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24 August 2009 @ 10:36 am
New to Yoga  
Hey Everyone,

I just recently tried Megan Garcia's Just My Size Yoga. I admit I wasn't really a fan. I didn't feel like she explained how to do the positions very well. Though I did find three I could do, most of them were too difficult for me. I can't support myself on my hands/wrists (I think that was called Cats & Dogs? Or Downward facing Dog? Or something like that. Forgive me, I'm brand spanking new and haven't learned everything yet.), I think that is the biggest problem. I was able to do Mountain and Warrior I and II, which seem like excellent things to begin with. However, I worry I'm going to do it wrong and hurt myself. Does anyone have any advice?

Also, I found Megan's voice to be kind of irritating, and she moves entirely too quick for me to feel relaxed. I don't know, I just feel rather disappointed all together. It seems like that's the only DVD for fat girls like me to try yoga too.

Since that seems to be the case, does anyone have any suggestions on other poses I could try? I'm 375lbs, and I don't have a lot of flexibility or strength yet. So I'm looking for things that will help me build that. I'm also in the Portland, OR area (Downtown), so if anyone knows of a great Yoga class that works for someone my size I would really love to hear about it. I'm looking more for personality recommendations of places people either go, or have gone, instead of "You might want to try and see if they have" type things.

Thanks to everyone!
Current Mood: crankycranky
Stevy: Mazeankaret on August 24th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
I'm a big Megan fan, but you're right, she doesn't give a lot of cues for beginners. :( I hope you manage to find a local class - it was how I started out, and I probably wouldn't have persevered if I just had a DVD full of bendy people half my size to stare at.
arcane_scholar on August 25th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
May I ask what it is about Megan you like?
Plant of the Weekericaceous on August 24th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
I have an on-again, off-again relationship with yoga, partly because of irritating "real-life" experiences and lack of open space in my current house for an at-home practice.

When I was in my last phase of doing yoga regularly, I found that doing a lot of reading helped me understand and make my own adjustments a lot better. I particularly found looking at Yoga journal's yoga anatomy column to be helpful. I also liked the "yoga for seniors" books I found at the library (I was in my 20's at the time), which seemed more aware of limitations and showed me how to use props, which was really helpful. The library is also where I read the yoga journal magazines too. You never know what you might find there.

You might find the Yoga for Round Bodies series more helpful than Megan Garcia's tape. I think the two instructors in those tapes are trained in a style (Kripalu) that is more "theraputic". I thought that the teachers used to have a website with some video but I couldn't find it and now I am wondering if I made that up.

Good luck!
arcane_scholar on August 25th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestions. I'll definitely check out the Yoga journal and Youga for Round Bodies. Hopefully it will be helpful.
i prefer trees: handinyogadaisygrl on August 24th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Hi, I find Her voice irritating too. It reminds me of a stepford wife.
But, I like the video. There are some other video reviews on the blog. I really like Peggy Cappys series Yoga for the rest of us. It is a longer workout, so you can do parts or all of it. I also like Simply Spoga, although some of the talking is annoying. You can probably get these on Netflix.

I have been to a good class in SE on Division at Yoga Shala. It is Saturday at noon and it is beginning yoga. The instructor is really open to all sizes and totally great. I can't remember her name right now, but I totally recommend it.

Have you joined pdxchubs? http://community.livejournal.com/pdxchubs/
People post there when we find good local classes. :-)
arcane_scholar on August 25th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
I did read the memories before popping in. :) I got Megan's video on Netflix too. Boy do I love that service!

Thanks for the lead in SE, I'll have to check it out. I am on pdxchubs too. :)
i prefer treesdaisygrl on August 24th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, I put the dvd reviews in memories. :-)
Living ~400lbsliving400lbs on August 25th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
Re: cat/dog (on all fours, the cat arches its back, then the dog looks up and bows the back) I find it's easier if I make my hands into fists and then keep then rest on my knuckles. But wrists are my main issue, so if that doesn't work then no worries.

Re: strength exercises, I posted some that don't require equipment here.
arcane_scholar on August 25th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I tried to do the fist thing. However, I have really weird hands and it just wasn't possible. :/ I felt like they were going to be smushed flat by doing it that way, and then my wrists hurt the other day. Sometimes bodies are a PITA.

Thanks for the link! Actually, I think I've read your blog a time or two. Haha, small world.
SarahMichigansarahmichigan on August 25th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
I posted some modifications that I make to the "Just My Size" DVD when I use it, and there are more in the comments to this older post:

SarahMichigansarahmichigan on August 25th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, you might also be interested in a couple articles about modifying poses for bigger bodies:

arcane_scholar on August 25th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I read that post before popping in. It was somewhat useful, so thank you.
Yeledovyeledov on August 25th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
I'm not big on DVDs for yoga in general so I didn't like that one either.

In Portland I had a wonderful experience at The Movement Center (www.mcyoga.com)at the Beginner Immersion series. I'd been trying to get yoga to 'click' for years but couldn't find a teacher who knew how to work with my size. They keep the immersion classes very small so the teacher can spend time with you to find what really works for your body. After the immersion series I felt I could do a meaningful home practice with the use of books and maybe a DVD for ideas.

I also took Healing Yoga at The Movement Center and found the modifications to be useful for a shoulder and wrist injury that made any pose with a lot of weight on my upper body difficult.

Good Luck!
(Anonymous) on January 27th, 2010 05:10 am (UTC)
Portland Yoga for round Larger Women
I just found your post while surfing about. I am bouncing in my seat because I too am in portland and I DO know a wonderful class welcoming to our size women. The Yoga Project in Sellwood is running three classes a week for Larger Women and wonderful funny teacher Vilma is starting some other projects for us. I am 52, well over 400 lbs (that is so hard for me to type!) and I've been going for over a year. I'm on a month hiatus right now for a groin pull, but starting back up again.
It's up a gentle flight of stairs and don't flip when you meet Vilma with her 90 pound little body and thick Lithuanian accent. She's a wonderful and supportive and non-judgmental teacher. And no other teacher does the guidance so smoothly as she. --Robin
briand895 on June 4th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)
Build Your Credit
My wife did some video uploads on YouTube. You can check it for some other poses you want to do. Wish you luck.
(Anonymous) on January 13th, 2011 05:12 am (UTC)
Buddha Body Yoga NYC
I know this post is quite old but I just found it and hope that the info will help someone. The place to go for big people in NYC is Buddha Body Yoga with Michael Hayes. I'm seriously plus size and he makes great accommodations for all of us (the class is only for big bodies and currently all women). I am so much stronger and flexible than I was a year ago. This has been an incredible experience for me, and I look forward to my class each week!
econafteconaft on January 23rd, 2012 05:52 am (UTC)