this body may be chubby/fat but it’s a body that does so much for me. it’s hiked mountains, twisted into yoga poses, played racquetball tournaments on two hours of sleep, survived seven years of an eating disorder, walked thousands of miles, and changed its shape so many times. it’s a little thicker than it used to be, covered in more stretch marks and rolls and squishy parts but it’s just as beautiful as it was when the muffin top wasn’t there and when there was a gap between the thighs.
this is what my body looks like after an 8 hour work day during retail holiday season when it’s exhausted and tight and hasn’t been drinking enough water.
recovery isn’t all oatmeal and yoga and gaining back all the weight in muscle. sometimes it’s letting go of all your rules and realizing no rules is just as bad as too many rules. sometimes it’s when years of starving yourself has ruined your metabolism and eating normally makes you gain past a healthy weight. sometimes it’s stopping exercising and losing muscle and having to start all over again when you’re in the right mindset. it’s not linear, and there’s no right way. it’s different for everyone, and not everyone steps off the recovery train at their exact ideal weight with a six pack. recovery is messy. it’s hard and awful and beautiful. and it’s worth it, regardless of what your body looks like.
Want to take a 7 Day Yoga Challenge for yourself? Here are 15 minute videos for each day of the week to get you started and keep you on track. Repeat the week as often as you’d like and take pictures to document your progress. Enjoy!
If this foray back into winter weather has got you down, yoga can help you get back up. Join me Thursday in either BK or Manhattan, morning or night, with indie music vibes or hip hop, and I’ll help you twist away your cold spring blues.
Sangha Yoga Shala in Williamsburg
6:30am - Express Hour Yoga
Karen Lord Pilates Movement in TriBeCa
9am - Vinyasa
The Yoga Collective in Chelsea
6:30pm Hip Hop Vinyasa
Campground yoga can give any attendee a great stretch
Coachella, while great for the soul, can be brutal on the body. Walking between stages spaced city blocks apart, dancing non-stop till the wee hours, and camping in less than cushy quarters all take a toll. Thankfully, there is a wonderful way to congregate and get the kinks out: yoga.
Coachella has been offering daily yoga and Pilates classes in the camping areas for the past three years. For 2015, more classes are being offered than ever before, so even all-night party people can get their downward dog on. “It’s really grown in popularity,” says Whitney Kirk, one of the instructors who has been guiding guests the past few years. “Last year, our first class started at 8 a.m., and we had 300 to 400 people show up. The later classes got so full sometimes they overflowed outside of the tent. This year they’ll run every hour.”
Kirk, who is certified in Bikram (hot) yoga, says she offers a fusion of styles meant to accommodate people of all fitness types and experience levels, as well as whatever particular practice folks might be used to at home.
“We lead the practice, but we also invite everyone to come and do what works for them. If something doesn’t feel good in their body, they can do a modification or take it up to the next level. Mainly, we do a lot of hip-openers, stuff for the back, and leg stretchers, because of all the dancing and walking that people do.”
Campers are encouraged to bring their own yoga mats. Signage at the sites makes the shaded spot easy to find. Because Coachella campers are a musically discerning breed of yogis, it’s important to Kirk and the other instructors that the soundtrack for the sessions matches the taste of attendees. Meditational or downtempo sounds are still the standard, but she points out, “I’ve played The xx in the past and Florence + the Machine, who are on the bill this year.”
She is also sure to mention that the yoga area has an exceptionally good sound system, and all instructors use microphones. This means that little sound is lost in the campground surroundings which can, naturally, be noisier than the typically serene studio setting.
Most importantly, yoga helps you gear up for the good times ahead. “It’s a good way to detox from the night before,” Kirk confesses, before adding, “but it’s also just to get warmed up. It really starts off a day at Coachella in a great way.”