Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

Is It Okay To Exclude Skinny People From “Fat” Yoga?

The New York Times recently published,  “They’re Not Afraid to Say It: ‘Fat Yoga’. The article speaks about the new trend of studios and classes geared towards, using their word, “fat” people.  The studios seek to present a place where self labeled “fat” people feel welcome, loved,  and comfortable. This is awesome. Everyone should have a studio where they feel accepted.  However when you go so far as to exclude people you feel are too thin for the class, is this yoga?  This line came straight from the article.

At his studio, he once refused three tiny women who wanted to take a class.

Lets replace the words “tiny women” and let me know how you feel about the sentence now.

He once refused three black women who wanted to take a class

He once refused three gay people who wanted to take a class.

He once refused three fat people who wanted to take a class.

If the sentence read either of these three ways, there would be an uproar. This studio/teacher would be shamed and ostracized and possibly sued right out of business.

However, because it is skinny people that got refused, it is okay. This article and the teacher is now positive?

I could write a Yoga Sutra based article and explain why this is not yoga…if you really need me to…but really …just read the three sentences above.



Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@ashtangayogaproject.com.

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