Big Yoga: everybody say "Om"

Mon Jul 5, 2010 9:22am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - When one of Meera Patricia Kerr's students tried to attend a regular yoga class the instructor told her to come back when she lost weight.

"That kind of broke my heart, said Kerr, a yoga instructor and author of "Big Yoga, a Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies."

"Overweight people feel out of the loop. If you're big you might be uncomfortable in a class of 'normies,' " she said, even if the instructor is welcoming.

Kerr says some yoga teachers don't know how to adapt to bigger bodies.

"There's fitness yoga with the bendy girls in their cute little outfits, then there's the more mystical side which attracts a lot of people, then there's the plus size, which is becoming more visible," she said.

With almost two-thirds of American women either overweight or obese, according to Centers for Disease Control, and more than 15 million people practicing yoga in the United States, according to Yoga Journal, that comes as no surprise.

Kerr, who lives in Michigan, started teaching yoga 32 years ago.

"I was young and plump but not as big as I am now," she explained. "I got bigger and I needed to adapt my practice to the belly and the boobs."   Continued...

<p>Women attend a yoga class in Madrid, March 17, 2009. REUTERS/Susana Vera</p>