"You are beautiful, you are strong and you are capable of a great deal more than even you know."
No longer exclusive to the sleek and muscular bodies of the world, yoga has become a major form of physical activity for the plus size woman. This past year Megan Garcia, in association with Just My Size (now called JMS) produced a wonderful video for plus size yoga enthusiasts.
Weight loss is not the focus of this video. In an intro Megan discusses how she came to perform yoga, how she was motivated to produce a video and how it works. She talks about being self conscious and limited by her size and what yoga has done for her. Yoga: Just My Size is designed to increase self confidence, produce a sense of calm, lengthen tight muscles and improve posture. Like with most exercise videos there is a caution for all people especially if you're pregnant or menstruating.
Yoga: Just My Size is divided into 3 sections: Warm up, Workout, and Deep Relaxation. Throughout the twenty minute routine she wears a body hugging unitard showing off her chubby belly and double chin. According to her website, her frame is 210 pounds, the 5'10" and a size 18. As Megan performs the moves a voice narrates directions on how to perform them and what to use. The background music is louder and annoying, bordering on cheesy cheap.
The warm up works through five slow, non-strenuous movements, holding each posture for five deep breaths. After a lunge transition to the standing position for the workout Megan performs five new postures, again with five deep breaths. This set is repeated once more before doing another lunge transition, to the floor to do four more poses as a transition to prepare the body for the final step, deep relaxation.
Tips are not given through the video so it's important, if you're not going to watch the whole video right through to at least watch the special tips section first. Here she provides some info on how to use a chair, pillow, wall or shoulder block for a few of the popular poses.
In a short interview at the end, Megan declares, "I want to help women feel beautiful and confident, in their own skin." She feels anyone larger than a size 8 must practise yoga because, "Yoga forces you to look inside."
I have some experience with yoga; both with classes and on my own. I found the moves easy to do with little strain. The great thing about the DVD is you can easily skip the intro and go right into the warm up. I hate DVDs that make you go through opening credits to get to the starting point. As a time saver the warm-up would be an excellent mini energizer in the morning and the deep relaxation at night would help settle the day before sleep.
As I mentioned earlier, the music is a bit cheesy. The alternating clips of rushing clouds are hypnotic. Megan doesn't provide the instruction. The simple moves provide an excellent platform for beginners but are perhaps too simplified for advanced practitioners other than a change of view and routine to their video collection. It is short so there are no excuses for not fitting it into your activity schedule a few times a week. I'm sure you'll be addicted in no time.
Special Tips (modifications)
Just My Size Brand Video
Purchase Yoga Just My Size with Megan Garcia from Amazon.com.
Purchase Yoga Just My Size with Megan Garcia from Amazon.ca.