Plus size, as you may know is not my favorite phrase. Perhaps it is because I have had to ride miles of escalators to the depths of retail stores looking for the “Plus-Size” section or it may just be that I have been Plus Sized for so long that I hate being lumped into a category. It is a well known term, everyone knows what it means when it is mentioned so I am pretty sure it will be around for awhile and I will just need to embrace it.
When I came across a class called “Plus-Sized Yoga” I was at first a bit hesitant, if I go then I am admitting to the whole world or at least those in the class that I am plus sized. I realized that a class is no different than shopping in the plus sized section, and really who said it was such a horrible thing to be plus sized after all.
I arrived at the studio where Rochelle Rice was teaching a series of five classes for her “Plus-Size Yoga” class. I joined a handful of other woman of all shapes and sizes, some clad in fancy yoga wear others in sweatpants and t-shirts, we laid out our yoga mats and started to stretch. There was nothing intimidating about this class or these women, accidental met glances were returned with smiles and everyone was very welcoming. I was invited to get up in front of the class and explain my journey and I was met with even more warmth and support, many of the ladies approaching me after the class to learn more and to encourage me.
Rochelle is the President of In Fitness & In Health, an organization she created that encourages movement and exercise among all body types regardless of size. Her bio sums up her passion for her company “Rice’s interest in Plus-Size Exercise came through her concerns about the inordinate stress put on thinness in our society, rather than fitness. Providing a safe environment where women could exercise physically while feeling secure emotionally, became Rice’s passion.”
If the yoga class I took is representative of Rochelle’s work then I personally believe that she is living her passion. If only all fitness classes everywhere could be so welcoming and warming to the soul. I left and had absolutely no qualms about being labeled “Plus-Size” with these amazing woman.