Body Positive Yoga Comes to Des Moines: "I'm Fat and I Teach Yoga"

Feb 29, 2016

For some Iowans, the idea of doing yoga is appealing, but the idea of walking into a yoga studio is not.

Jamie Burch Elliott identifies with that sentiment. She’s curvy and doesn’t have a typical “yoga body." She says she remembers one of the first yoga classes she attended well. 

Jamie Burch Elliott poses.
Credit Photo courtesy of Jamie Burch Elliott

  “I decided to go to a class with some friends. I had had previous experience with yoga. I was very confident about going into the studio, but I was suddenly met with how big my body was compared to everyone else. I realized that yoga studios can be very intimidating places if you don’t have a typical yoga body,” she says.

“Going into any fitness situation when you’re overweight is intimidating, you feel like everyone is looking at you like ‘why are you here?’ or good for you!’ and while that may not be the case, it’s definitely what it feels like.”

After that class, Elliott started attending yoga classes regularly and it made a huge difference in her life. She started yoga teacher training about a year ago, and says yoga is how she “made peace” with her size. She starts teaching “curvy yoga” classes at the Southside YMCA this spring. During this Talk of Iowa conversation, she talks with host Charity Nebbe. 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Nebbe also talks with author Ethan Canin about his new book,  A Doubter's Almanac.