There’s always talk of inclusion and being thought of when you’re a curvy woman, but is there a such thing as being too inclusive? So much so that it causes division and encourages more stereotypes in society? We didn’t think it was possible until now. Of course, we want more inclusive clothing lines, and stores to cater to us but do we need special classes and special privileges to get by in life? I didn’t think so. Heaven forbid that someone would have to endure a yoga class next to a curvier woman and watch her stretch and move her body like everyone else.
Yoga Enlarged, started by Joyce Eubanks targets full-figured women, and offers modifications for curvy participants that can make the class more enjoyable. Modifications are understandable, but who thought it was a good idea to completely separate curvy women from regular yoga classes all together? Clearly didn’t think this one through. The modifications include allowing students to perform a downward dog with their hands against the wall instead of on the floor, using a chair support when necessary and providing oversize bolster pillows to help boost posture. All of these are practical adjustments and make sense, but if regular yoga classes have an instructor watching the students why is it too much to ask for them to make exceptions for students in their class?
The article in Dispatch quotes Eubanks as saying, “I just want them to feel some love, and I want them to try to relearn some of those messages that you can’t do things. You don’t have an excuse anymore.” And since her classes are geared towards curvy women, it’s definitely an encouraging environment where women won’t be judged for their size.
But there is also the thought that why should their even be a curvy girl yoga studio? Is the studio bigger and nicer making more space for full-figured women to stretch out or is it just a sneaky way to make other people comfortable and not have to accept the fact that curvy women can do yoga too? I’m sure Eubanks has positive intentions, but it’s so much more hurtful to the community of curvy women than helpful to put them in a separate class because they don’t seem to fit into regular classes. Assuming that curvy women don’t feel comfortable enough in their body to exercise in front of other people is a huge mistake. While there are certain activities in life that should be more inclusive, this one may need some more thinking through.