Like most men in their 40s, I found that I had gained extra weight and lost some of my flexibility.
So the simple act of bending to kiss my wife would cause a side cramp that could take down an elephant. My frustration grew as my waist size did.
My wife had suggested yoga but looking into it online, yoga was for the thin, beautiful and flexible people. Each time I would walk into a studio, you could see the judgement on the faces. I do enough of that by myself. These places just did not appear to be for a heavy set guy who struggled to put on his shoes.
Then BOB FM played a commercial for Beach Bellies Yoga and the word BELLIES is what drew me in since I have a belly.
So I looked them up online and the first photo I see is of this heavy set guy looking serene and sitting cross legged like I wanted to. I was so excited! Yoga for heavy set people? For heavy set men? Say it isn’t so! So I drug my wife out of bed at an unlawful hour and we drove across town for the BBY open house. They were so friendly and inviting. There were people of all sizes there and the instructors are also of all sizes. WHAT?
So we stayed, entered some raffles and took my first introductory yoga class. While I struggled with a lot of it, it felt so good to stretch and learn what my body could still do. The instructor took it slow and checked in often as I was about the only man, let alone a heavy set man.
I felt AMAZING after the class. Then the next raffle my wife joked that it would do me good to win the Free Yoga for a year. Then they called my name because I had actually won that one! So now I get out of bed at an unlawful hour and drive 35 minutes several times a week to the only yoga studio that has ever made me feel okay for being a heavy set guy.
Yolanda and the other instructors are amazing and patient. My flexibility has now improved so that I am not cramping as much and I can get my shoes on much easier. I have learned to meditate and I now practice yoga no matter where we are, including the Black Water Falls state park with the balanced rocks. And I owe it all the BBY for making it acceptable to be a heavy set guy who wants to tie his shoes again.
The author is a Chesapeake native and works in the automobile interior industry. Together with his wife, the Haynes’ have raised seven children and are currently enjoying being empty nesters while re-exploring the Hampton Roads area.
It’s Norfolk Yoga Month!
To get a class at every Norfolk studio, click here: