gain insight into the particular challenges faced by larger yogis.
This blog is a diet-talk free zone. Whilst I will talk about food and exercise and changes I’m noticing in my body, my commitment to yoga is not about changing my body – I’m not looking for tips on how to lose weight, and this is not a place for followers to do so either. If you want to talk about weight loss or dieting, please feel free to utilise the hundreds of thousands of other places on the internet where this is encouraged.
Again, thank you for joining me – I hope you enjoy the ride.