does this yoga make my butt look big?

I’m in a practicum for yoga teacher certification. I believe in the ethical precepts of yoga, read sacred texts, perform yogic breathing, meditate, meet regularly with fellow yogis for inspiration, and practice yoga on a daily basis. I attend challenging yoga classes that make me stretch, twist, jump, and sweat. I’m feeling stronger and more physically capable than I have in a long time, and I’d like to think that my practice has helped me to be a more emotionally stable person. So why the hell do I give a damn that my ass is getting fat? But it is.

My jeans are stretched to capacity, and when I catch the occasional glimpse of my backside in my yoga pants, I see a reflection of a bulging derriere. As much as I want to be all yogic and practice non-attachment, I find my backside expansion to be disconcerting. I want the elusive “yoga butt”! Is that too much to ask for? Ahem.

Before anyone alerts the yoga police, let me clarify. Like many women in this body obsessed culture, I have had body image issues since adolescence. I’ve never been super skinny, and even when I was eating a mostly raw, vegetarian, low fat diet and exercising like a mad woman, I was wearing a size 12 pants. Sometimes 14.Who am I kidding? I’ve pushed the 16/18 boundary several times, too.  And I’ve worked hard at being ok with that- working diligently to love my body and to practice the yogic principle of Ahimsa (non-harming, fearlessness, compassion). Inner voice: this is why they call it “practice”.

My body is strong and healthy, and I am grateful for all that my body can do. But to be honest, I can’t seem to shake the nagging part of me that wants to fit in- not just my pants, but with the crowd of athletic yogis who look so lithe and “healthy” in their Lululemon yoga gear and who adorn the covers of shiny yoga magazines. These yogis are stunning to look at. And….so am I. And so are the masses of “curvy” people who are finally stepping forth to claim a place on the mat or in the front of the room.

These lovely yogis are proving that yoga can be done regardless of size. It’s not just bold; it’s what my friend has proclaimed to be a yoga love revolution. And it’s a powerful and equally beautiful thing to behold. My ass is bigger- yes. And maybe, just maybe, that’s not just because I adore sharing sugary baked goods with my yoga book club friends, but also because my heart has expanded beyond the confines of my rib cage. Perhaps my ass is making room for what my torso can’t hold.

9 thoughts on “does this yoga make my butt look big?

  1. I enjoy reading your blog ever time you post. I must say however that this one in particular is making me smile. As teenagers I always looked towards you as one of the most confident and secure people I knew. You had it all in my eyes, A mom, dad, sister and brother. The perfect family. I was excited every time I was able to include myself in your family and and be the honorary cousin. Thank you for sharing with us Wendi 🙂

  2. I love you Wendi! Thank you for this. I can tell you that my ass grew when I started doing more yoga as well. Not because of sugary things, but because my glutes were getting stronger! When I think of yoga butt I think of a juicy, firm, strong ass, not something little and dainty (not that there is anything wrong with the little booties in yoga class. All asses are great!). Your ass is strong girl! Show it off. I also agree that the reason your butt is growing is beause your torso can’t hold all the light, love and wisdom you bring to the world!

  3. YES! Thank you, Laura- my ass is totally strong! And I’m just going to envision all of the fabulousness I have radiating from my backside. Why the heck not? It’ll make for a fascinating shoulder stand ; ) Miss and love you!
    And Shannon- best honorary cousin ever. You’re a beautiful person. Claim it, girl.

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I was a wee bit nervous about my “edgy” topic, but I decided that I had to be true to my experience. That’s what it’s about, right? Joy!

  4. I LOVE your insight and humor and ability to continually grow and stretch into your ass and outside yourself! You dare to talk about the things we have all felt. You bravely choose love over and over over the “stories” we tell ourselves that can often bring us down. You may be in practicum, but you are already MY beloved yoga teacher.

    • Mer- you bring tears to my eyes. you’re MY beloved teacher! how perfect is that?!? loving, missing, thinking of YOU!

  5. Can’t imagine what my bum is making room for but its something bigger than the sum of the rest of me…maybe I should take up yoga and listen quietly to what it’s trying to tell me? Methinks I may not like what it has to say! 😉

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