When I first stepped into a yoga class I was incredibly scared of my body and the idea of embodiment. My body felt incredibly vulnerable and foreign to me. During that time of my life, I thought that if I was in control of my body than I would be loved, I would fit in and I would be successful. But in reality the more I tried to be in control the more I sat in dukkha or suffering.
It was yoga that helped me realize my constant striving to overcome my body. That by continually grasping for control, the more I lost sight of my true soul self and my relationship to my body. Yoga is what helped me soften not just physically but also mentally. Through embodiment, asana, breath, sangha and inner-reflection, I was able to heal my relationship to my body and mind.
My own experience on the mat and to my body has inspired me as a teacher and counselor. My calling in life is to advocate for all bodies and to educate movement specialists, medical professionals and the masses about weight stigma, Health at Every Size©, body acceptance, body image, eating disorders and social implications of dieting culture.
In 2013, I created Yoga for Bigger Bodies with a mission ofproviding a safe space for any body at any size to explore embodiment and movement. Yoga for Bigger Bodies is designed to bring yoga to those who feel that the traditional class setting is not providing the support and encouragement that is needed to feel successful in Yoga. It has been an incredible journey to create a loving and supportive community of people feeling connected and accepting of their bodies and of themselves.
In addition to my Yoga for Bigger Bodies class, I teach yoga classes at the Eating Disorder Center of Portland where I am also the lead therapist. Through my experience as a somatic therapist specializing in eating disorders, I have created a gentle yoga class that is mindful, safe and honoring of triggers and/or fears that the client’s might bring onto the mat.
Many teachers have asked me to create a workshop highlighting the core values and language I use in these specialized classes that I have built. I have constructed a 15-hour immersion for yoga/movement practitioners and therapists, which will explore not only how to work with bodies of all sizes, but also dive deep into our own relationship to weight, fat, food, thin privilege, hunger/fullness, and much more.
Broken down into 3 sessions, we will focus on Yoga for Eating Disorders, Yoga for Bigger Bodies, and Yoga for Body Image.
- Eating Disorders and how yoga can be a healing force in people’s relationship with food, hunger/fullness, emotions, and embodiment.
- Larger bodied clients and how to create language and safety within a classroom. We will look at Yoga for Bigger Bodies and how a class is organized and executed.
- Body Positivity, Acceptance and Neutrality, Health at Every Size© and Mindful Eating.
Each module will cover anatomy, props, modifications, and unique sequences that will be helpful in supporting all bodies.
Most importantly you will challenge your own ideals and thoughts around bodies so that you are more aware and understanding around what you and your clients bring into a room.
I hope that you can join me in creating and building social justice around body awareness and acceptance. Learn more about the upcoming November training now!