Yoga isn’t just for skinny bunnies. Yoga isn’t a style thing. Yoga is for every body.

Fab, aren’t they?  No, that’s not me – or Sharon.

It started with a pair of yoga leggings.  I was on Sugar Detox with the Body Retreat back in January and I noticed the fabulous Sharon Walker wearing this pair of slinky leggings with a cool buffalo skull motif on the hip.  I asked her where she got them from and she said, ‘Teeki. They’re made from recycled plastic bottles.’ Cool.  So, I went on their site, spent several hours dithering (cos, really, I loved nearly all their designs) and thought, the hell with it, and bought a pair in the sale.  Now then…I’m not as slim and svelte as I’d like but I’m not vast.  I’d say I’m probably a UK size ten on a good month, and a size 12 on a month when my good intentions fly out the window in a blur of chocolate.

Anyhow, I ordered a medium and they are, shall we say, snug to the point of organ constriction. Which is fine (the sizing, I mean, not the organ constriction) except…the largest size they do is a large…so, a UK 14 maybe.  Teeki swear they stretch but even so…  It got me thinking…is yoga only for skinny people these days?

Now, let’s be fair, it’s not just Teeki.  My gorgeous soft as a peach Manuka leggings are also a very snug medium (and large is as large as they go).  Sweaty Betty are far more liberal in their sizing – I’d say their medium would fit a goodly size 14/16 and they go up to XL – Go Betty!  But, truly, it’s rare. Where are the yoga pants for BIG girls?  Not to mention big boys.

It makes me wonder – is yoga sizeist?  It follows on from my rant in Natural Health magazine when I got all arsey about the way so much of yoga has become a case of style over substance. Disco yoga?  Purlease.  More and more it seems as though the original heart and soul of yoga is being warped into something ‘trendy’ – it’s a style statement…  So many people these days ‘do’ yoga, the way they ‘do’ turmeric smoothies and buy meditation cushions and move to Stoke Newington.  Am I being unfair?  I think I might be. Cos I truly believe that there’s no right way to anything really.  And if someone gets off on disco yoga then good for them!  Who knows, it might be their route to nirvana.

But, back to those leggings. Hmm, are they bothering me so much because I really do need to shed a few pounds?  *smile*   Of course, you could really get back to the original spirit of yoga and say ‘sod it’ to leggings altogether…just wear any old thing, a longhi even…or, then again, nothing at all.  But let’s save naked yoga for another time, okay?

And then I was wandering around Facebook (as you do) and I came across this guy. Let’s not mince words, he’s a big guy. He knows he has weight to shed (for his health) and he’s doing it slowly, surely, eating right (apart from the odd blip, but we all know about that) and doing yoga.  Yay!  Big guys doing yoga – bring it on!

I’m going to quote him verbatim because I think his message is spot-on. Check him out on Facebook here.
“My yoga teacher took this [pic] of me today. When I look at this my first reaction is of disgust. I didn’t see what my teacher saw. “Look at your top arm and leg. The openness at your chest and hips is beautiful!! How straight you are able to get, and how you are supporting yourself and balancing on one arm and leg.” Years of hating myself won’t go away over night, but with the help of supportive friends I’ll get there. Yoga is for EVERY BODY.”

It is. It should be.  And, actually, it wouldn’t even matter if he wasn’t straight and wasn’t balanced. He’s doing it, for yoga’s sake!

Now, back to those leggings.  I know it’s a teeny tiny thing in the scheme of things but, yoga clothing people, please take note.  I get a kick out of a new pair of yoga leggings – I know it’s silly but it gives me a bit of motivation, makes me think that maybe I will try out a new class or do some extra practice.  I’m sure the same goes for most people regardless of size.  So, have a heart, yoga clothing guys and up your sizing? A big fat Namaste to you all.