What comes to your mind when you think of someone addicted to yoga (or if it’s safe to say ‘yogi’)? Someone who stands in a tree pose (Vrikshasana) or in a headstand (Sirsasana) for hours at length and doesn’t feast on non-vegetarian. They have a typical yoga body slender, lean frame, someone who looks fit and flex to do all the complex bends and twists that yoga is about. Well, this International Yoga Day, it is important that we wash out these yoga stereotypes
First and foremost, anyone can dedicate their life to yoga. They don’t necessarily have to be vegetarians, teetotalers or lean! Yoga is for everyone, as long as you feel the energy flowing within you. Yoga is a healer and it brings far bigger and greater benefits to you, more than a thin, lean body. It makes you a better person first before anything:
Its important to ask how do I feel than how do I look,” is one of her famous quotes. The 28-year-old has been practicing yoga since the age of 16 and now is a yoga teacher in North Carolina. She wants more people with her shape to embrace yoga and improve confidence in their body. She insists, “People have to remember that their body can do anything, but that’s not the whole point of yoga. Yoga helps you know who you actually are.
Dana always believed that her unhappiness was because of her plus size. But even when she managed to lose some weight, she still felt miserable. “I turned to yoga when I was on the verge of giving up.” The 22-year-old admits that she was apprehensive about choosing yoga because of the stereotypes attached to it but she kept practicing and then things started to change. The biggest lesson that yoga has taught her is ‘when you practice yoga, you will prove yourself wrong time and time again until you have no choice but to realise that there is no limit to you.’ That’s when she started turning to yoga instead of emotional eating. Today she teaches yoga.
“Yoga is living life fully and skillfully. Yoga is freedom, acceptance, inclusion and love.” Dianne sees yoga as a gift, which has helped her deepen her connections to others. She advocates that yoga helps deal with stress, brings compassion and patience in your life and leads to greater self awareness. It has healed her back, shoulders and soul. She asks everyone not to be afraid of yoga. “It’s important to give in and balance will follow.
Her yoga page is called Curya yoga. When she started, she was the biggest person in the class and she felt she was the only person who wanted to practice yoga in a bigger body. “I’ve personally struggled with the sickening pain of low self-esteem, warped body image and dizzying migraines. I’ve been on 65 diets. I’ve starved, binged, broken down and wept. I’ve been told I was too fat to do yoga. I’ve hunted for community and found echoes and misunderstanding.” But today with yoga by her side, she feels her very best and wants to be healthy. She and her team offers workshops to curvy women. “Yoga can be a tool to help you accept your body and feel the love.”