When I had arrived in Kerala, I was told that I looked malnourished by my family. Most people who know me, are aware that I love to eat, so nourishment is not ever an issue unless I am fasting. Now by American standards, and if you look back at my earlier photos in India, I looked normal.....but in South India, if your butt isn't inflated enough, you are considered malnourished. Despite my regular Ashtanga Yoga practice, my family worked very hard at fattening me up.....and they succeeded! Due to the fact that when I gain weight it has a tendency to go straight to my buttocks & thighs, when I left Kerala, I literally could not fit into my jeans. According to the family, I looked almost normal. According to my mirror I looked like I needed to get my A$$ back into shape.
The irony I found about this situation is in NYC the culture is to get into the best shape ever, minimal fat and toned and tight.....and in Kerala culturally they appreciate a woman with more meat on their bones. This reaction of an appreciation for a curvier woman is also found in other Spanish, African, West Indian and some European Cultures. When will we just embrace exactly what a woman is without any societal pressures, expectations or media influence? When will a woman be able to gain weight and celebrate every inch? When will health be the main reason we get into shape? Because I always tell my female students to embrace exactly where they are physically, celebrate their sexy curves and live each moment to the fullest, I still went to the beach each day in Goa, in a bikini (Thank you Maayan). I did yoga on the beach, only to have a swarm of men snap photos of me and my friend because apparently they thought I was a Bollywood Film Star and she an American star. So we got the Yoga-razzi!
I do look forward to getting back to a trimmer size.....for now I will enjoy my extra padding for my asana. ~ Namaste