Size inclusivity has been a buzz word in the yoga and movement space for a while now. We know we should be inclusive as teachers and people holding spaces. But, like anything, understanding the why is as important as the action.
So, why is it important to be size inclusive?
We can all feel shit about our bodies right? We all experience body shaming, negative comments from others or ourselves about the way we look. In a capitalist society which profits from self hate no one body type is free of scrutiny from society’s unrealistic beauty standards. However this is body shaming and body shaming is different to fatphobia.
Fatphobia is an irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against fat people. It is a systematic problem. Examples might be not receiving proper medical care, being unable to buy clothes and fit in chairs. The world around you discriminating against you because of the size of your body.
Body shaming is horrible, and no one should have to endure it but we can build more loving relationships with ourselves so comments can have less impact. Working on your relationship with your body will not make a chair wider. You can not self care fatphobia away.
So when a large/fat/curvy student enters your yoga class and you don’t offer modifications for their body or include them, that might be the 4th/5th/6th time they have experienced fatphobia THAT DAY. You aren’t a stand alone incident, you are adding to a systemic problem.
Historically A LOT of yoga spaces have been fatphobic spaces. I’ve experienced it, many of my students and peers have.
But if classes are body size inclusive we can change that.
Yoga teachers, we work in Wellness. We are not making people feel ‘well’ if we discriminate against their body size, exclude them from parts of the class or ignore them.
The world is not built for fat people, but we can build yoga classes/spaces which welcome and include them as they are.