We’re barraged with subtle messages that challenge our ability to accept our bodies: lose weight! tone your glutes! get into bikini shape!, and so on. We invest millions of dollars on diets and supplements, eating disorders are rampant, and we cringe when we look in the mirror. Even children are now expressing self-loathing about their bodies!

Yoga professes self-acceptance and understanding. But what about the pressure to have a “yoga body? What if you don’t conform to the image of the young, thin, flexible yogi?

In this six-week class series, students will take a deep dive into the relationship between yoga, the body, and the self. Each week we’ll discuss a component of this relationship, ranging from media representations and public perception of the “yoga body,” to tenants of yoga philosophy, such as non-violence and impermanence, that can change the way we relate to our own bodies for the better.

We’ll follow each discussion by embodying these concepts through breath, movement, and meditation practices that are adaptable for all bodies and levels of practice. Everyone is welcome. Those who have never practiced yoga before because they weren’t sure their body would be welcomed are especially encouraged to attend.

Sundays 6:45-8 pm

June 3 to July 15 (no class June 24)

Teacher: Melanie Williams

Cost: $90 for all 6 classes; $45 for members. We’re sorry but please no drop-ins for this course.

Register here by purchasing the “Yoga & Body Image” class card (scroll down).


About the Teacher

Melanie Williams, RYT-200, is a queer, non-binary, and larger-bodied yoga teacher. She is called to create profoundly inclusive spaces for wellness, self-inquiry, and the inward journey. Her teaching approach integrates spirituality, accessible movement, and the spirit of social justice. Melanie believes that the goal of yoga, as of life, is collective liberation, and in her teaching she asks her students to question and dismantle the systems and beliefs that hold them back through welcoming, intuitive, and adaptively challenging yoga practice. She is a member of the Yoga & Body Image Coalition’s leadership team and has studied accessible yoga practices with yoga pioneers Dianne Bondy and Amber Karnes through their Yoga For All teacher training. She teaches regularly in Washington DC, including Friday mornings at 9:30 at Lighthouse Yoga Center.