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July 21, 2015

Get on the Mat & Thank Shiva for those Glorious Tits.

Flickr/Richard Riley: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rileyroxx/133040429/

Don’t get me wrong—I love my boobs.

But I had a small, private war with them in the 4th grade when my gym teacher, Mr. Cooper, sent a note home to my Mom saying I needed to get a bra. In his opinion, I was distracting the boys in class when I rounded the bases in kickball.

My mother politely suggested Mr. Cooper was the one with the problem. She then harrumphed her way into the department store lingerie section, with me in tow. I think we were both a bit shocked when she wanted to get me a training bra, but I went immediately into a B cup. Maybe Mr. Cooper had been on to something (but it’s still creepy in hindsight).

My “Ta-Ta Tribulations” popped up again in the 5th grade, when a classmate accused me of “stuffing my bra.” But that blew over once another classmate grew bigger than me, and everyone’s focus shifted from my rack to hers. Whew!

My breasts brought me more embarrassment and consternation when I had to buy two different sizes of bathing suits, though that situation is no longer an issue these days, because tops and bottoms can now be purchased separately, in differing sizes.

On the flip-side, my breasts have brought me joy when I’ve been able to show off a necklace I love or wear a kick-ass bra that makes me feel invincible. They’ve also helped me garner the attention of the opposite sex—the good kind of attention.

Boobs are great—ask any 7th grade boy. They are not only good for nourishing and boosting the immune systems of new life forms, but they are also a great place to store a cell phone in a pinch. They are just fun! They supply food, storage and ultimately joy to so many of us.

Boobs are also a pain in the ass for most female yogis. (Can I get a What-What?!)

I have had some incidents with boobs—my own and others—in my yoga practice.

I am a yoga instructor, but not the “typical” yoga instructor of yore, with the lithe, rail thin body.

I have boobs. And an ass. And a gut. And big powerful thighs and calves.

I also have bony ankles for a “big girl,” but now it seems like I’m just bragging. Seriously, it was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me (in my mind). I was on a date at a restaurant with a nice young man, and he looked troubled for a few moments before finally exclaiming, “Will you please stop kicking me under the table with your bony ankles?!”

Best. Compliment. Ever.

But I digress—back to boobs.

While guiding a yoga practice, I executed a glorious (at least it felt that way) swan dive forward in a sun salutation, and I lost a boob out of my bra cup. Luckily, I was able to reestablish coverage by some slight of hand magic and a bit of upper arm maneuvering, therefore avoiding any sexual harassment lawsuits from horrified yogis, from my inadvertent “nip-slip.”

I also distinctly remember another incident from one of my first ever yoga classes. We were bent in half from the waist and backed up to the wall, and I feared I would suffocate from the smushed boobs in my face. I motioned for the instructor and expressed my anxiety and fear of imminent death. She giggled and said that had never been a problem for her.

Well that’s just great, lady. Thanks.

I have always remembered that experience and I believe it has made me a better instructor—more compassionate if nothing else.

I teach many different body types—most of them being of average breast size, some of them being fully engorged pregnant ladies and some of them just being big-titted women. I am fully aware of every opportunity to offer a folded blanket to elevate a neck or chin—something to get their faces off of their boobs and enable more open breathing.

Yoga was only practiced by men for many centuries, and I am not sure who was the first woman who pranced into a yoga practice and did as the men did. Was it the brave Eve, who was the foundress of females practicing yoga? Perhaps we are all indebted to her. I wonder if she had small breasts?

Despite William Broad’s assessment—that not everyone can or should practice yoga—I am of the mindset that yes, everyone can practice yoga.

I am acutely reminded of this notion when a beautiful, dark-haired yogini with breast cancer softly thanks me for bringing her a blanket to prop up her head, keeping her chemo port from being uncomfortable during a restorative pose.

I am also reminded when a young expectant mom sighs with relief when I give her extra props taking the pressure off of her almost-a-mommy boobs. And I am reminded when my upper body falls forward to meet the tops of my thighs in a forward bend, and my boobs seems softer and more pliable than I remember.

Boobs—they’re here and they can be queer—get used to it.

No matter how big your boobs are, you can still practice yoga.

I don’t care if you have to get a folding chair for each boob—you can still practice yoga. So no excuses, my mammary blessed friends.

Get on your mat and thank Shiva for those glorious tits.

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Relephant:

How Yoga Taught me to Love Boobs.

Yoga, Boobs & Not Taking Ourselves too Seriously.

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Author: Melissa Morgan

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/Richard Riley

 

 

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