What does a real yogi/yogini look like?
Who can practice yoga?
What does accessibility mean for us at Kamloops Hot Yoga?
Why do we/you practice yoga?
These are some big questions! But they are questions that are important to consider. A while ago Heather (a teacher at KHY) and I began a conversation about accessibility and offering a yoga class at Kamloops Hot Yoga that would welcome people who have larger bodies. When we look around the landscape of yoga as it’s evolved in the west it’s been an extension of the cult of body and celebrity worship in some ways, although the ‘worship’ is extended only to some bodies. You know the ‘type’, they are in the photos below. This is not to say that these are not perfectly good bodies! However there are some bodies missing. You’ll notice these photos show a certain shape, skin colour, physical ability, gender and age. When I am looking at the folks who come to our studio and I look in my own mirror, I don’t always see them or me represented in the popular media when it comes to yoga. In our studio, aka as real life, I see pregnant women, children, teens, men, women, various skin colours, various body sizes, differences in strength & flexibility, various ages up into the 70’s and 80’s, all practicing yoga . However, Heather and I still thought we could do better at accessibility by offering a specific class that we’ve called Abundant Bodies, to create an inviting space in our studios that would welcome anyone in an Abundant Body (as they may define it). Being a beginner at anything has so many inherent challenges, but when you pile on the beliefs about what a yoga body looks like and who can practice yoga – there can be even more perceived barriers to entry into that club of yogis and yoginis. I’m happy to report that we put out the call of every body is a good body, and many good bodies have begun their yoga practice for the first time!
Coming back to my questions, what does a real yogi or yogini look like? Look in the mirror, perhaps you haven’t started your formal yoga practice yet, but you have all the right equipment to be a real yogi/yogini. Are you breathing? Do you have a body? Good to go. Who can practice yoga? Look in the mirror again, you can, or maybe already are practicing yoga, so yes you can practice yoga. What does accessibility mean at Kamloops Hot Yoga? A studio that welcomes all bodies and abilities. A studio that offers karma classes & trade programs if money is tight, a studio with two locations, class times from 6am to 9pm, 7 days per week, a variety of classes to experience, special pricing for student memberships, free weekly yoga classes in McDonald Park in the summer months. Teachers that recognize all bodies are different bodies and teach accordingly. Ok, here is the final big question, why do we/you practice yoga? A bit of a trick question here. It doesn’t matter why you practice yoga, that’s your business: increase or maintain strength/flexibility, healthy body, calm mind, you love yoga philosophy … any reason you practice yoga is a good reason. At KHY we love what we do, we breathe, eat and sleep yoga. There is an invitation to anyone who is interested, to come practice with us, without judgement.
A portion of the Abundant Bodies - Sunday Session showing us their strong warriors!
February sessions are open for registration. See below!