Plus Size Yoga, Cody App, and Having Yoga Instructors that Look Like Me
I didn’t think plus size yoga could be a real thing. But, there are bright spots on my quest to find enjoyable movement, and yoga videos on Cody app are some of them.
Movement in Recovery
At some point kind of late in life (after college), I discovered I could touch my toes. I had literally never been able to do that, or at least I didn’t know how. Which sounds ridiculous, because duh, you just bend down and touch them, but I think we all know there’s more to it than that. Whatever it was, I could do it, and I decided that I liked stretching. Stretching has been just about the only thing I’ve consistently enjoyed doing with my body.
And yoga is just fancy stretching, kind of? I tried it along with a few pilates DVDs in college, and returned to it every once and awhile after that. Then I started recovering from bulimia, and I put a hold on literally everything that threatened the fragile peace I was finding with my body image. That included any sort of exercise, because my brain couldn’t handle it without obsessing over doing more and more of it once I started. Food first, movement later, was the approach.
Movement in Recovery
Here and there during the first year of treatment, my dietician would encourage me to find some sort of positive movement. There were a lot of false starts, but then one day I realized I felt like moving. I knew I liked yoga, so I casted around a bit to see what might be out there for a plus-sized woman. I reasoned that if there are yoga videos for pregnant women and seniors, there was probably something out there for fat people.
While I was new to being fat, I wasn’t new to yoga. I checked out a few books, but what I found available at the library was a bit more beginners than I wanted. Also, I get bored easily and have trouble learning something physical from a book. And to be honest, child’s pose is uncomfortable if you have a belly you’re not super comfortable with. It was hard to do poses I’d done before, but in a changed body. The comparisons to how I used to be were hard to ignore.
Plus Size Yoga
I’ve talked a little about my continuing mission to find enjoyable plus size movement and Jessamyn Stanley. Dana Falsetti initially led me to Cody, where I found Jessamyn’s videos, too. What can I say? I like everything about these two ladies. The body-positive, weight-neutral tone they strike in their yoga instruction is spot on for me. At first, the only things available were a little tough for me, but the two have since joined together and created a whole series for beginners. It’s challenging enough I don’t get bored, and they’re both quick to point out easy modifications. “If the pose doesn’t look like this, that’s ok,” is a wonderful thing to hear from a yoga instructor.
For me, it’s incredibly freeing to even see a woman shaped like me doing things that I’d like to learn how to do. Watching a yoga video with a lithe, petite woman, it’s easy to think I’ll never do that pose because I’ll never have that body. Seeing another plus size woman feels like a warm invitation to try it out.
What is Cody app
Cody is an online platform and app for fitness videos, with a heavy emphasis on yoga. What makes it unique is that there isn’t one instructor or handful of regular instructors. Instead, you purchase plans (series of videos) that are your to access wherever you want. You only pay once, and the videos are yours to access however many times you want.
I own several different collections, but I think my current favorite is the EmBody Yoga Bundle. It includes five different plans (collections of yoga videos), which include 39 different videos arranged into a 90 day practice calendar for guidance. I typically just pick and choose which videos I’m in the mood for. They range from a very useful 11 minute Wrist & Shoulder Strength series to a 66 minute Vinyasa Flow.
The plans themselves are typically around $30 – $50, but there’s a discount for bundles and Cody frequently offers 30% off sales. You can also use my referral code for 50% off your first plan using my referral code (Disclosure: if you use it, I also get 50% off of a purchased plan).
How to use Cody
I personally use Cody on my phone (iOS) and mirror it with my Apple TV to my television when I’m at home. I have also downloaded some of my favorite videos for offline use while travelling. You can also use Cody on your computer, on Android or Apple devices, on Apple TV, and Chromecast.
There are additional social features, and the ability to log workouts with little notes (but, blessedly, no “calories burned” bullshit). If you try it out, we should be friends! It’s kind of fun to take a minute post-yoga to reflect on doing something novel with your body.
If you found this review helpful and are considering trying Cody out for yourself, please consider using my referral code. There are, of course, lots of other ways to try yoga. If you’re inclined to give it a go, I hope you find whatever works best for you! Bonus points if you make it so I’m not the only weirdo in the office that periodically touches my toes just for the hell of it.