A Plus Side To Plus-Size Classes?
Part of what I love about great group fitness classes — the really good ones where everyone puts out positive energy, you get a good sweat going and you’re proud of yourself when you’re done — is their inclusive nature. It doesn’t matter if you’re new. It doesn’t matter if you’re klutzy. It doesn’t matter if you’re skinny, round, ugly or broke. Everyone supports each other and we all end up happier in the end.
So I’m not sure what to think about the practice described in this New York Times story. There’s a growing niche of yoga studios that cater to heavy people — which is awesome — but some of them won’t allow anyone BUT overweight people into the classes. Their argument is that people of a certain size feel more comfortable when everyone around them looks like them, and that the instructors are better equipped to teach the modifications that these plus-size yogis need.
As someone who has definitely been the biggest girl in the room during yoga classes, I understand the embarrassment that comes from huffing and puffing your way through a pose while the wet noodle on the mat next to you effortlessly ties herself into a pretzel. But I think part of the whole deal is getting over yourself by focusing on the movement and the good stuff you’re doing for your body instead of what size shorts the person next to you is wearing. By choosing to make classes for plus-size students only, doesn’t that hinder arrival of the “it just doesn’t matter” moment?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, faithful Haulers…