The latest craze on Instagram had women sharing their lithe bodies in various yoga positions, making most people believe that only the thin ones can do the downward dogs, cobras, and headstands.
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This misconception is what Charlie Merton wanted to change by teaching yoga specifically to women with curves. The 33-year-old Londoner, who was bullied in school for her weight, wanted to inspire other ladies to take up classes with her and her size 14 figure.
Speaking with FEMAIL, Charlie noted, “Why should yoga be represented by young, beautiful, and predominately thin women? Yoga is for people of all ages, genders, and abilities. In fact, the idea that yoga is the preserve of skinny women goes against the very ethos at its core.”
“The aim of yoga is to bring a sense of peace to each person that practises by integrating mind and body. It’s an all encompassing practice of the physical, spiritual, and philosophical,” she went on. “Sadly, many people see this image of being slim and flexible as a prerequisite to doing yoga and that really isn’t the case.”
The fact still remains that most yoga classes have a predominantly size 12 and under demographic, and this can be a bit intimidating for larger women. Even the yoga teacher felt the intimidation at her first yoga class. She shared, “I felt like an olive surrounded by toothpicks. I felt completely out of place in a mirrored studio confronted with my own image—in contrast to all these beautiful bodies around me.”
However, she found that she has a natural knack for the exercise, and despite being larger than most women in her class, she continued learning. At the time, she was 4 ft 11 inches and a size 18, which gave her a negative body image. Being bullied in school did not help either.