Moving your body should be an uplifting and positive experience. More online fitness platforms are beginning to embrace body positivity, and show body diversity with their teachers and students. Here are my picks for body positive workouts…
I’m not a gym person. This may seem weird coming from someone who worked in a gym teaching yoga, Pilates reformer, and other group exercise classes for 10 years. I just don’t find working out in the gym on a treadmill or on strength machines to be very inspiring. It’s totally boring to me.
I love taking group fitness classes, but I never want to stay at the gym after teaching for hours and I struggle to find classes that fit my schedule. At-home workouts are the most convenient option for me right now.
But I’m not into fitness teachers that yell at me or tell me that I need to workout harder to fit into my bikini or tell me I need to up the intensity to slim my thighs. I can’t tolerate body shaming when I’m trying to do something positive for my health and well-being.
When I teach yoga, Pilates reformer and other group exercise classes, I use body neutral cues, I encourage people to do what feels good to them, and I use health promoting language rather than body changing language. I find that it creates a more positive environment and helps people to have more appreciation and compassion for themselves and their bodies.
I’ve been exploring online workout subscriptions that do the same, as well as online workouts that feature teachers and class participants of all body sizes.
I love that this is becoming more common in the fitness industry lately. I hope that eventually body shaming and diet culture talk will be non-existent in live and online fitness classes.
I’ve come across some fitness platforms that are body positive and body diverse, so I thought I would share them with you!
The Best Body Positive Subscription-Based Online Movement Practices:
During the pandemic, I launched a body positive virtual yoga studio to support my local yoga students who couldn’t attend in-person classes.
There are now nearly 100 streaming yoga, Pilates, and barre classes along with some off the mat mini workshops on body image, Intuitive Eating, and practicing self-care.
All of the classes aim to help you feel more connected to your body, practice body acceptance, and respect your body as it is right now.
It’s just $12 a month and you can join here.
This is what I’ve been doing the most lately, and I love it! The workouts feature teachers and participants of all sizes. They offer a variety of versions of each exercise to meet you where you are. I also love the message of this company…
“Instead of exercising to get there–to that imagined ideal–at barre3 we exercise to be here in this moment, empowered and present in our bodies just as they are.”
The teachers really emphasize this message in all of their workout videos. The workouts are challenging, but not crazy intense. I also feel so good after a barre workout!
One of my girlfriends introduced me to this company, and I just love their message and what they offer. They’re all about body acceptance and making yoga accessible for every body.
“Curvy Yoga Practice starts on your yoga mat because yoga isn’t part of a “fix yourself” paradigm but rather a “know yourself” paradigm. And then it journeys with you off your yoga mat because the same is true of body acceptance. While you may experience fleeting moments of epiphany or joyous love for your body, the day-to-day experience of body acceptance is much quieter than that — and ultimately more powerful because it becomes part of your everyday life.”
The be.come Project
I’ve been following the founder of this company, Bethany Meyers, on social media for awhile, and I love her message. She focuses on body neutrality and respecting our bodies as they are.
All the workouts are 25 minutes, and are a mix of Pilates and yoga choreographed to the beat of music. It’s very focused on the mind/body experience. She offers variations of each exercise and provides tutorials to break down certain exercises.
The UnderBelly Yoga
This company was founded by Jessamyn Stanley, the author of Yoga is for Every Body. Her online yoga classes are all about appreciating your body and develop a loving relationship with your body through the practice of yoga.
Body Positive Yoga
On this platform, they teach an accessible, adaptive yoga practice for people with bodies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Their message is all about making peace with your body and finding movement that works for your body.
“Your body is not a problem to be solved. It’s time to make the most of the one life you’ve got. Your body is waiting!”
I also subscribe to this membership site. Because I teach Pilates and don’t have any local classes I can attend, I use these classes for my own Pilates practice.
I admit, in the first year that I subscribed to this site, I was unhappy with the lack of body diversity of teachers and participants. But in the last six months or so, they’ve added more videos that feature teachers and participants in different body sizes. The teachers with curvy bodies do a better job of using body neutral cues than the thin teachers, so I like to seek out the teachers with larger bodies.
It’s a really big deal that they’re finally including teachers with curvier bodies on this site. Body diversity in Pilates is just so hard to find. When I first started teaching Pilates, I was so disappointed that every teacher and student that I saw doing Pilates was thin. That being said, Black Girl Pilates is a great resource to follow. While they don’t have an online subscription-based program, they do feature diverse teachers and short Pilates videos on their social media.
I’ve found that doing workouts that have a positive message that uplifts you where you are in this moment is so much more motivating than working out with someone who is telling you that you need to change.
Do you have a movement practice that you love that also promotes body positivity and promoting health instead of weight loss? Reply to this email and let me know!
If you’re ready to stop dieting and try something radically different, download my free guide on how to stop dieting and start making peace with food and your body.
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