So I’ve been hearing about this “Yoga Girl” expressing her deepest concerns for a “heavy set black woman”, participating in a yoga class. I chuckled a little and also became perturbed that this “Yoga Girl” took it upon herself to feel concerned that this heavy set black woman shouldn’t be taking yoga. Now from what I have experienced and been taught was to embrace your curves, especially in the African American culture, and for someone to openly express their distaste that this woman is maybe wanting to improve her flexibility or try something new! This also brings to my concern of how heavier set women in general are looked down upon for taking yoga or working out in general. I have taken several yoga classes, and the LAST thing on my mind is worrying about someone else’s body. I take it to improve my posture, clear my mind and just be at peace! I understand that these were “Yoga Girl’s” thoughts but if nothing is said about this, then we continue to let certain beauty standards rule society, and that’s what beauty shouldn’t be about.
Here’s a piece from “Yoga Girl”:
“A few weeks ago, as I settled into an exceptionally crowded midday class, a young, fairly heavy black woman put her mat down directly behind mine. It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio…
“Because I was directly in front of her, I had no choice but to look straight at her every time my head was upside down (roughly once a minute)… At that moment, though, I found it impossible to stop thinking about this woman. Even when I wasn’t positioned to stare directly at her, I knew she was still staring directly at me.
“Over the course of the next hour, I watched as her despair turned into resentment and then contempt. I felt it all directed toward me and my body. I was completely unable to focus on my practice, instead feeling hyper-aware of my high-waisted bike shorts, my tastefully tacky sports bra, my well-versedness in these poses that I have been in hundreds of times. My skinny white girl body. Surely this woman was noticing all of these things and judging me for them, stereotyping me, resenting me—or so I imagined.”