In the Beginning (Giveaway Post)

(Disclosure: Contains a couple of my shiny new Amazon Associate links. Yeppers, I’m an Amazonian now. I figured I linked there all the time anyway, I might as well try to earn a couple of dollars a year. But no pressure on you guys. I’ve read your blogs and know that most of you are as broke as I am. I’m just hoping some millionaire on a shopping spree stops by here. Okay, enough yammering–on to the post!)

I’m in a nostalgic mood today. Maybe it’s because of this week’s Makeover Monday topic (for those of you who skipped a day or are perhaps having a senior moment, it was about taking the first step), or maybe it’s because I’m approaching the one-year mark at goal weight. Or maybe I’m just bored.

Anyway, I was remembering back to my first steps at getting on the exercise bandwagon. These were definitely tippy-toe steps. I started by walking on the treadmill 20-30 minutes (and quite slowly, I might add) several times per week. And that was it.

I did that for a while, and then I stopped. Started again and stopped. And then again. The clue bus finally stopped in front of me, and I realized I was bored. I needed something extra.

Enter yoga. A dear friend had completely transformed her life (body, mind, and career) with yoga and was living proof that it did indeed improve flexibility, increase strength, and reduce stress. I decided to give it a try and ordered a couple of DVDs via Netflix.

FAIL. Falle. Versagen Sie. 失敗します échouer.

No matter which language you use, it wasn’t good. (Although it doesn’t seem so bad in Japanese.)

The problem was that the DVD instructors kept telling me to do things my body just couldn’t do. It wasn’t a matter of flexibility; the problem was my size. A girl with 100 extra pounds mostly around her midsection doesn’t go easily into child’s pose.

Frustrated, I gave up on yoga. Soon after, I quit walking too. Woe, woe is me.

I’m not sure where I heard about Megan Garcia and the Just My Size Yoga DVD*, but I’ll forever be grateful for finding it. This DVD is made for people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. The moves have been modified to allow room for our extra bits. And if the moves are still troublesome, there’s a whole segment devoted to even more alternate methods.

But it’s not just the modified poses that made this DVD so precious to me. The fact that the teacher is the aforementioned Megan Garcia, a plus-sized model who is completely, serenely, comfortable in her body, made me want to practice for the right reasons. Not to “be skinny”, but to feel truly good about myself and what I was doing. I was on my way!

Later, I found MegaYoga*, Megan Garcia’s book, which presents many more yoga poses with modifications for “curvy women.” This is my yoga bible. The pictures and text combine to make the moves easily understandable and executable. Well, most of them. There’s this pose called Eagle that I’m about to wave the white flag on. For now, anyway.

To commemorate and celebrate my first steps toward fitness (over two years ago now!), we have two giveaway opportunities: a copy of the DVD or a copy of the book. You may enter for one or the other, or both. Just let know in the comments if you’re interested. Sharing any yoga tips you might have will gain you extra appreciation, but will not increase your chances of winning.

Anyone on the planet may enter, as long as you have a shipping address. I’ll mention that the DVD is region 1 format, which is normally US or Canada. If you have a region free DVD player and live somewhere other than the US or Canada, feel free to throw your name into the hat for the DVD as well.

Drawings will be Friday, October 2, at 6 a.m. (central U.S.)

*I’ve included my spiffy new Amazon associate links here, but the DVD price appears to have doubled since I bought this one several months ago. I suppose that’s because they’re in such short supply. Netflix and Blockbuster both have copies for rent. Your local library might also be a good resource. If you asked me nicely, I might even loan you my copy. :)