Fat Yoga

Fat Yoga NZ

Some of the babes from our Fat Yoga sessions

I’ve been practising yoga on and off for about 15 years to help with strength, flexibility and mental well being. I’ve used yoga to help heal my body, to give myself much needed “me time” and because I really enjoy it. But in all that time, I have never been to a yoga class with another fat person – that is until Fat Yoga started up here in Auckland. I don’t know where y’all have been before now but I’m really excited to have connected with so many awesome people.

Brought to us by Kristina Cavit from The Kindness Institute and Sarah-Jane Duff from plus size fashion label Lost and Led Astray, Fat Yoga is exactly what it sounds like – a bunch of rad fat babes practising yoga together. I feel more comfortable there than I have practising yoga anywhere else, and while I know it’s meant to help me calm down and destress, it’s actually gotten me excited about yoga again.

Fat Yoga is about creating a non-judgmental, open minded & body positive space for everyone. Sarah-Jane and Kristina wanted to make yoga accessible, so their classes are suitable for all bodies & fitness levels. Never tried yoga before? That’s okay, beginners are more than welcome.

“We believe that by giving visibility to the word fat, we can take back the power on a word that can be so destructive. Fat is just a descriptive word and everyone has their own relationship with the word. We want to contribute to changing the definition of what society has deemed beautiful, strong and flexible.”

For me, what makes Fat Yoga stand out from other yoga classes is how it makes me feel. I’m surrounded by people with bodies like mine. I feel safe and not at all self-conscious. I feel comfortable speaking up and asking for help with a pose, or for Kristina to suggest a modified pose because I can’t do something. I’m able to relax and focus on me, my breathing, my own practice.

As you all know, I’ve been dealing with knee issues, and practising yoga has helped me to reconnect with my body and practice kindness towards it. I’ve had to take some time away from Fat Yoga classes for the time being while I recover from surgery, but I can’t wait to get back into it. It’s great for my body, for helping me to relax, even just for taking time away from my phone and my work, time for me.

Sarah-Jane from Lost and Led Astray and Kristina from The Kindness Institute wearing Fat Yoga tees

Sarah-Jane from Lost and Led Astray and Kristina from The Kindness Institute wearing Fat Yoga tees (available here)

Fat Yoga 6 Week Course

At Ponsonby Community Centre, Ponsonby, Auckland
Wednesday nights from 7-8pm, 16th August – 20th September
Cost is $90 – more details and sign up here.

Have you tried yoga before?
Let me know about it in the comments below

xo Meagan

55 Comments

  1. Trish
    August 16, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    I did yoga for a while with a lovely teacher but another lady and I used to laugh in some positions where you head is down stomach squashed in half and chest pressing on your throat and she would say and breath deeply. She took it well

    • August 16, 2017 / 5:52 pm

      Haha I know exactly what you mean!

  2. Raina Singh
    July 13, 2017 / 9:31 am

    Heya Meagan! Just wanted to say that I went along last night on your recommendation and WOW. I have tried yoga on and off at several different places throughout the last 10 or so years and have always felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb and that I just didn’t belong there. Even if the instructors are competent and the ambiance/facilities were good, I couldn’t shake the vibe.

    Fat Yoga is literally the best yoga class I have ever done – all sorts of shapes and sizes in the same room, from all different backgrounds (it is the first time I haven’t been the only brown face in the room!) I also loved how the entire attendance laughed at themselves for falling over, for lack of grace, for being a bit gumby – it was refreshing and human, and that was what truly allowed me to relax.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this class πŸ™‚

    • July 13, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      I think the vibe of the group really does affect our practice and how comfortable we are, so I’m glad you enjoyed yourself Raina! xo

  3. Kirsten Turnbull
    July 2, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Oh wow, what a fabulous concept! I’ve been wanting to go to an exercise class and this feels like divine providence! Would love to give this a go πŸ™‚

  4. Kristie Daniels
    July 2, 2017 / 7:23 pm

    I’d love to come along – I’m a teacher and am looking forward to a relaxing school holidays in the next few weeks – this would certainly help and is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while!

    • July 2, 2017 / 7:25 pm

      It’s a great way to unwind Kristie! Perfect for the school holidays (and during term time!)

    • July 4, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Congratulations Kristie, you’re one of our lucky winners! Keen an eye on your inbox for more details xo

  5. Michelle Sokolich
    July 2, 2017 / 7:46 am

    I would love to try this out!!! What a great idea πŸ™‚

    • July 4, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      Congratulations Michelle, you’re one of our lucky winners! Keen an eye on your inbox for more details xo

  6. Fiona
    July 2, 2017 / 7:19 am

    Would love to try this! Tried yoga 5 months ago while 7 months pregnant…..all other preggo mums were skinny ones and made it look super easy and I just felt awful and hated it! Would love to try without feeling embarrassed

    • July 2, 2017 / 11:37 am

      So sorry to hear that Fiona! Our class has people with very different bodies and different abilities so I hope you feel comfortable in it ❀️

  7. Sarah Jane Urunkar
    June 30, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    This sounds so cool – non judgemental and kind! I tried a Pilates class once and was too embarrassed to return…couldn’t balance nor do a lot of the poses lol but it sounds much more accepting and easy going at Fat yoga and working at your own pace is often motivation enough to keep trying your best πŸ™‚ Would love to enter the comp Megan x

    • June 30, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      This is definitely a non-judgemental class – we’re all at very different places in our practice so everyone’s poses look different xo

  8. Dale
    June 30, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    My tip: if there are no Fat Yoga classes in your area, choose a yoga class with a pregnant lady in it. Then the instructor will make sure most of the exercises involve lying down and breathing and relaxing. On a good day I can just about manage that!

  9. June 30, 2017 / 7:44 am

    I always struggle with yoga because of my back. I need to go to a class where the instructor is aware of my issues and knows my restrictions and can suggest modifications to the moves. I feel this is probably more realistic at a Fat Yoga class as they seem to be more understanding of how different body sizes move as well. It’s for that reason that I’d love to try a class out before committing to a longer course.
    And it would mean a Wednesday of spending time with amazing, inspiring women so that’s a major bonus.

    • June 30, 2017 / 9:39 pm

      I think you’d really enjoy this class Sam! And Kristina would definitely be able to help you with modifications that would work with your back too xo

      • July 3, 2017 / 12:31 pm

        Awesome! If I’m unlucky and no pass for me, I’ll have to treat myself and splurge on a ticket πŸ™‚ x

  10. Raina Singh
    June 28, 2017 / 9:29 am

    This sounds so amazing! Even if I don’t win, I’ll probably go along anyway because it sounds like exactly what I need – I go to, and teach, a lot of classes myself and the fact is, when people don’t know what it’s like to exist in a fat body, they have no idea how a lot of the moves feel like. I have the inteligence to modify the moves to suit me, though socially, I don’t feel comfortable about it. This sounds like such a wonderful, safe and understanding place to do something restorative πŸ™‚

    • June 29, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      It definitely is Raina! Hope to see you there sometime soon xo

  11. Robyn
    June 28, 2017 / 8:59 am

    We need these classes in Wellington.

    • June 28, 2017 / 9:23 am

      Hey Robyn, have a chat to Shirley at Yoga With Me – while she doesn’t run a Fat Yoga class specifically, I’ve practised with her before and found her really helpful for modifications etc (we made this video together – I’ve linked her at the bottom).

  12. Sophie
    June 27, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    I have always had a love and appreciation for yoga but never felt confident enough to go to a class. Last year I did 30 days of yoga that I found on youtube and I had never felt better. I wish I had carried on because for someone who struggles with body confidence I began to feel confident and fall in love with my body- to be so intune with your body is a beautiful thing. I will definently be attending a class, more so for what it does for me mentally πŸ™‚

    • June 27, 2017 / 11:20 pm

      So glad to hear that yoga has helped you to find confidence and love for your body! Hope I’ll see you at a class soon xo

  13. Christine
    June 27, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    I loved the first yoga course i did years ago, but ever since have ended up doing classes through gyms and found there is not much focus on modifying poses so every body type can do it. I would LOVE to try this place out! I follow a couple of plus size yogis on fb but i had no idea there were classes in Auckland too

    • June 27, 2017 / 11:19 pm

      Yes! The classes have been running since earlier this year, you should come along! I’ve found Kristina really helpful when it comes to modifying poses to help them work for me

  14. June 27, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    This sounds AMAZING! My sister has been recommending that I try Pilates/yoga for a while now as I have mental health issues and she thinks something like Pilates or yoga would be good to help me slow down and get out of my own head. However I’ve always felt way to self conscious to even inquire about classes, I just feel like I would be instantly judged, so this sounds like a good place to start, at least, give it a try and see if it is my thing. And a free pass would give me way more incentive to try it out πŸ˜€

    • June 27, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      I’ve found it great for my mental health, I hope you do too Jaimee xo

    • July 4, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      Congratulations Jaimee, you’re one of our lucky winners! Keen an eye on your inbox for more details xo

  15. Lydia Ffowcs Williams
    June 27, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    How am I only just finding out that this is a thing!?!?! I’d love to try this to help increase my confidence with fitness. I’ve been struggling with it since my back injury.

    • June 27, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      Yoga is a great way to ease yourself back into exercise! If you come along to a class make sure you let Kristina know about your injury so she can help you with any modifications you might need to start off xo

    • July 4, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      Congratulations Lydia, you’re one of our lucky winners! Keen an eye on your inbox for more details xo

  16. Catherine anderson
    June 27, 2017 / 7:41 pm

    Ahhhh I would love this!!! I’ve been wanting to get into yoga but haven’t wanted to take my
    Fat body into a regular studio!! Would be a great destress while I’m searching for full time work!!

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      This is SUCH a great way to destress!

  17. Keri-Anne Martin
    June 27, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    I would love to give this a go. I feel so self conscious going to the gym and really need something to help reduce the stress I have from work.

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      It’s a great way to unwind Keri-Anne! There is a great focus on mindfulness during the class, so hopefully will help you with stress too x

  18. Kathryn
    June 27, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    Ahhhh why is it way over in Ponsonby πŸ™ too far away, wouldn’t make it there after work πŸ™

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:13 pm

      That’s why it starts at 7pm – loads of time to get there if you work the classic 9-5

  19. Kate Barnes
    June 27, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    Would love to go and do something for me and have a bit of time to calm my mind. Love the fact that the classes are designed to suit our bodies, that will feel great. Would also really like to meet some other rad babes doing yoga too! I’ve been eyeing this up on Instagram for a while!

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Meeting other rad babes is such a drawcard for me. I’ve also met so many awesome blog readers too – it’s been great putting faces to names!

    • July 4, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      Congratulations Kate, you’re one of our lucky winners! Keen an eye on your inbox for more details xo

  20. Maree Des Forges
    June 27, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    I’d love to come along, today is the end of 7 months of court cases with my ex partner, and finally it is over, and time to concentrate on myself, without any weight on my shoulders, Im sure that this class would be truly beneficial in helping me focus on my journey forward.

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:13 pm

      Sounds like you need some you-time Maree! Glad the court cases have come to a close xo

  21. June 27, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    Ooooh I’ve been dying to try fat yoga! I’ve been following a whole bunch on instagram but haven’t found a class yet!

  22. Sian
    June 27, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    OMG, yes please. I love yoga and practice at home. I used to go to classes but the teacher didn’t adapt poses for my size and I felt judged at times. I would love to practice with a fat friendly teacher!

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:06 pm

      Having someone who can offer adaptations for my body is SO important for me, it makes all the difference!

  23. Anna Ruepert
    June 27, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    oh hold on, I’m away until 19 July… :((((

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:03 pm

      That’s the last class for this round (could you make it that night?), but there’s always the next six week course starting in August! x

  24. Anna Ruepert
    June 27, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    I’d love this. I work at the largest gym in Auckland (not as an instructor obviously!) and I’m just too embarrassed and shy to attend the classes – that are totally at my disposal, for free. They’re full of skinny ladies who are confident and comfortable in their own skin, and I really, really want to try yoga with people that have the same bendy body position issues as me!

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:02 pm

      Sounds like you should TOTALLY come along Anna!

  25. Veronica
    June 27, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    Wow omg….I have always loved yoga. ive been to many classes around Auckland and avoid any classes in the centre of town because i dont “fit” the classic stereotype because of my body shape. Ive been working really hard lately with the NZEDC on binge eating and body acceptance, I would love to gove this class a try and will most likely sign up if my schedule allows!!

    • June 27, 2017 / 7:05 pm

      Please do go along Veronica! I hope you love it as much as I do x

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