For some people, stepping into a new fitness facility can induce a hyper-self-conscious feeling that's reminiscent of the first day at a new school. While this affects people of all shapes and sizes, heavier individuals may struggle with this more than others, as suggested by the growing popularity of yoga classes for overweight students over the last 10 years.
The New York Times highlighted classes with names like Buddha Body Yoga, Yoga For Round Bodies, and MegaYoga. Besides body-image issues, yoga classes geared toward heavier students have the advantage of teaching modified poses when they would otherwise be nearly impossible, allowing people to experience yoga when they might otherwise miss out.
Usually, anything that gets people moving is an ace in my book, but this topic has me torn. Classes for overweight students might seem as harmless as women-only gyms, but this feels more like an issue of acceptance. Fitness classes aren't limited to students who are already fit, and this could be viewed as segregation, suggesting the presence of heavier individuals isn't welcome in other classes. What do you think — are the classes cool or not?