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Fat Kid Yoga Club

Change Your Perspective – Back to School Yoga Challenge – Day 3

Is it cliche to say it feels like the world has been turned upside down?

I love, love, love practicing inversions. For me, it’s exhilarating to go upside down and see the world from a different perspective. Ironically, it’s also soothing to practice a gentler inversion like legs up the wall (or chair). 

Today’s theme is simple, take a few moments to physically change your perspective. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a handstand! As I show in this video, I also enjoy wide-leg forward folds and legs up the chair. 

Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite inversion is and how this practice went for you today.

If your not feeling like going upside down today, you can take some time to write about a time when you changed your perspective about someone or something and how that changed your relationship/experience. 

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Fat Kid Yoga Club

Stand Tall and Strong – Back to School Yoga Challenge – Day 2

Y’all this challenge has got me feeling nostalgic! 

Growing up, one of my favorite things about back to school time was shopping for new clothes and picking out the coolest outfit for the first day of school. It was an exciting time, but shopping wasn’t always fun.

As a fat kid, I rarely got to wear the clothes that I wanted to. I was always relegated to the “husky” section and had to settle for what fit. By the time I was in high school, shopping had lost it’s charm altogether. I spent hours following my friends around the mall and waiting for them to try on clothes why I tried to avoid the question, “can I help you find something?”

“No – you don’t carry my size.” I’d say, trying to end the interaction quickly to avoid further humiliation. Sometimes the sales person would inquire about my size, and assure me that “our sizes run big” but more often than not, they’d tell me to look for extended sizes online. I didn’t realize the lasting effect fatphobia in the fashion industry had on me until recently. It wasn’t just that I felt ashamed of my body or that I couldn’t wear the same clothes as my friends. I didn’t get to develop a personal style.

RuPaul says “you’re born naked and the rest is drag.” But my drag has been exactly that. For most of my life, I’ve settled for what fit or what I was expected to wear. But no more. As a fat-queer grown up, I’ve committed to finding a personal style that allows me to feel strong and confident in ways that I’ve never experienced before. And that brings us to today’s theme…

Practicing yoga has taught me the power of radical self-love. That I am worthy, and dare I say, perfect just as I am. Today, I’m inviting you to practice some yoga postures that make you feel tall and strong. In this video, I suggest mountain pose, tree pose, or warrior 1, but of course you’re welcome to practice any posture that is calling to you. 

Leave a comment and let us know which poses empower you to feel tall and strong. Or, for today’s journal prompt tell us about your favorite piece of clothing or an outfit that makes you feel confident.

Don’t forget to share your practice on Instagram with #fatkidyogaclub and #backtoschoolyoga

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Fat Kid Yoga Club

Open Your Heart and Mind – Back to School Yoga Challenge – Day 1

Today’s the day, y’all! We’re kicking off our seven-day challenge!

I love starting a new school year. It’s a time of excitement and optimism, and I can’t wait to meet my new students. But things are different for many of us this year.  If you’ve got school-aged children, you may be weighing the decision to keep them home or send them back to the classroom. If you’re an educator or work in schools, you may be feeling a sense of dread as you try to imagine what your classroom will look like this year. Personally, I’ll be telecommuting and teaching my university classes via Zoom. It won’t be the same, but then again it never is. 

It’s important to approach new experiences and opportunities with an open heart and mind. Often, our expectations will prepare us for one type of experience that may or may now come true. And it’s a real bummer when your expectations and reality are at odds with one another. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want to have a good time, instead, I’m inviting you to consider how you can have a good time even when things don’t go how you thought they would!

In this video, I share three variations of my favorite chest-opening yoga posture, supported fish. In yoga communities, “chest-opening” and “heart-opening” are often used interchangeably. This is because the Anahata (heart) chakra is located in the chest. Additionally, if you’ve studied Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, you are likely familiar with Sutra 1.2 “yogas chittavrittinirodha” or yoga is restraining the churnings of the mind-stuff (Chitta).  What is mind-stuff you ask? It’s often described as our “lower-mind”, our internal monologue, or even our feelings. For me, chest opening practices are an invitation to open my heart and mind to new possibilities.

To try the variations in this video you will need a blanket or towel, yoga blocks, and a bolster (or alternatives). BUT – and I cannot stress this enough – you don’t have to practice supported fish today! You’re in control, so you might try another back bending posture that you LOVE instead. This yoga challenge is an invitation – an elective if you will.

So, before I ramble too much more… the journal prompt for today is:

What are you looking forward to about the new school year (or this challenge)? What is one thing you are committed to learning more about in the next few months?

Please consider leaving your response in the comments below. If journaling isn’t your thing, consider leaving a comment to tell me which posture(s) you practiced and/or which of the options I provided was your favorite!

Also, please feel free to play along and share your practice on Instagram with #fatkidyogaclub and #backtoschoolyoga!

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Fat Kid Yoga Club

What are you listening to? (and a training opportunity)

Drae recommended to podcasts during our community chat tonight:

It’s Hard Out Here for a Prophet from How to Survive the End of the World

Surprise! In honor of Martin Luther King Jr’s holiday, and to herald the arrival of black history month, we bring you this very special episode, and interview with two black luminaries of the Buddhist world, Lama Rod Owens (@LamaRod1) and reverend angel Kyodo williams (@ZenChangeAngel). We talk with them about their collaborative work, Radical Dharma, and how going inward helps us transform the world. music by Yaul and Mother Cyborg – www.patreon.com/Endoftheworldshow www.endoftheworldshow.org/ www.instagram.com/endoftheworldpc/ 

#52: Lama Rod Owens from Ten Percent Happier

Lama Rod Owens is an author, activist, and authorized Lama (Buddhist Teacher) in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School, is co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation and co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Published in Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle and The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Lama Rod’s next book project, Love & Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger is due out June 16th, 2020.

Lately, I’ve been a huge fan of the new Accessible Yoga Podcast. Episode 2 featured Kelley Palmer and focuses on dismantling white supremacy and redistributing power in yoga spaces. Kelley will be leading an online training on Race & Equity in Yoga that starts next week. I just signed up tonight, so I hope I’ll see some of you there!

The Big Fat Gay Podcast helped me get through the early days of our quarantine and I’m so glad they’re back from their summer break!

My friend Puja is an amazing musician and Kirtan performer. Their music has been soothing my soul lately. You should check them out on Spotify and consider supporting their Patreon

But that brings me back to my original question…

What are you listening to? Drop some links in the comments and share the love!

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Fat Kid Yoga Club

Meet Jaclyn! FKYC Member Spotlight

Hey y’all – I am so excited for you to meet Jaclyn! You may have seen her around in some of my promo images and video thumbnails, and that’s because Jaclyn was the *first* Fat Kid Yoga Club Member.

We met a few years ago when a mutual friend suggested we should collaborate. We met for donuts and the rest is history.

You can connect with Jaclyn at jaciblue.com  or follow her on social: @JaciBlue on Instagram or Facebook.

Let’s share the self-love, leave a comment and let us know how you’ve practiced self-care during the pandemic!

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Fat Kid Yoga Club

Back to School Yoga Challenge

Ready or not, the new school year is upon us. Whether you are a teacher, student, or parent yourself, I’m inviting you back to school with a 7-Day Yoga Challenge August 16 through 22. Each day will focus on a different theme and I will offer short asana practices and journal prompts here on the Patreon page. The “syllabus” is as follows:

8/16 – Open Your Heart and Mind (Back bending/Chest opening)

8/17 – Stand Strong (Standing Postures)

8/18 – Change Your Perspective (Inversions)

8/19 – Go Within (Meditation)

8/20 – Take it Easy (Restorative Postures)

8/21 – Find Your Edge (Balance Challenge)

8/22 – Honor Roll (Posture that makes you feel strong/proud)

Yoga challenges can be a fun way to hold yourself accountable to a daily practice. But, like all of my offerings, this will be a choose your own adventure yoga challenge. I invite you to participate and share your experience with the community to the degree you are comfortable with. As an added bonus, I’ll be giving away some prizes including a personal yoga coaching session with me, some FKYC shirts, and new FKYC stickers.

To win all you need to do is participate in the challenge by 1) commenting/sharing your experience on the daily Patreon post or 2) sharing a picture/video to Instagram, tagging me @fatkidyogaclub, and using the tags #fatkidyogaclub and #backtoschoolyoga. Everyone who shares will get a sticker and at the end of the week, I’ll select two people who will win a free 45-minute coach session with me and three additional people who will win FKYC shirts.  Patreon doesn’t allow “random selection” of winners, so I’ll pick winners based on your participation AND your support for other participants.

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Fat Kid Yoga Club

August Community Chats

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August 2020 Newsletter

It’s been a long, hot summer and I know we can all use some good news.

I’m so happy to share that we raised $225 for the House of Tulip in July! The House of Tulip is a Black Trans led organization working to create housing solutions for trans/gender non-conforming people in Louisiana. I will continue to donate 50% of live class proceeds to House of Tulip through the end of 2020. If you’d like to support them directly visit https://houseoftulip.org/make-a-donation or send some funds on Cashapp: $HouseOfTulip or Venmo: @HouseofTulip. 

As the pandemic rages on in Louisiana, I’m incredibly grateful to you and everyone who shares virtual space with me on Zoom, Patreon, and Instagram. Your support continues to carry me through. 

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to return the favor!

-Marc

PS There’s more good news below…

May all beings be happy and free,
And may my thoughts, words, and actions contribute to the
Freedom and happiness of all beings, everywhere. 

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Fat Kid Yoga Club

Discount Codes

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How to Adapt Yoga Postures for Your Body

My Patreon supporters have been raving about my new How to Cat/Cow video!

When I started my practice I really struggled to adapt yoga postures (asanas) for my body. At times, it was really frustrating and my teachers didn’t always offer me assistance. I know how hard it is to start something new, so I like to share the tricks I’ve learned along the way.

I hope the videos below offer you support in your practice. If they do help, maybe you’ll consider joining Fat Kid Yoga Club?

How to Sit Cross Legged (free to the public)

How to Downward Facing Dog

How to Child’s Pose

How to Step to the Top of Your Mat (free to the public)

How to Use Yoga Blocks (free to the public)

How to Pick the Best Yoga Mat for Your Body and Practice (free to the public)