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‘When I look at this, my first reaction is of disgust. I didn’t see what my yoga teacher saw.’

in Featured, YD News

raw-experience-yoga-every-body

We happened upon this photo and had to post it. People have been sharing this pic like crazy and it’s for good reason. If you’ve ever felt bogged down by what we’re often told a yoga body is or isn’t, this will absolutely make your week. So much love for this guy right here.

Photo caption via facebook:

“My yoga teacher took this of me today. When I look at this my first reaction is of disgust. I didn’t see what my teacher saw. ‘Look at your top arm and leg. The openness at your chest and hips is beautiful!! How straight your are able to get, and how you are supporting yourself and balancing on one arm and leg.’ Years of hating myself won’t go away over night, but with the help of supportive friends I’ll get there. Yoga is for EVERY BODY. — at Healthy Life Yoga.”

Hear, hear, friend! We’re so glad he found a welcoming studio and a teacher who understands yoga is for every body.

Our thanks to My Real Yoga Body for the heads up on this.

Here’s more about Richard Widmark, Jr., the yogi pictured above, who’s been blogging about his personal experience via his website The Raw Xperience:

I’ve been overweight my entire life. I was always the biggest guy in the room. For the longest time, that’s who I thought I was supposed to be. I’m a 36 year old male, who has finally decided to change my life. At my highest weight I was 669 pounds. This came from years of being lazy, depressed, and not motivated to do anything. My life seems like it’s been one huge roller coaster ride. In hind site I realize that every choice I’ve made has led me to this point in my life. Right now is the perfect time and place to be.

I can see my future for the first time, and it’s looking very bright. I look forward to sharing my journey with you, and if you get just the slightest inspiration to change your life, it was all worth it to me.

Widmark has made some new ground through yoga and has discovered that he might even want to use his experience to eventually teach yoga and encourage others who are reluctant or think they can’t do it to try the practice.

On March 29th he posted this message to facebook:

I don’t think there is enough comfort for overweight people to start yoga. I can’t really blame them either. Yoga has taken on a “beautiful” body with seemingly next to impossible poses. I’d like to see this change some. Yoga is becoming a major part of my life. I swear and sweat when I do it. I don’t do the poses perfectly, but it isn’t about perfection, it’s about growth. I did a pose Friday that when I saw my teacher do it I thought “Yeah right.” You know what though, with a gentle push of confidence from my teacher and a few moments of visualization I did it. In that moment I felt absolute accomplishment. Sure some poses I can’t physically do because of my weight, or fat getting in the way, but one day I will. One day I’d like to teach the people, who like me, were reluctant to try yoga. To be continued to another day ……

<3

——

Earlier

38 comments… add one

  • Kate

    Good for him! Hopefully he can inspire others who feel bad about their bodies to try yoga. And kudos to his teacher as well.

  • Bonnie

    Love, love, love this man. ‘Be been doing yoga for years and he is an inspiration to me! Namaste.

  • Janelle

    “Baby bend over, let me see you do that yoga”

  • Emily

    I think you’re awesome. And listen to your teacher, they’ve got the right perspective on that photo. Keep it up!! :)

  • PS in NY

    I have so much admiration for you, Richard. “I don’t do the poses perfectly, but it isn’t about perfection, it’s about growth.” Exactly. Keep up your beautiful practice.

  • Elise

    There is no such thing as a perfect pose. You are doing it perfectly if you are attempting it. Bravo for your tenacity and perseverance. Even we experienced practitioners can learn a thing or two from you, I’m sure! Self-love and self-acceptance make you beautiful and make your practice “perfect”

  • VQ2

    I saw a guy and his wife, come into a former (for me) and still in business (generally known in the community as taking no prisoners in its style), about half Richard’s size saying he was “not considering yoga, [just look at me]” and nobody at the front contradicted him. [To be fair, they did teach other mind-body practices in the same space. He did not insist on being taught yoga, either.]

    Represent!

  • Amanda

    You rock Richard! Looking forward to hearing more of your journey. Keep up the amazing work!

  • ellen

    how wonderful that you can even do this…not bc of your size…but, as your teacher stated..your lines are great! I do not do yoga, but, would not be able to get as straight and balanced as you have done…good job indeed.

  • Beautiful!

  • Pat

    you should be very proud of yourself .

  • Sheryl Jones

    Keep on doing the good stuff for yourself – and so great you’re looking forward to teaching – because you already are!

  • Wendy Pierson

    The first thing that came to my mind when I saw your picture was, “wow, that guy has amazing balance.” I was also struck by how high you were able to raise your leg. The observations of your amazing teacher enhanced my awareness & for that I am grateful.
    What I really want you to know is how powerful your commentary on Yoga was to me. I have taken yoga on & off for the past 30 years. I think I became frustrated when unable to achieve results comparable to what Sting was exhibiting many years back. In reality I did not have the time to devote to the practice that Sting had. YOU have inspired me to get back to it; because ” it’s not about perfection” but I know how good it feels and IS for our bodies and souls!
    Thank you for being sharing this photograph and your story. You are such an inspiration. Best wishes on your exciting journey! I see you as a ver strong , brave , motivated and giving person. Thank you for sharing your positive energy with the world, it is needed! Keep it coming!

  • Wendy Pierson

    The first thing that came to my mind when I saw your picture was, “wow, that guy has amazing balance.” I was also struck by how high you were able to raise your leg. The observations of your amazing teacher enhanced my awareness & for that I am grateful.
    What I really want you to know is how powerful your commentary on Yoga was to me. I have taken yoga on & off for the past 30 years. I think I became frustrated when unable to achieve results comparable to what Sting was exhibiting many years back. In reality I did not have the time to devote to the practice that Sting had. YOU have inspired me to get back to it; because ” it’s not about perfection” , but I know how good it feels and how good it IS for our bodies and souls!
    Thank you for being sharing this photograph and your story. You are such an inspiration. Best wishes on your exciting journey! I see you as a very strong , brave , motivated and giving person. Thank you for sharing your positive energy with the world, it is needed! Keep it coming!

  • Way to go! Beautiful. Progress not perfection. Thank you for sharing x Namaste

  • Sonia

    So pleased that Richard has had the courage to put himselg out there. I know exactly how he feels. I’m a plus sized lady, undertaking my Yoga Teacher Training course, and can’t wait to start teaching. Yoga Is For EveryBODY. Namaste.

  • just think where our perfect energetic state can lead.

    could be a perfect mind state that lead to back in the matrix body shape?

    if the matrix is energetic than material body should be pulled in the form just being balanced.

    something here: http://healthprotection.gr8.com/ as free stuff that will come also in time

  • Denise Nobile (@Denise_Nobile)

    You are rockin’ the half moon!! You go!! You are an inspiration!!

  • My hips don’t open like that! Much love man.

  • Mrk

    Richard, such courage to step on the mat and do your yoga! We all bring our stories and yours is an inspirational one. When I read all the encouraging comments it makes me realize how compassionate the yoga community is and I’m so humbled to be part of it.

  • Atha yoga anushasanam

  • Lois

    This guy rocks!

  • Butterflyyogi

    What a gorgeous pic to post. Richard you are simply divine. Thank you for being a true yogi and fabulous inspiration. It’s not about the perfect pose..it’s about how you get there. Your pose is BEAUTIFUL.
    Namaste Darling

  • Awesome Man! Keep it up, yoga is for all of us! Great inspiration!

  • Mary Lou Wojcik

    BRAVO! You may not know it but you are a total inspiration for all who see this.
    Keep up the sensational work, and it is WORK.

  • He’s so great

  • Richard, you are amazing! An incredible example of what is possible.
    I can´t explain how much you have inspired me.
    I have never have weight issues, but I have always been self-conscious and that has stopped me for doing a bunch of stuff in my life.
    I love to learn stories about people that are doing things to imporve their lives regardless any issues they can have.
    These stories teach me over and over that our real limits are in our minds.
    Somebody told me, “The money is outside your comfort zone”, I will add. “Growth and happiness are outside of your comfort zone”

  • Maybe look weird for some people, but true teacher with open heart and mind he is look amazing. Lots of my student can’t do it that nice.

  • Nicole

    Rocking that half moon!!! The depth of your yoga is felt by your words and that rocks even harder than the pose.

  • Congratulations for his perseverance and tenacity. Hopefully this will inspire more people to take control of their life!

  • msue

    Such a beautiful half-moon pose, one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing your story, it is quite an inspiration. Some days my limitations are frustrating; it is only when I’m grateful for perfect imperfection that my practice really grows.

  • Vada Dye

    Keep up the good work, Richard! I respect your courage, hard work and perserverance!

  • Very nice. Thank you for sharing it. If you are looking for the best fitness trainers & much more, come to SinCityTrainner. Read more at: http://www.sincitytraining.com/

  • KJ

    This was very inspiring. Yoga is definitely about your growth, not perfection. I love feeling myself get stronger every week!

  • Wow, what a beautiful message! Excellent half moon pose, and keep up the awesome work! Love it! http://girlonyoga.com

  • Farrah

    Richard, this is an amazing pose. I am struck by the balance you have found in your own body. You found a space in which to be present and look limitless! I am inspired and humbled by your practice.

  • Audrey Fredericks

    Keep breathing in there, YD. Beautiful alignement indeed. Big hugs from a Yoga instructor from Brazil :)

  • Richard you rock! I know so many people who don’t have the balance, nor the strength nor the willingness to even try to do this pose. Keep up the good work. And your teacher is right on point. You do have have great opening of the chest, great arm alignment and opening and stacking up of the hips. I’d love to see more photos of you doing yoga my friend and I’d love to be able to share these with others if that is okay with you. I think you are a great source of inspiration. Ciao, ciao. Essdras M Suarez/ Founder of visYoga©

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