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Yoga for the Big-Hearted

Lilias Folan, internationally acclaimed yoga teacher, PBS host and Author of "Yoga Gets Better With Age," in her testimony of the "Aqua Kriya Yoga" book said,

"This book is thoughtful, original, making Hatha Yoga safe, accessible and a source of healing for every b-o-d-y."

I never started my yoga practice decades ago thankfully in modern yoga studios where one often feels you have to be young, bendy and thin, and so, reading this from one of the pioneers in Hatha Yoga in the West is very encouraging indeed.

Lilias is still practicing and teaching today, decades after we saw her (well not me as I grew up in England) on TV in her leotards getting into bendy shapes. As women we need to appreciate that our body shape and size will no doubt change over the years, as should our yoga practice.

I have taught women during pregnancy, and in the later years when their form has become softer and rounder than the media would like, and they have loved practicing yoga in the water. It is kind to the joints of the body and helps to create a lovely internal lengthening from the lumbar spine.

We have a long way to go in becoming comfortable as women in our skin at any stage and size in life, but any promotion of ordinary beautiful women practicing and seizing the many benefits of yoga should be encouraged in my view. More than 60% of women are thought to hate what they think their body looks like.

I think personally that if a woman is confident in her skin, it does not matter what size she is. Her radiance will shine on and her open heart will be a magnet for all those who come into contact with her.

"Real body" yoga I hope is on the rise and I am seeing more and more diverse bodies showing up for Aqua Yoga classes and also wanting to get training in order to help others (that big heart thing).

This year I am traveling quite a bit, training yoga teachers, therapists and even people for personal improvement in Aqua Kriya Yoga.

Lilias, said it right. Yoga really is for everybody in the same way that enlightenment is.

The kapha spine is perhaps the most balanced of all and on a deep mystical level closer to "God Consciousness" perhaps because of that. In Ayurveda, the rasa of sweetness is often prescribed for people to balance their dosha because they are not satiated in some area of life.

One of the benefits of exercising in the water for this population is that we burn twice the amount of calories than on land and the lower joints are not stressed.

This is afabulous medium then to seek greater balance, confidence and poise.

(Here, this student who is very strong and fit can include softening and lengthening poses along with deeper breathing into her busy regime)

Take inspiration from everyone you see practicing yoga in a conscious way. They are among us now, today and can teach us all a thing or too about compassion and kindness.

for training dates across the USA go to or email Camella at

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