For those of you who are curious, here it is:
This is what should be done By one who is skilled in goodness, And who knows the path of peace: Let them be able and upright, Straightforward and gentle in speech, Humble and not conceited, Contented and easily satisfied, Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways. Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful, Not proud or demanding in nature. Let them not do the slightest thing That the wise would later reprove. Wishing: In gladness and in safety, May all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be; Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, The seen and the unseen, Those living near and far away, Those born and to-be-born — May all beings be at ease! Let none deceive another, Or despise any being in any state. Let none through anger or ill-will Wish harm upon another. Even as a mother protects with her life Her child, her only child, So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings; Radiating kindness over the entire world: Spreading upwards to the skies, And downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded, Freed from hatred and ill-will. Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down Free from drowsiness, One should sustain this recollection. This is said to be the sublime abiding. By not holding to fixed views, The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, Being freed from all sense desires, Is not born again into this world.
I’ve been using several yoga DVDs for the past few years in my home practice, each of which honestly deserve a separate post on their own. I think the “Plus Sized”/AnyoneWhoIsNotASize2AndBendy population is seriously under served in the Yoga World. Usually us Phat Folk are targeted via “Weight Loss” yoga DVDs, invariably featuring the skinniest people EVER talking about “reaching a healthy body weight” in incredibly condescending tones. What if you are happy with your size and you want someone to tell you how to adjust for your belly, thighs and butt in certain asanas? What if you are a super stiff large sized person and you need all kinds of modifications? Well, until recently you’ve been shit outta luck, my friend. I’ve been lucky to find some awesome DVDs and books that helped me immensely over the last few years.But recently a little voice told me, “Maybe you should try Ashtanga.” Seriously? The yoga of Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow and sweaty, skinny loincloth Yoga Dudes? Are you fucking kidding me, Inner Voice? Then again, I have tried almost everything else. Lately I feel like my practice is stalled out and I am stuck. So why not? Luckily, only my yoga room will be a witness to my humiliation! I dragged out my copy of Ashtanga Yogaby Juliet Pegrum and got ready to rock.
The 6am thing is not working for me. I am NOT a morning person. I dragged myself out of bed last week at 6am, dogged and determined. I felt stiffer than ever before. I kept thinking about the infamous Pattabhi Jois quotations , “Do your practice and all is coming”, and “Body not stiff, mind stiff“. I thought about how two years ago I couldn’t do a Sun Salutation without a chair and it would take everything I had just to get through a few of them. Nevertheless, at the end of the week I began to have little fantasies about saying adios to sunrise practice and a big fat HOLA to sunset practice. Is it a Moon Day yet so I can actually fucking sleep? Whatever, my body is hella stiff first thing in the morning, and 10 rounds of Sun Salutations barely gets things loosened up enough to function.
I decided as an experiment (since this is all technically an experiment. My whole life is one big experiment) to try an afternoon practice to see what happened. And guess what? It was awesome! The restrictive, rule following, perfectionist and honestly, punishing/ex-Catholic part of me was aggravated by this, but whatevs. I’m tired of fighting my body. Body says 5pm yoga done to Slayer, body gets what it wants. Body wants green juice and saurkraut? Body gets it. Body wants Coke Zero and Extra Apple Pie gum? Body gets that, too. Body wants to sleep until 6:30am? You got it. We’ll see how week 2 goes…
This DVD is really what kept me practicing over the last year. I had such a hard time finding anything that I could do that would accommodate both my 250 pound+ body and my numerous crazy injuries. Surgery on my ankle, surgery on my right hand (total freak accident for once), hip and knee injuries from being hit by a car while on my bike, etc. I liked that this DVD did not mention ANYTHING about weight loss. It was all about accepting your body and thanking your body. The Sun Salutation half-series on your knees part was particularly helpful. There are modifications, and the music is not too distracting. You are reminded to use props if you need to, and to rest if you need to. Sometimes I really need to hear that shit—my craziness will tell me that I am being lazy and that I need to push harder, blah blah blah. Sometimes I need to take a break!
Interestingly, I always associate the YogaFit brand name with this image:
This is what I HATE about the way Yoga is “sold” these days. Arrrgh!! Images like this make me want to smite someone with a sword while “Raining Blood” plays in the background (naaah, I don’t have anger management issues at all). I never thought to look to YogaFit for a solution, but there you go—help usually comes for me in the last place I look. I still use this DVD as a way to rest and unwind and get ready for some meditation, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is afraid to try yoga due to their size or anyone who is injured. I’m even considering doing a teacher training with YogaFit since they actually have a program for teaching “Plus Sized” yoga. We need more of this in the world!