Amanda Nieves @chubbychinups

Hey everyone! 

My name is Amanda, and I’m a second-year medical student at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine in North Carolina. I’m currently studying for Step 1, a major, career-determining exam that indeed was pushed back because of COVID-19, and why yes, I am mildly stressed!

This stressed, heavily AAA personality hasn’t really changed since I was a kid back in the Bronx, New York. I really think it was the constant pressure to perform well in school as well as the psychological manipulation I endured from my mother when I didn’t know something or was just learning a subject. I once got an 86 on a test, and I distinctly remember trying to be more upset from the get-go so she might console me instead of yelling at me for the 86. But there never was consolation. I instead became an anxious child to the point I would become nauseous before bed most nights because I didn’t know if I was going to be successful. I had a lot of pressure put on me.

MY PARENTS!Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

But I wouldn’t say I had a bad childhood per say. I had a roof over my head, I was in extracurriculars like dance and cheerleading, and I had parents who would always try and do what was best for me. They were figuring out this parenting thing which is so hard One of my favorite childhood memories was my dad coming home from work and me running down the street to hug him; a yummy Boston crème donut usually came with my dad as well. 

I think this is where my binging tendencies and emotional reliance developed with food. I equated food with happiness, eating made me happy when I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions like boredom, and I was also in a household where you finished your food no matter what. And I never had a fast metabolism. I don’t even remember overeating when I was a kid to be honest. I just have always been a fat person. Thankfully, I never was really bullied by other people, mainly by my own family. Maybe this is why my internal monologue is so vicious. Because the people who were supposed to have my back and be kind to me were so critical of me. 

Back in New York, I was at my grandmother’s apartment one day, and I remember sitting on the plastic she had on her kitchen chairs. I was maybe six or seven at the time. She asked me what I ate for breakfast. I rattled off a couple of things I liked like cereal and Poptarts. She proceeded to say with a laugh,

“No wonder you’re so fat!”

I think she thought I ate that all for breakfast at once, which I didn’t; it was one or the other. But it still affected me because at that age, I already associated being fat as something that was bad and no one wanted to be.

Thinking back on it, no one ever bullied me or commented on me being fat that I can remember.
In high school, I just lived my life. I became involved in theatre my freshman year and had my first romantic relationship, too. I very much enjoyed them both. I was the lead only once during my four years, and it was part of a play full of short stories. Since the lead needed to speak Spanish, and I was the token Spanish-speaker, it was a shoe in. But despite my bitterness with never really being given a chance for different roles, I did love theatre. I always wanted to look like my thinner cast mates, but there was diversity in terms of body size so I never really felt out of place.Image may contain: one or more people and child

Until my mother commented on my love handles when she saw a picture of me during a theatre competition called Odyssey of the Mind. I was half turned to someone behind me, and I remember I was wearing someone else’s white fluffy polka dot pajama pants. Instead of my mother commenting on my performance, she mentioned how I need to start watching what I ate because those love handles didn’t look good. She said I shouldn’t want those there. I remember feeling so ashamed and wanting to rip the fat off my body right then and there. 

My romantic relationship was with a guy named Chris, and looking back, he looked like a walnut (but a very cute walnut), and I was enamored with him. He was my first love… in more ways than one. He was so kind and so patient with me. However, my parents didn’t want me in a relationship until later on, and since I was 14 at the time, I decided to keep him a secret.

The picture on the left is one of the first pictures of Chris and me from 2010. And the picture on the right… you see what I mean about a cute walnut?No photo description available.

My relationship with theatre lasted longer than my romantic one. I was horribly insecure, which made me make up silly tests to see if he actually liked me and was committed… like faking a pregnancy for a few minutes. I know; I was trash. I constantly asked for validation from him. While no one really commented on my weight, social media and society kept pushing the idea that thin kept a man. Thin is what a man wanted. If you’re fat, fix it, and your man will find you a million times hotter. Different iterations of that sentiment followed me ever since I became interested in having a relationship. Unfortunately, I never could let the relationship be, and after almost two years, my parents found out about my relationship and exploded. They took away my phone and access to my computer, and I could only see him at school. It was hard to keep a relationship that way, and so he broke up with me in 2011. I never thought it was because I was fat, ironically; I knew it was because of past events that were the final straw. I mourned that relationship for so long. I never knew how to mourn and process my emotions correctly, and I couldn’t go to my parents because they would just slut-shame me, so I cried and festered in my sadness. I never got over him.

Eventually, I moved on and found a half rebound named Eric my senior year of high school in 2011. I say half rebound because I actually was interested in him, but never as much as Chris. This time my parents knew about this relationship. I had the same insecurities with Eric, but nothing monumental really came from these insecurities like they did with Chris. I broke up with him in 2013 during my Spring semester of college, and I didn’t have another relationship. I just let loose and experimented. Coincidentally, Chris and I reconnected. For some reason, me being fat didn’t deter me from engaging in sexual endeavors with others, and I think it was because Winston-Salem State University had people of all sizes just killing it. They looked fabulous and confident no matter what size; fat women were in modeling troupes, and they were gorgeous. In hindsight, this normalization really did help me see that even if you were fat, you could express yourself however. Fatness did not stop you. But when Chris would come to see me, I would be so anxious; it was only with him I would feel this way most likely because I still liked him despite what I told myself and him. I still intensely hated myself. I compared myself to everyone. I couldn’t pull off clothes like other women could or do makeup as well as them. I wasn’t as attractive. I didn’t have pretty hair like them. I went to sleep every night for the first two years of college with a crushing pressure in my chest from hating how I looked and who I was; if I was fit and thin, half my problems would go away. At least I would be thin.

After being accepted for the Medical Education Development program at UNC Chapel Hill in 2015, I gained more confidence. This was a 9-week experience crash-course of the first year of medical school. I got three As and a B, and I was on top of the world. I fought the idea of being a doctor for so long because I thought that someone like me couldn’t do it, but I realized why I wanted to become a physician during that time. I wanted to be a doctor for people like me who needed support, who felt alone, and felt like they couldn’t turn to anyone else. I wanted to be a doctor for the people who needed to be reassured. I had a clearer direction for my career, and I never felt better about life. I even became the President of a medical group back at my undergrad university. Who was I?!?!?

I could rattle off so many more experiences because as I’m writing, they’re emerging from the depths of my memory. But in sum, ever since around 4th grade, I was obsessed with tucking in my fat. 

Tightening the belt of my uniform.

Lifting up the hem of my pants when I’m sitting to cinch in my fat.Image may contain: 1 person

If someone said it looked like I lost weight, I would ride that high for days. I felt better. My self-confidence skyrocketed. I chased the dream to be thin so I could feel like that constantly. I was obsessed with being small.

It’s sad that I’m just now realizing that it was my family that created this hateful inner voice of mine. Every athletic or aesthetic deficit about me always goes back to being fat. Everything would be better if I wasn’t fat. It’s easy to shrug off stranger’s comments, but when your family says it… maybe it’s true. It was why I became anxious to the point of nearly vomiting when Chris would come and see me in college. If someone so close to me commented on my weight, it would be true. Even to this day, I made my Instagram, chubbychinups, because I feel like it’s easier to share things with strangers than to those closest to me. It’s impersonal, and so if I get a mean comment, it’ll be easier to ignore. However, therapy made me realize that external validation has been what I’ve based my self-worth on because I never learned to see it. My accomplishments were never the focus for long. It was always “What can you do to be better?”


This was a lot. If you’ve read this far, welcome! It gets better, I promise.

In an effort to shorten this blog post, I’ll say that I got into weight lifting my junior year of college. A friend of mine who always said I should work out (for my health, not weight loss) died from complications of cystic fibrosis, and I thought it was the time to start. I even trained for a bench press competition my senior year of college and came in last. I normally would’ve beaten myself up over that, but I went from benching a 50-pound bar to benching 110. How could I be upset? 

That marked the moment that I started looking at my body a little bit differently. Even though I always hoped that working out would make me thin (it didn’t), it started to show me that improvement isn’t always measured on a scale.

In 2016, I graduated on my birthday which was Friday, May 13. Spooky. I was sitting at 200 lbs at this time. I didn’t have access to the gym anymore so I did what I could with the Nike Trainer app and the treadmill at my parent’s house. On a whim, I tried yoga. I always heard it was good for flexibility, which is important to prevent injury. The first video I tried, I couldn’t follow it. What she was saying didn’t make sense to me, and I ended up in positions that weren’t even what she was describing. But I tried again with Yoga with Adriene, and the rest was history. A group of people wearing costumes

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I would say 2016 was the first year I really fell in love with what my body could do. Yoga was personal time for me where I could celebrate my strength, enjoy what I could improve, and laugh at my trembling arms. Yet that mindset didn’t follow me off the mat. Curiously, Chris lived 10 minutes away from me, and we would go on walks with each other nearly every day. Every time, I felt insecure and wore loose fitting clothes, so my belly fat didn’t show, only my muscular legs. It was especially hard because this boy has always been lean, and I felt self-conscious being a fat girl next to him. I was afraid of how he viewed my fatness.

Fast forward to today, I’m back together with Chris (I know, it’s nuts), and we’ve been together almost a year and a half. I’m still doing yoga, mostly at home, and I’m trying to make it a daily occurrence. At first, I think I only continued yoga because the movements were fun, and I didn’t sweat too much while seeing noticeable progress. I hate how strenuous other workouts can be, but since I did dance, yoga felt like home. It was low impact and felt so beautiful. Even if I don’t do a full practice, I try and do a tree pose while I’m microwaving some food or deepen my breathing when someone changes lanes without using their blinker. My 2016 self didn’t realize that yoga wasn’t only a way to cross train; it was a habit, a mindset. There is no shaming in yoga, only celebration. Yoga has become a moment where I can be with myself and check-in mentally, which is why I think I’m so reluctant to join a studio. It has become self- therapy. I love doing yoga at home because I love being by myself in silence, and I can go at my own pace and explore poses further if I want to. I want to be creative on my own terms, but it’s unfortunate that my insecurities and constant comparing wouldn’t let me enjoy a studio experience even if I wanted to. I will always notice I’m the biggest person in the room and the weakest. Negativity wins when I’m around others; there’s this need to not be the biggest person.

This is why I’ve been going to therapy and have been for almost 2 years. There’s no shame in it. Along the way, yoga has shown me how positivity and self-love feels, and I’m tired of hating myself and basing my worth on my weight. My weight has yo-yoed my whole life; therefore, my confidence has ebbed and flowed with it. At my smallest, I was 165 lbs last year, and I’m currently sitting at 204. Why does this affect me so much? I’m tired of my insecurities making me cry myself to sleep because I feel like Chris is going to leave me for a prettier and thinner woman. I’m tired of feeling like I’m not going to amount to anything every time I score a percent lower on practice tests for Step 1. I’m tired of feeling less than in general. I love feeling happy and enjoying what I’m doing. I love how yoga showed me how to love the little things, yet that negative voice in my head constantly berates me. 

“If I was thinner, I could do certain poses without my ankles hurting. It’s the excess fat holding me back. If you stopped eating so much, maybe you could do crow and not have to hold up so much weight. If you were thinner, maybe you could run faster.”

And for those struggling with this, you aren’t alone. Here are my realizations for you: 

You deserve love no matter your size. You aren’t disgusting or an embarrassment to the person who loves you. It’s true. I asked Chris, because for so long, I felt so embarrassed that this strong, fit man had me for his girlfriend. I felt like I was holding him hostage for making him be with a fat woman. And you know what? That man has never once felt that way even being the fit man that he is. You don’t have to “count your lucky stars” that someone deigned to love you because you are equally deserving of that love. You are not a charity case, but it’s okay to ask for support like I did on your way to being able self-validate. It’s exhausting having to unpack trauma. I’m in a back and forth with my body; I have good days and I have some really bad days. No, the journey will never be smooth or pretty despite what social media may present, and that’s why I try to include my bad days on my Instagram; it’s real. It’s also really weird and uncomfortable trying to stay positive when the self-loathing has been around for so long and is so familiar. I haven’t built the scaffold of positivity for myself yet, but I think as I continue trying, it’ll get easier to be kinder to myself. Maybe it will be the same way for you, too. But I promise that this journey to self-love is worth it. Who wants to be miserable for the rest of their life? 

I have decided to stop this voice that my family created for me. I’m done. I’m not where I want to be in loving my body, but I know this will be a journey. Our society has groomed us to want instant results, but if yoga has taught me anything, enjoy the journey. Celebrate your progress, reflect on what you want to improve and then celebrate that! I will be happy with my body one day. I am speaking it into existence.

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WHOO! That was a lot! I really appreciate if you’ve read until the end! I tried to condense everything, but I’ve realized that a lot has contributed to where I am today. But I’m going to wrap up with some fun, final tid-bits about myself!

Five Favorites
1. Favorite meal: My mother’s Easter meal (double fried plantains, codfish with onions, and boiled yuca and other roots); if I’m fending for myself: microwave noodles with cheese and egg on top and hot sauce 

2. Favorite TV show: The Office and 7.5 seasons of Game of Thrones; I’ve watched The Office four times!

3. Favorite book: I love the Inkheart series especially the first book by Cornelia Funke. She made me fall in love with the fantasy genre even before Harry Potter!

4. Favorite Instagram: @quadzilla619, @greekliftinggoddess, and @parkerandlily; Two powerful women and cats!

5. Favorite way to spend a day off: NOT STUDYING!! Catching up on sleep, reading, and watching Roosterteeth video game videos. In sum, being a lazy bum since I’m always go go go!!

Again, thank you so much for your time! My DMs are always open for questions or if you need a friend!

I also want to thank my friends like Alayna (shown below) and Sharidan for always being so supportive on the days when I’m down and especially to Chris who knows me better than anyone. I have never once taken your support for granted, and I love you so much! You are so    appreciated and mean the world to me!A picture containing person, indoor, child, young

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Maggie Salem @propqueenyoga

Hey Fat Yogi friends! I’m Maggie Salem. I’m in the middle of my 200 hour yoga teacher training program at Yoga East Healing Arts in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. I love using props in my yoga practice so much that you can find me on Instagram @propqueenyoga! I love my fat yogi body and strive to help others love their bodies and be at peace with their bodies in the context of their yoga practice. When I’m not yoga-ing, my primary job is being a middle and high school choir teacher. I love bringing mindfulness into my classroom and promoting a practical approach to mindfulness in my students. Throughout this blog, I’m going to take you through my life as a fat girl and a fat yogi and tell you some of the key moments in my life that have shaped my personal opinion about my fatness.

I grew up in Fulton, Missouri. My parents raised both me and my older sister to eat what was on our plates. My mom was overweight, at about a 22/24 size, and I remember her expressing her own insecurities about her body. I have a distinct memory of a hot summer day, and we were getting ready to be outside and my mom refused to wear a sleeveless dress. I remember saying, “but mom, it’s hot outside!” and she answered, “I just don’t like to show my arms.” This memory instantly flashed through my mind a few years ago when I was getting fitted for my wedding gown. I had the same thought of “ugh, I don’t want people to see my arms.” I kept telling myself I needed to do some arm workouts to tone up the flab. Eventually I threw that idea aside and decided I would be beautiful in my wedding gown and people really weren’t going to be paying attention to my arms. If they were, then that’s their problem and not mine.

 My dad was on the other side of the spectrum. He was fit, athletic, and always encouraged me and my sister to be more active. When I say fit and athletic, I mean he was on the Egyptian national soccer team when he was younger- like could have played in the World Cup or the Olympics if the timing was right. Anyway, I don’t want anyone to think that he fat shamed me, because he didn’t. He did try to guide me toward being more active when I was little- teaching me how to play tennis, walking with me to my piano lessons, etc. But the same time I started gaining weight a little, his health was declining. He had multiple heart attacks, was diabetic, had a foot injury (which, if you know about diabetes, you know it’s worse), and it didn’t get better from there. 

I didn’t really realize I was fat until about 5th grade. I have a memory of my peers pointing out the size of my pants, how I was wearing a double digit. I think I wore a juniors 11 in 5th grade and my peers probably ranged from size 0-7, mostly on the 0 end. This wasn’t a huge deal to me though. I didn’t let this change the way I lived my life. I do think, in hindsight, that throughout middle school, this made me try a little harder to be friends with people, or to get boys to pay attention to me. I subconsciously knew that other girls were going to get the attention before me, so I inserted myself into friend groups that if I was being true to myself, I probably wouldn’t have been a part of. These were the “popular” kids, who dressed in name brands and went to parties. I remember trying to get clothes from those same name brand stores like Aeropostale and American Eagle, but they didn’t quite fit. I remember going to these parties, but the skinny girls were making out with their boyfriends in the corner and I got called a fat bitch. But overall, being fat didn’t shake my confidence. I was always proud of my curves, I found myself beautiful and sexy, and that’s how I always tried to live my life. 

I was really lucky to have my older sister around when I was in middle school to help me find my way in my fat body. She was also in a plus size body and at the time worked at Lane Bryant. She would take me shopping with her. I borrowed a LOT of her clothes. Eventually, she was the first person to get me into a real bra! These experiences allowed me to form my own sense of style and find clothes that actually fit me and looked good on me, bringing out even more of that inner confidence.

Going back to the word “confidence,” I always showed more confidence than what people expected of me. People would always remark saying, “Wow! You’re so confident! I wish I was as confident as you,” and looking back, that wasn’t exactly a compliment. They may have intended for that comment to show their own lack of self-love, but it really showed that they didn’t think a fat girl should be as confident as I was. 

Throughout high school, going back to the way I dressed, I tended to wear clothes that would show off my curves a little. I wasn’t necessarily dressing “sexy,” but I thought if I was going to get male attention, it would be because of my curves. I brought this same mindset with me into college and tried to get attention based on the way I was dressing, or the way that I walked, swiveling my shapely hips. (This blog is turning into a therapy session of me figuring out a lot of deep seeded behaviors… jeez!) This behavior did manifest sexually in that I thought sexual activity was the only way I’d get a guy to like me. I had a few flings throughout my first year of college. There weren’t really any serious relationships at first. Later on, I had a few guys who were interested in more than that, but they didn’t pan out for whatever reason. Eventually, I met the man who is now my husband, and with him, the tactics I’d used with other guys fell to the wayside. They weren’t necessary with him because we had kind of this fairytale “we just knew” moment. We knew that we loved each other and cared for each other, so I didn’t need to try so hard with him. It was a refreshing change of pace.

My (now) husband and I were both music majors and knew each other from classes we were taking. We both became music teachers when we graduated. My focus shifted from getting attention to being a badass bitch! I turned all of my focus to being happy in my relationship and doing the best I could as a beginning teacher. In my teaching positions, I was no longer in an environment where I was the fattest one. I was still bigger than most, but it was different for me. My body wasn’t a topic of discussion. 

In the school that I’m in now, I have one of the bigger bodies, but I’m in a place where I can use that as a positive thing and to spread the ideas of body positivity and fat liberation. I frequently make comments about my own body in a positive way, especially with my students. If I catch a kid fat shaming, whether it’s to themselves or another student, I call them out, tell them to stop, and talk about my own body and how fatness is OK. I do the same things with other teachers. It’s little, but hopefully powerful, because I know I didn’t hear many adults talk positively about their fat bodies growing up. Maybe if I did, I wouldn’t have used my body as a tactic to get attention. Maybe if I did, I would have put more worth into myself as a human with a personality. Maybe I wouldn’t have been trying to find a way to put a positive spin on a body that would otherwise be viewed negatively by others.

I think I’m in this mindset that allows me to spread body positivity and fat liberation because of the online body positivity movement and because of my experience in yoga. When I started doing yoga, my body wasn’t able to do a lot of the things other people were able to do, but the deeper, more subtle practice of yoga and mindfulness allowed me to be at peace with my limitations. The introduction of props into my yoga practice opened up a world of abilities I didn’t think I had. I was amazed at what my body was capable of doing. I was proud of my own strength. I was proud that I didn’t feel shame anymore like I did in other group fitness classes. Yoga wasn’t like the other kinds of exercise I had tried. I love dancing, but dance fitness classes that had me sweating profusely and out of breath made me feel defeated rather than liberated. For some reason, sweating in yoga felt like an accomplishment. Like my body was helping me do things that I’d never been able to do before. That feeling, that liberation that mindfulness brought to me, those are the reasons I’m now in my yoga teacher training. I want to bring those feelings to other fat people.

So let’s talk about that. The very first time I ever took a yoga-like class. My first teaching job offered a free gym membership with our health insurance, so I decided to take advantage of that and hit up some of the classes at the local gym. I tried a spin class that was GOD AWFUL (I mean come on, my ass is way bigger than that tiny little bike seat. I was bruised for days!) and I tried Les Mills Body Flow- which was a combination of yoga, pilates, and… (I never remember the third one, but luckily I have the internet at my disposal right now…) Tai Chi! Well, the class that I went to was in a huge room. There were a lot of people and the teacher was 20-30 feet away from me. I know now, because I have a friend who teaches at that same gym, that the teacher wasn’t allowed to leave her mat at the front of the room, so I didn’t get any individual instruction. I was stuck in the back of the room, watching all the thinner more experienced people contort their bodies into shapes I couldn’t get into. I tried my hardest, but felt like a failure. There were no props offered other than a mat. I felt so defeated. I did talk to the instructor afterward and she was very nice. She gave me some ideas of hip opening poses I could attempt at home, and offered to help any time, but I felt a little intimidated by the whole experience. I may have gone to that class one other time, but it was another experience that I didn’t prefer, so I gave up on that.

Flash-forward three more years. I’m beginning to feel the results of inactivity and aging. My hips were incredibly tight, I had pain in the top of my foot. I wanted to do something about it, so I decided to look into the local yoga studio (Yoga East Healing Arts Studio) and see what they had to offer. I considered private yoga therapy sessions, but at the time, I wasn’t in the best financial situation, so I just decided to go to a class instead. My first few classes were titled Gentle Yoga with a teacher named Kelly Downes. She has this inviting energy that just makes you want to keep coming back. She is thin and tall and beautiful, someone I might normally be intimidated by in an exercise class, but she had this vibe that made me feel super comfortable. She used blocks in her practice. She touched on the more subtle and spiritual aspects of yoga. She encouraged me to turn inward and really think about how things felt in my body. I felt comfortable asking her for help figuring out certain poses in my body, and when I did, I was able to figure out modifications that worked for me.

I was hooked. This was the first form of exercise that I really stuck with. I started going to more classes. I went to a Hatha Flow class with Sue Nesler, the owner of the studio. In my second class with her, she said “you’re going to be a yoga teacher.” I thought she was nuts! I thought “me?? No way. I’m not a fitness person. I’m barely flexible. That’s silly.” Now look where I am- halfway through my 200 hour teacher training! Sue saw me experimenting with props and making things work in my body and encouraged me to show these things to the other students. I remember her asking me to come up to the front of the studio and demonstrate my modified crow pose using blocks. I walked them through it and encouraged them, saying things like “if you’re putting weight in your hands, you’re doing crow! It doesn’t matter if you lift your feet off the ground. Your version of crow is still valid.” I now know that she was preparing me for becoming a teacher, showing me my niche, and getting me comfortable in front of a very full room of yogis.

The other yogis at the studio are of all different ages and ability levels. It was apparent to me that I was not the only one who had the experience of feeling welcome and getting individualized instruction that pertained to my personal needs. People who had injuries, and surgeries, and pre-existing conditions were all coming together into this space and practicing yoga together even though each one needed different things and were getting different things out of it. I love that about this studio. And now that I’ve become more acquainted with the yoga community, I’ve noticed that this is standard for a lot of yoga studios. This idea of body acceptance and accessibility is key. I want to be a part of that. I want to show the world that yoga really is for Every Body.

Currently in my personal yoga practice, I am working to stay mindful and think about my own body. I’m struggling a little bit because the teacher in me is always thinking about the potential student, so even when I’m practicing on my own, I’m thinking about “how would I teach this? What would I say to a student?” I’m letting those thoughts take over instead of listening to my body and practicing for ME. This is making it easier for me to teach, but also harder in some ways because I’m not giving myself the proper attention. In some ways, thinking about how I would say certain things to my students allows me to think of how I talk to myself getting into certain poses. It has also allowed me to examine the reasons I use props in certain ways. As a student, I improvised props a LOT- trying different stuff until something worked and felt right. Now that I have a pretty standard way of doing things for myself, I’ve been able to think “ok, why do I use blocks when I fold forward in Upavistha Konasana? I am keeping my spine straight, I’m letting my pelvis tilt forward, I’m leading with my belly button, and if I put my hands on the floor, my spine would round, it would close off my space to breathe. Perfect! Now I know what to tell my students- AND these are all things that could help ANYONE, not *just* fat yogis.”

I am so proud to be a fat yogi. I am excited to show people that if I can do it, they can do it too. Whether that person is also fat, or if they have other physical limitations that make them think they can’t do yoga, I want them to see me and be inspired to try. I’ve already seen the effect I have on people, both in my yoga studio, and on the @propqueenyoga Instagram page. I’ve had fellow students come up to me after class and tell me how I’ve inspired them. Sometimes I’m the token fat girl, and I’m totally okay with that. If there’s another fat person in the yoga class I will always reach out to them and try to help them feel more comfortable. Some people don’t like being the “token fat girl,” but I love it. It gives me the opportunity to help people and to bring yoga to someone who may not feel comfortable enough to seek it out on their own. The media perpetuates this visual of a thin, lithe, bendy yogi, and so many people see that and think that they can’t do it. How many people actually have that kind of body? Not many! I want to be a part of changing that narrative. So many people have already been doing a ton of work to change it: Amber Karnes, Jessamyn Stanley, and Dianne Bondy, just to name a few. But I think in a small community like mine, we need a local voice and I’m ready to be that.

Overall, being a fat yogi is empowering for me. I have learned about so many new things I’m able to do with my body. I’ve been able to enjoy moving my body for the first time in a very long time. While I already loved my body before, the practice of yoga has allowed me to love and appreciate my body in new ways. I’m so thankful for my body allowing me to be on this earth and live the life I’m living. Without it, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t get to experience the things I experience. I look forward to seeing where my body takes me on this journey- not just my yoga journey, but my whole life! 

As a fat yogi and a fat yoga teacher, my goals are to continue showing people that they can do yoga in whatever body they have today. Props and modifications are your friend! Do what feels right for you! I would love to start a yoga class that is specifically meant for fat bodies, but is accepting of all bodies, that focuses on prop usage and modifications. I also want to expand my usage of yoga and mindfulness at my school. I want to start a yoga class for teachers after school and also a yoga club for the students where we’ll focus on mindful movement, but also on mindfulness strategies that they can use throughout the school day to help them become in control of their emotions and their responses to the things that happen to them. I also hope to help with my school’s behavior intervention team to use yoga and mindfulness as a way to help students who have consistent behavior issues in the classroom. Yoga and mindfulness practices have transformed my life and I truly believe that the world would be a much better place if our children were taught these practices from a young age.

You may have noticed that throughout this whole blog I’ve been referring to myself as fat. I see the word fat as a neutral descriptor. Fat is something that I have on my body, therefore I am a fat person. I have no problems with people calling me fat, even if they mean it in a negative way because I will come back with “Yes, I am fat. So what? I’m fat, and I’m beautiful. I’m fat and I’m sexy. I’m fat and I’m a badass. I’m fat and I have an awesome personality. Being fat does not lower my value as a human.”

To those of you who are in a fat body and are starting a yoga journey, I hope that you can surround yourself with the influence of other fat yogis. There are so many of us out there! Just because we aren’t the media’s first portrayal of a yogi does not mean we’re nonexistent. Follow fat yogis on social media. Find some body positive yoga classes. Especially right now in this time of online learning- you have access to classes from all over the world! I got to take a yoga class with Body Positive Fitness in Toronto, Canada from all the way down in Southeast Missouri! Seeing people doing yoga in bodies like mine is inspiring to me. Second word of advice- props are your friend! Get yourself some yoga blocks and a strap (or if you don’t have that available to you right now, find some books and stack them up on top of each other, and grab a scarf from the closet). These props will open you up to poses that felt uncomfortable in the past or that you didn’t think you’d be able to do. And if you need assistance figuring out how to use these props (shameless plug) check out my Instagram page- but also check out some of the other fat yogis and see how they use them! Just know that the purpose is not the poses. The purpose is to be mindful of how things feel in your body, to quiet the body, and to turn inward. The practice of yoga is much more than contorting your body into different shapes. Allow yourself to find what works for you. What quiets your body and quiets your mind? What helps you feel comfortable and safe, but toes along the edge of your comfort level and pushes you a little further? Play with things and find what works for you.

I want to leave you with some final thoughts about just being in a fat body. Do not let the body you have keep you from doing things that you love. You can do these things NOW. No, you do NOT have to “lose a few pounds” before summer so you can have a “beach body.” Your body deserves to be on a beach NOW. You do not have to lose the fat between your thighs before you wear shorts! Yes, chafing happens, but there are products for that (Monistat Anti-Chafing Powder Gel is the SHIT). You do not have to change yourself because the media tells you to. Make a radical statement and BE HERE NOW. Be in your body NOW. You only have one life, why spend it waiting until your body is different? You can live NOW.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for listening to me ramble on about all these things that I’m so passionate about. I hope I was able to help you see something in yourself that you didn’t see before. Don’t forget to subscribe to The Fat Yogi Show podcast if you haven’t already, and follow @TheFatYogi Show, @tiffanycroww, and @propqueenyoga on Instagram! Feel free to reach out with any questions you have about being fat, being a fat yogi, yoga props and modifications, or fat fashion (I don’t think I mentioned before that I also work at Lane Bryant part time and love finding clothes for people that make them feel good about themselves.) I am pretty quick to respond on social media, especially now during this quarantine, so reach out! I’d love to talk to you!

Ok, how to close… I don’t know you, but I love you! I hope you know how strong, badass, and beautiful you are! Live your life NOW. ❤ 

Tiffany Croww Story

Let’s start the blog where I started the podcast. All the interviews on The Fat Yogi Show will be a back and forth interview with fat yogi’s. My name is Tiffany Crociani, I am a Fat Yogi. I decided that for this episode, I would just interview myself, or tell my story. If you didn’t know, my name online is Tiffany Croww, double W. I said I started yoga 10 years ago, but it was more like 17 years ago (crazy how time flies!). I just recently became a yoga teacher in January 2020. I took a 200hr certification through a local yoga studio in Fresno, CA called Tower Yoga. I loved their classes, and the head teachers. I had wanted to take a YTT forever, so I decided to jump in with both feet!

I noticed there was a fat yoga community on instagram. I am very active on instagram. I love posting things about being a Fat Yogi. I love listening to podcasts, and love the fat yoga community on instagram. I felt that there was a need for this type of podcast. A podcast that talks about Fat Yogi’s. Talks about relationships with your body, and your yoga practice. Anyone who has ever practiced yoga, or has tried yoga, and has fat on their body, can related to the stories that will be told on this podcast. That’s the backstory, or part of the backstory.

Going deeper, I was sitting in my very very hot bathtub. Sidenote, I have an almost 2 year old daughter who is very clingy, so I have to sneak away to find time to take a bath. It’s literally like, husband please occupy the child for 2 seconds while I go take a bath. If she sees me sneak away, meltdowns occur. Insert closed eyed emoji face here.

Back to the bath, because who doesn’t like talking about baths. I love to take 20-30 minutes to myself for self care. It’s very important to me. I like to ramble too, so here’s this part. I don’t get to do this every day, but when I do get to do it, I try to make it a “thing”. When I say “thing”, I mean I literally make sure the bath is very very hot, there are salts, there are bubbles. The candles are lit, relaxing music is playing, my eyes are closed, and I’m focusing on my breath. I’m lucky if I can do this once a week, and more than once a week means I am having a really really good week. On this particular bath, I am sitting listening to my ambient music, just breathing and meditating. I like to meditate and think about things in the bath. Things are coming up I don’t want to think about, so I begin counting, and breathing, and taking the thought somewhere else. Then another thought comes up. A thought I hadn’t thought about before, a thought of “what am I going to do with my podcast?”. I am growing a small listenership, but I know I am destined to create a community. I am the consumate organizer of so many things. Why couldn’t I be the organizer of this Fat Yogi show. Where people can tell their stories. I have a few podcasts where there are interviews, and those are my favorites. I love to hear about those types of things, because I can relate to them more.

I am sitting there, meditating, and thinking about podcasts, podcasts, podcasts, then this image pops into my head. FAT YOGI, FAT YOGI, FAT YOGI. I stopped in my bath, and thought, “Tiffany, you have to do this, this is it!!”.

The very next day I put a call out on Instagram to get some of this amazing community together to talk about Fat Yogi’s. CALLING ALL FAT YOGI’S!! I had immersed myself into the fat yoga community, and loved being in that community. I felt like we needed more. We need a podcast, I AM HERE FOR IT!

HI, welcome to the show!!!

Beginning with how I grew up, I grew up in Napa, CA. Literally graduated from Napa High School. I thought I had a good childhood, but looking back realizing that maybe I didn’t. I have been overweight forever. I had some trauma when I was growing up. If you are triggered by this, keep in mind I won’t go into any details. I am just simply sharing this, because I feel like this is where my weight came from. This is something that many women and men have had. Just the fact that it did happen with me. It happened with 3 different family members. I’ll leave the story at that here on the blog, I did discuss a little bit more on the podcast.

I remember there was an Oprah episode, and I was about 14, there was an episode about traumas. I vividly remember writing in my journal, “I am fat because of these people who had molested me”. It was interesting to me, for me to have that memory come up.

I know why I am fat, I like to eat. I don’t choose the right or healthiest options. I also was very sedentary. In my 20’s I decided I would start moving my body. I have tipped the scales close to 300lbs. I will share that right now, I am over 300lbs. I have had a crazy year, I ended up sharing more details on this later.

Back to the childhood stuff, growing up, always very aware of my body. There were many times where I was very self conscious of my body. I remember always wearing a sweatshirt in high school. It could be 100 degrees outside, and I would still wear this sweatshirt. I didn’t want anyone to see my body shape. I remember feeling like I always had to cover up. I didn’t want to show anything. I would sit on the couch, and grab a pillow, ALWAYS, I never sat down without a pillow on my lap. I remember sitting on my bed one night holding onto my belly, and saying “I’m so fat”, and my mom saying “oh my god, I don’t want you to think that of yourself, you’re too young”. I was probably 10 at the time I had those thoughts. Her thinking that whatever her issues were with her body, were pressed onto me.

My mom was overweight for as long as I could remember. My mom is only 4’10”, (im 5’9″ btw), she was very thin growing up. I saw pictures of her in a bikini, and she was very thin, maybe a size 6 or 8. Then after my mom and dad started dating, she went on birth control. She had purchased her wedding dress, and then taking the birth control. She went in for a fitting, and had gained 40 pounds. The seamstress had to sew in panels because the dress didn’t fit. My mom says this was from the birth control. This was in the 80’s, and birth control was different. I was born in 83′, my mom was married in 82′. She probably started birth control that previous year. I think that my mom’s weight gain might have also happened because of being more comfortable with my dad, and then came the nesting. There may have been 100 different reasons she gained weight. She was planning a wedding while going to college, and was only 18 at the time. That sounds pretty stressful. My mom was married to my Dad on November 20, 1982. She looked beautiful on her wedding day. And then I was born on November 20, 1983. She was married, and then went off of birth control right after, and I was conceived shortly after, and born (to the day) on the 1 year wedding anniversary.

My dad is deaf, and his birthday is on November 21, and side story, every year he texts me on his birthday “happy birthday”. Then in turn I wish him a “happy birthday”. My dad passed away last year. Where ever he is at, he is looking down on me. I actually just acquired his remains. Another side note. I haven’t really thought about him in the last few months. Then after I acquired his ashes, and now I think about him a lot. We are having more conversations now, than we ever have before. Since he was deaf, it was very hard on me growing up. I never had a conversation with him growing up. That probably contributed to me gaining weight. Not having the ability to communicate with my father. It was just different growing up. My dad was thinner bodied, and never really overweight. He had a passion for bowling, cars, and coca cola. My mother was hearing, and translated for us. The signs I knew growing up were “Mom Wants You”. One more side story about my dad. He married another woman about 5 years after my mom and dad got divorced (I was 16 when they got divorced). The woman’s name was the same as my mom’s. The FIRST AND SECOND name was the same. My dad called her SHERRY#2!!!!! Not kidding. She was also deaf. You’re welcome, he was such a weird guy. I never had a relationship with my dad. he just existed in the home with me. You grow up, and have these deep, important conversations (maybe you don’t want to hear them, but you have to, because they are your parents), life changing even. The language barrier, was too much. He couldn’t speak to me without writing it down, or finger spelling everything to me. There is no possible way to have a relationships with a person, if you can’t communicate with them. Simple things like social cues are completely lost on them, and it’s just impossible. I had zero patience with this, to the point I only contacted my dad (when I was an adult) when I needed help with my car. He came around maybe once a year or less.

My mom is the strongest woman I have ever known in my entire life. She runs her own business, and is just brilliant. She is just so good with business stuff, she can come up with ideas off the top of her head. My mom is a marketing genius, she should be doing 100 different things. She is just one amazing woman, she was my father and my mother. She raised me alone, even though my dad was there for the first 16 years. I lived with my mom full time when my parents divorced. My dad was on his own, and im not sure what exactly happened. But I feel like it was partly, he didn’t have the space for my brother and I to visit him on the weekends. And it was partly he was ok with working hard, coming home, sleeping, and then working again. He never reached out to me to say “let’s go have lunch” or “we should go bowling together”. Looking back I guess my dad just never knew how to be a dad, and in my eyes had no desire to be a dad. I don’t think him being deaf had anything to do with it. I think he was content with living with out his family. And then you have my mom who worked HARD, she provided everything for us. Kudos to my mom, she was such an amazing role model for me. I feel very very blessed to have that as my role model.

To get back to my mom’s weight, she was overweight, and I know that was an influence on me gaining weight. She was always on a diet, she was always trying to lose weight. Diet culture was strong in my house. If my mom was on a diet, we all were on a diet. Richard Simmons and I were besties growing up. We did Richard Simmons tapes all the time. He really is the OG to body positivity. I have done every single Sweatin’ to the Oldies. My cousins, uncles, aunts, and pretty much everyone in my family was overweight. Over the course of the last 15 years, 5 people in my family have had the gastric bypass or sleeve operation to help them lose weight. All of them except my mom, has gained most of their weight back. This surgery helped my mom lose 250lbs, she was probably around 350lbs when she had the surgery. And remember my mom is 4’10”, so she was a giant round meatball. She lost all this weight, and then my brother passed away. She gained and lost some, she is maintaining a healthy weight. She is around a size medium. She still can’t eat very much, and had the surgery over 15 years ago.

I ended up meeting my husband, while working at Petco. I worked full time at Petco, and going to school at the same time. I met Jason at work, about a year after I started working at Petco. He smiled at me while I was putting away a shopping cart. He said “Hi! I’m Jason, nice to meet you, I’ll be the new manager of the store”. This guy, Jason, was so handsome, and so cute. There was this spark. I was a chunkier girl, and totally remember saying “I’m single, but I don’t date”. I never had a boyfriend, never really had any boys who were friends. I didn’t even lose my virginity until I was 18, going probably too deep. But I was a late bloomer. It was because I was overweight. I was overweight all the way through high school. I had no boyfriend, no holding hands, no kissing, no nothing, all the way through high school. That wasn’t a thing for me. I was so self conscious of my body. I was so aware I was fat I didn’t want any attention from anybody. It was like, I had my guard up, and it could have been from the trauma I had when I was young. It was a lot of “stay away” vibes that I put off. I meet this guy. I had always said “I don’t date” and there was something different about him. I would come to work, and work so hard, so he could see what an amazing worker I was. I had such a huge crush on him. And I was going to leave Petco at one time, he convinced me to stay. He got me this job promotion. He came over to the store, and started asking me some personal stuff. I didn’t think much of it. Mostly because I had received a phone call from someone calling herself “Mrs. ::jason’s last name::”. Well I had thought he was married. That’s his wife. So for a while I thought he was married. Later I move to this other store, I find out that person was his mom. He’s single. So I become more interested. I think he’s cute. So then something happened where he went on a few dates with a friend. And it didn’t work out. Then we were hanging out more. And he kept talking about this friend. Then I finally said “I really like you, can we talk about me, I think we should hang out”. That’s how our relationship started.

I am a pretty bold person. I have to say what’s on my mind. If I have something on my mind, and I don’t speak about it, it will ooze out of me in 10 different ways. I will have stress, I will start lashing out at people. Whatever is in me to say, I have to say it.

I am so glad I said that in that moment, because now we have been married for 15 years in September. He loves me exactly the way that I am with my fat body. He supported me with every single thing I have ever done. I have ran marathons, I went through a phase where I ran a half marathon every month. I would love to get back to that sort of shape. I think my lowest was 180. I was still considered obese at 5’9″. My goal weight for BMI should be 160. I was a size 12. 12 for me is pretty small. Right now I am 300lbs, and a size 22. It was a different time. I feel so happy in my body right now in this current weight. I like this weight more than any other weight, and I am feeling really empowered.

I have had 2 children with my husband. My husband had a son with a person from a previous relationship. My stepson is 20, and my children are 6, son, and almost 2, daughter. We have a blended beautiful family. I feel so blessed. My children are my everything. I feel like my son is my spirit animal. I know he has my soul inside of him. My daughter is this loud mouth crazy girl, and reminds me of my mom. Who actually drives me nuts, but is this brilliant beautiful soul. And my husband is this amazing supportive person who has always been there for me. I feel really thankful for my family.

After the crazy running journey, I had this blog . It was called “drink run yoga”. I would drink, run, and do yoga. I don’t even remember when I started doing yoga. I think my first time was on a video. I thought it was dumb. I was like ” i don’t get it”. I started reading all these running blogs, that was encouraging cross training. And I was trying to figure out what cross training meant. So I found this yoga studio in my town. I was looking up yoga studios, and called this one little yoga studio. She told me to wear some looser fit clothing, and told me not to eat for 2 hours before class. This yoga studio was in a loft space. You had to climb some wooden stairs to get to the yoga space. The whole building looked like a log cabin on the inside. You could smell patchouli, there were persian rugs on the floor, tie dye on the walls. Every single class was maybe 5-6 yogis. I loved this teacher, I thought she was amazing, but she taught the same class every single class. Looking back, it was kind of annoying. I was 220 at the time, and was welcomed with open arms. I practiced every week for 2-3 times per week.

Then I fell off the yoga train. I got married, then the yoga instructor moved the location. It was on the water front, tons of windows, natural wood flooring. It felt like a really warm and inviting space. I went to a class one day, and the class had closed down. At one point she had suggested that I should take the ytt she was offering. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the time work. The schedule was all over the place for me at the time. It wasn’t the right timing for me.

fast forward a few more years. I feel like a yoga practice in a studio is the most comfortable. The energy in a studio is warm and inviting. The teachers usually know your name, and a gym is just not personal. You can feel the vibe of the teachers better, and the teachers are more accomodating. Fast forward, I start running hard core, I lost a ton of weight. This was when I dropped down to 180. I started attending more advanced classes. I began attending classes almost every day of the week while I was running a ton. I learned how to do side crow, and was beginning to learn handstand. I started doing more advanced yoga postures. I could stretch and move my body in ways I never had seen before. This was the days before instagram became huge. I had never seen “crow” pose before my teacher showed me in a yoga class. It wasn’t like I was trying to get in these poses. They just opened up for me. It wasn’t like I even knew where I was going. But these yoga instructors were helping me get to these more advanced places with yoga. They were seeing me blossom. I would go up to them, and thank you for showing me this. And then the injury happened.

I was training for a 2nd marathon. I ran 17 miles, 22 miles, and then 17 miles. This was in 3 days. I wasn’t following any training logs, I just thought I was invincible. THis was the worst idea ever, because I ended up doing some nerve damage to my back. It literally took years to repair. IF you are feeling strong and fit, but just remember injuries are a thing, and it can take years to repair. Then I tried to do more yoga, which made it worse. So I went to physical therapy. I did physical therapy for over a year. Then I got pregnant.

I gained a little bit of weight with my son. I may have gained 30-40 pounds. He went to 42 weeks, and was a 10 lb baby. he was huge!!! After I had my son, I got a little bit lost. I was on this health kick. But then couldn’t do the health thing after I had my son the way I wanted to. Then i began to do yoga again, and lost 25 lbs. Then I decided I needed a project.

The project was me going out with my friends once a month doing paint nites. Then I decided after a few paint nites I would buy my own canvas, and paint at home. And of course, the competitive side of me decided to become an artist for paint nite. hahah. I was an instructor for over a year. It was a good experience. I learned how to speak to large groups of people. Then I decided to quit. The paint nite people scheduled me for an event on my son’s birthday. I got to the point where I was angry, and not having fun anymore. This was supposed to be a fun side gig. I am working full time btw. I gained maybe 40 pounds over the course of the year. This entire time, so it was really not worth it. So I gave it up. Next up was another adventure in selling clothes

Sometimes I don’t know what I’m thinking. but for this adventure, I just had to hold on tight, because I was addicted to selling. And this whole thing blew up. I was riding this train, and making 20-30k a month. But also working 100 hours a week to do this. It took over my life, I had no time for anything else. I was giving up everything for money. That might have been the first time I valued money over my life, and realized it. So I gained around 60 pounds in a year. I gained almost 100 pounds in a year. I just decided that I was going to make myself a priority.

Then some struggles start happening with my marriage. My therapist says you really need to connect. And we did, and I got pregnant. It was a one shot deal. That was a super fun surprise. My daughter was a surprise, in the very best way. She is now 2. I didn’t know my family wasn’t complete. It’s complete now, because I had my tubes tied after she was born. I gained more weight. And now around 300lbs. I am still breastfeeding her, and I think some things will change when I stop breastfeeding. I need to focus on drinking more water, and not eating garbage. I don’t want to lose weight. I want to be healthier. I make healthier choices 1/2 of the time. I am fat, but also fit, and also beautiful. I gain all this weight, and I’m not feeling the best of myself.

So here I am finally getting on track with my marriage, my family, I don’t have any extra projects. What happens next? I go to this family reunion. My cousin moved to Fresno 2 years prior. His kids are the same age as my kids. When I was growing up my cousins (5 of them) and I all grew up together. We literally all lived in the same apartment complex, we would play tag together every day. We would swim in the swimming pool every day. We would be together every day. Those memories are my very favorite growing up. My relationship with my cousin is stronger than ever because of it. We come to Fresno, and realize my kids are missing out. They need this for their childhood. So we sold our house, and purchased one in Fresno, and now my kids see their cousins every single day. I love it. I love the relationship they have, and the closeness. This happened over the course of a month for that decision.

Once we moved here, I decided I would go to yoga teacher training, and get my certification. IF you think ytt is just learning about yoga, you’re wrong. You do learn about yoga, but the journey of the self is the harder one. And I am so glad I went through the training, because I needed to take that journey.

So that’s why it’s been a crazy year, moving, ytt, and new everything.

My final I get to teach a yoga class. It’s a free class, and 15-20 people show up. I welcome them, and I say “I’m your yoga teacher”, and they gave me this look like “you are?”. These were people I didn’t know. It was a free class, and they were there to check out the studio. At the end of the class, every single one of them asked me where they could take classes with me at the end. I talked about things that were on my mind. Accomodations in different poses with your larger body parts. All people loved it, because it’s how I practice. They saw me in my element. I don’t even see it as a modification. That’s my yoga. I want to empower people to say “I’m a Fat Yogi”. Not “I practice a modified version of yoga”. I PRACTICE YOGA. That’s really important to say in your mind. I was in a place where I spoke freely, I was feeling really playful, and encouraging, and finding joy. I think people loved it.

What did I like about yoga, I loved how I felt in my body after yoga

DId you go to a yoga studio? Yes, and the instructor greeted me with open arms

favorite yoga pose? forward fold

favorite length of class? 75 minutes, i do like my current studio is 60 minutes. Is perfect for where my life is now

favorite type of class?vinyasa

favorite thing about being a fat yogi? I love being an inspiration for people. If people see me practicing yoga, and they like it, they tell me “thank you, you’re an inspiration”

what’s my relationship with my body right now? I love my body, and that’s all that matters

what do I hate about my body? my cankles

what do I love about my body? I like my curves and waist and arms

how do I feel about the word fat? it can be used in a derogatory way, like any descriptive word. however you can say it in a positive or neutral way

fat yogi goals? get the podcast in the ears of anybody I possibly can. If you are a woman or a man, and have practiced yoga, you may have thought “I am fat”, my goal is to have people say “I am a Fat Yogi”. and empower them.

getting any poses? forearm stand, so close!

any words of advice to people who have a bad relationship with being fat? it’s ok to be fat, fat doesn’t equal ugly, you can love your body exactly the way it is today, and you don’t have to lose weight to be loved.

favorite food-sushi

favorite tv show-90 day fiancee

favorite book-How Yoga Works

favorite instagram account- fringeish

favorite way to spend a day off-spending quality time with my kids, yoga, eating dinner together

coming up for me- retreat coming up with namaste together!

Retreat Infohttps://www.namastetogetherfresno.com/schedule/9fae9e59-2789-4949-909e-1dd546f35fa5_1593212400

Let’s kick off the Summer right, with an amazing yoga retreat!

Pack your bags, let’s go on an adventure! This retreat will have all of your favorite things, and more

Your retreat will include

-Welcome bonfire

-Yoga under the stars

-Nature hike to the river

-Namaste Together yoga flows

-Guided meditation

-Cooking Class with Sam

-Craft Class with Tiff (Candle and or smudge stick)

-Down time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and unplug

-Accommodations for 2 nights and 3 days

-Dinner the night we arrive, all meals on Saturday, and Mimosa Brunch on Sunday

Our goal is to leave you feeling relaxed, and recharged! Every activity will be included in an itenary, and is completely optional. We want you to enjoy your retreat!

We will be staying in a cozy cabin in kernville at the edge of the Sequoia National Forest, about 3 hours from Fresno, or Los Angeles. It’s the perfect place to disconnect. Private? VERY! Cozy? YOU BET! This cabin has been in Sam’s family for the last 25 years, and she is excited to share this amazing family space with you. She wants to welcome you to this rustic and homey space, and feel super cozy.

Details about the space :

Knotty pine interior, wood burning fireplace, located less than 2 miles to downtown (Breweries, Kern River & Lake, fishing, boating, hiking, antiquing.)

**Please note **

*$499 rate would include Twin bed with single occupancy

(6 available)

*$899 rate would include Queen bed with double occupancy

(2 available) First person to book will receive a private room.

*There are a few spots at a discounted rate of $350, as spots are limited, and you don’t want to miss out. Please email us for more details on this.

The $350 rate would include air mattress accommodations,

(1 available)

*2 beds will be double occupancy, this would be perfect for you and a friend or spouse! Otherwise, you can book the entire bed for the double occupancy rate. Please email us for more details on this.


Cozy Cabin in Kernville