How to find a body-affirming yoga class, from the book, Curvy Yoga.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is how to find a curvy-friendly yoga class. I have a couple of answers for this: The first is to check out the list of Curvy Yoga-certified teachers on my website curvyyoga.com, and we also have a virtual studio if that’s more your style. There may just be someone in your area!
And the second is how to find a teacher you like. Because when you’re ready to try a yoga class, whether for the first time or the hundredth, it may be a little scary sometimes. What will it be like? How will you know what to do? Will you feel like part of the group? Will you be able to keep up?
The good news is that you don’t have to go in with no information.
I encourage you to compile a list of at least two or three potential teachers whose classes you’d like to try. Once you have their names and contact info, consider connecting with them before class. I love hearing from new students before they come to a class; it is a great way to get to know them better and assuage any potential fears they may have. Here are a few you might consider (feel free to use or adapt):
What props are available in your class, and when/how do you incorporate them? If a teacher uses props in her class, it gives me a clue that she is at least somewhat knowledgeable about adapting poses to her students’ needs.
Do you offer pose modifications during class? This gives the teacher a clue that you will want/need various pose options, and it will also give you a chance to hear more about the teacher’s thoughts on that.
What is your experience teaching curvy-bodied students? It’s useful to hear that a teacher has taught curvy-bodied students in the past. If he says he doesn’t have much experience but he does have experience modifying poses for people with a number of injuries, abilities, ages, and the like, that is also a good sign that he can help you come up with creative solutions. Although experience with curvy bodies is obviously helpful, I think the most important thing is for the teacher to have a spirit of willingness to help you find what works for you in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.
Condensed and excerpted from Curvy Yoga by entrepreneur and body positive yoga instructor Anna Guest-Jelley.