Yoga is for every body

Kathie Dunbar, executive director of the South Lansing Community Development Association, wrote this article in her newsletter Tuesday, March 6. It is reprinted here with her permission. Many thanks to her for her lovely sentiment and sharing yoga with south Lansing. And if you don’t know who Kathie is, read this recent FEATURE article about her in  Greater Lansing Woman magazine.

“Young. Thin. Flexible.”

These are not words I’d use to describe myself. They are words I’d use to describe 99% of the images used to promote yoga classes.

“Not in this lifetime.”

Those are the words I hear when I see a yoga ad featuring a women balancing on one leg pulling her other foot to the back of her head.

“Aw, hell no!”

That’s what I hear when I see another ad featuring a woman balancing on her head doing mid-air splits? Did I mention no hands?? No HANDS!

The ancient practice of yoga is based on philosophies that stress self-acceptance. We’re taught to work at our own pace, that perfection is not the goal, but that can be hard to swallow when you’re in a studio with perfect young bodies that twist and bend like taffy.

I know. I’ve been there.

And I wanted to yell at the instructor, “Hey, I signed up for yoga, not gymnastics.”

Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who can wrap their arms around their knees while balancing on their hands. I just don’t want to see them while I’m working up a sweat trying to balance on one foot. Thin people take many yoga poses for granted, like standing with your feet together in mountain pose or kneeling with your forehead on the mat in child’s pose. Unfortunately, these simple poses can be difficult for anyone with stiff joints or extra weight.

Lucky for me, Just B Yoga offers classes that cater to people over 40 and those who are, as my mother would say, big boned.

Yoga 40+ and Yoga 2XL are designed for older adults, larger bodies, and those with arthritis or joint pain.

Instructors teach students how to work with their bodies, not against them. Poses are adapted to accommodate a wide range of abilities. Even those challenged with extra weight or stiffness will gain strength, flexibility and confidence to become more active.

   “Not in this lifetime”         “That, I can do!”

Our hope at Just B Yoga is to make the practice of yoga accessible and affordable to the entire community. It’s not just for the super fit and it’s not just for those with money. Om shanti to Kathie, her entire family and the SLCDA.


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