Big Yoga, a Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies: Integral Yoga

big yoga

Big Yoga, a Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies is written specifically for overweight people with big bodies but can also be a program for everyday bodies regardless of size or ability, to develop balance, flexibility, and peaceful minds.

Meera Patricia Kerr is the perfect person to author this guide. She admits growing up plump and flexible, discovering yoga, and studying under Swami Satchidananda, among others. Her 30 years of teaching yoga gives her the experience necessary to approach most every concern a new or experienced practitioner might have.

Integral Yoga and Big Yoga

Big yoga is based on the practice of integral yoga. Integral yoga focuses on yoga in all aspects of life not only on the physical side. Big yoga encompasses the expansiveness of yoga practice and philosophy and lifestyle. The word play is on yoga for bigger people.

Each hatha posture is described and detailed in beginner and intermediate steps. Consistently aware of her pupils, Kerr encourages but doesn’t push. She illustrates using a wall for support or a block or prop for easier stretch. She also demonstrates using a chair and doing the pose in a seated position.

Consideration is detailed for the heavier yogi. For example, in Janosirshaasana, head to knee pose, she suggests placing the hands at the knees in the beginning of the pose to counteract the large belly which otherwise creates an obstacle to forward movement.

Big Yoga is not about Weight Loss

Big yoga is about yoga and being in the now with the body one has and about beginning the practice. Big yoga is the larger focus of integral yoga. It is not only a perfect gift for oneself but also for an injured, elderly, or novice yogi. The well-written book is divided into sections beginning with a brief history of yoga, then flowing directly into the author’s introduction to and extensive background in yoga. Following this are sections detailing the benefits of yoga and then the actual poses with photographs. The tone is friendly yet professional and knowledgeable. Meera Patricia Kerr poses for the photos so there is no illusion of a thin model hired for the occasion.

Kerr’s easy encouragement, extensive teaching experience, and excellent detail makes this a highly recommended and affordable contribution to yoga books. The book is well organized with a table of contents, glossary, resource list, and index. There are additional resources mentioned where to seek further information for unanswered questions.

The book addresses the issues a fat person inhabiting a larger body might encounter in a yoga practice. Anticipating the move or fear of movement to avoid any awkwardness is crucial to succeeding in this type of book and Kerr does this absolutely. Typical stumbling blocks such as not having a place to do yoga along with specific ones such as not being able to find yoga clothing “in my size" are addressed matter- of-factly. It can be accomplished.
Big Yoga, A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies provides enough information to enter practice and enough motivation to want to learn more and continue.

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