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Why a Curvy 30 Days of Yoga? A guest post from Anna Guest-Jelley

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Marianne Elliott

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I’ve always been a home practice kind of gal. I’ve just never been a consistent one.

That is, until I took Marianne’s lovely 30 Days of Yoga course. After taking the course, she and I connected and formed a quick friendship. We soon started conspiring, as friends are wont to do, about the possibilities of a Curvy 30 Days of Yoga course. As excited as we were about doing this, though, we had to answer one big question first: Why. Why would people want to participate in a Curvy version of Marianne’s already fabulous course?

We came up with a variety of answers, but they always seemed to boil down to one (at least to me!): visibility. Now, don’t worry; I don’t mean that we’ll be able to see each other each day when we practice, or that you have to practice in front of other people. That’s not at all true (especially the first part, which is actually a tad creepy). When I say visibility, I mean seeing yourself–the real, in-the-flesh you.

This sounds pretty easy, right? Look in the mirror. See self. Done!

Except–not quite. In my experience, I’ve rarely found looking in the mirror a super-fun time that I just can’t wait to repeat. But looking in the mirror is a cake-walk compared to being present within my body, taking a full breath and figuring out what the h-e-double hockey sticks is going on with me, right in this moment.

What was always more fun for me (at least for about half a minute) was being anywhere but my body–spending all my body energy on worrying and criticizing, projecting into the future (when my life will finally be perfect!!) or the past (sheesh, why did I eat that? Or that? Or, zomg, that?!).

I was excited to collaborate on this course with Marianne because I see it as a great opportunity for inquiry. Can I (and you) practice every day at home without a sequence specifically crafted for curvy folks? Sure. But I often find it difficult not to tip into my judging mind when the teacher shows a pose that doesn’t work well for my body. I then spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about how I could do this pose a lot “better” if this dang belly, or thighs, or whatever wasn’t in the way.

In reality, though, the “better” in yoga is working with your body, instead of against it. It’s not forcing your body into a certain pose or look. It’s getting on your mat and figuring out what works for you. Our intention behind the Curvy 30 Days of Yoga course is to share this move toward visibility. And we’ll be right there with you with daily emails, a community forum and weekly live calls. We’ll be sharing our insights and struggles (because goodness knows that just because I’m a co-facilitator in this class it doesn’t mean that it will be a breeze for me to practice yoga–on or off the mat–every single day, either) and hope that you’ll consider doing the same.

Because what I’ve found is that the more I can be honest with myself and practice in a way that is supportive of my today-body, the more my affection, and even love, for myself can grow. And the more that internal process unfolds, the more I see it showing up in many areas of my life–from how I treat my body to carving out time for my priorities and not just others’ to working toward the life I want, whether with career, relationships or other aspects.

You can get all the juicy details for the course (which includes a lovingly sequenced 45-minute asana practice with lots of options for you to play with) here. We hope to (cue cheesy pun) see you there soon! Registration ends July 14, so please be in touch with me ( or Marianne if you’d like to talk more about whether or not the course is a good fit for you. We’d love to connect!


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