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Big Yoga: A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies Paperback – December 15, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Though the power of yoga to help reverse heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels-problems endemic to the overweight-is well-established, the popular image of the rail-thin yoga guru can discourage those who might benefit most. Kerr, a yoga instructor for 30 years, understands the challenges of the heavy-set; describing herself as "beefy, athletic, and loud," she provides a complete, much-needed guide for making yoga work regardless of limitations like weight, stiffness, injury or disability. Without skipping over yoga's history and evolution or its spiritual dimensions, as well as personal accounts of her training and the development of Big Yoga, Kerr adapts traditional Hatha yoga poses that work for everyone, and discusses each alongside a generous series of photos. With broad, thorough coverage of yoga's many aspects, including breathing technique and meditation as well as poses and their adaptations, Kerr's manual is a welcoming, comprehensive exercise program for the rest of us.

Review

"Big Yoga is a wonderful introduction to the ancient art and science of yoga for those challenged by extra weight, stiffness, injury, or disabilities. It is a welcome addition."     (Dean Ornish, MD)

"A complete, much-needed guide for making yoga work regardeless of limitations like weight, stiffness, injuy or disabiltiy...a welcoming, comprehensive exercise program for the rest of us." (Publishers Weekly)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Square One Publishers (December 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757002153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757002151
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Yoga expert Patricia Kerr was given the name "Meera" by her guru, Sri Swami Satchidananda, naming her after the venerable Indian princess and saint, Mirabai. While meditating in the LOTUS Shrine in Central Virginia, Meera heard a voice say "Big Yoga" which gave her the idea to create a Yoga program that was big, not just in terms of the body, but also expansive, and inclusive of all the various Yoga practices.

Her first book, Big Yoga: A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies, won the Benjamin Franklin award for best book in Health and Wellness, 2010. A new book, Big Yoga for Less stress, is launching in May 2015. Both titles are from Square One Publishers in Long Island.

Meera has also produced adapted Yoga on two DVDs: Big Yoga Hatha 1, and Big Yoga Flex-Ability, also available on Amazon. You don't have to be thin, young or flexible to enjoy the benefits of Yoga!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I waited for months for this book, and it was worth the wait. As a large-bodied yoga instructor who teaches people of all abilities, I find BIG Yoga an invaluable resource. I have recommended it to Chair Yoga and large-bodied students, and will be recommending it to the yoga teachers who attend the "Yoga for Larger Bodies" workshop I facilitate. Simple instructions, props and helpful suggestions make the practice of yoga accessible to everyone from beginners to advanced students, and do-it-home practitioners. Thank you Meera for your part in making yoga accessible to everyone.
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Big Yoga is an excellent read for a beginner to Yoga, also excellent for why a big person would even consider yoga. Meera is very honest and straight-forward in talking about some of the hesitations plus-size people have. We must bring our "before" body to the mat and be comfortable with this as our starting point,having no fixed view or opinion on what the "after" will be. It is only this present moment that counts and can be lived.

This book brought me to have the courage to enter my first yoga class (gentle yoga for all bodies, mine being one of the larger ones). This book keeps me going with much practice between class.

In Meera's book, the history and philosophy and background of yoga is thoughtfully summarized in the beginning of the book. This was important to me. I have been on other paths which has brought me to the spirituality of yoga before I came to the mat of yoga.

The pictured asanas and accompanying instructions for each gives us reason to hope that practice, does indeed, make perfect.

The resource guide in the back is very helpful, as well as the yoga terms dictionary which I refer to often.

The book is inspiring enough to me that I have found that the author is actually not far from my neighborhood in Southwest Michigan, so I will watch for an opportunity to make an event with her.

I have also now purchased her Hatha Yoga DVD to practice to at home.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Meera has worked out a wonderful plan for the plus-sized individuals to participate in an age old practice of Yoga. I have taken her teachings as a Big Yoga instructor and have been following it for two years with great results with clients from 1oo to 400 lbs.The explanations of the asanas in her book make it easy for the non-experienced participants to follow. The best part for me as a teacher of Big Yoga is having the knowledge before hand to assist the clients in adapting the postures to their body sizes. Anyone can do this as it is really gentle yoga. The other good thing about Big Yoga is that it can be a prelude to the more advanced yogas in that it prepares them through the flexibility exercises to assume the yoga postures with greater ease.
This is definitely a book worth having in your library as a reference, support and encouragement for those who want to get active!
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Format: Paperback
I'm very, very new to yoga. I also live in a remote, rural area with exactly zero available yoga classes or teachers.

As a result, I've had to find some resources that I could use to learn on my own. It's made me so happy to find that there are several good ones that are designed especially for larger people. I haven't felt like I'm not quite included or like I've had to push and shove to make room for myself in the yoga space. And I really appreciate that.

One resource that I've really enjoyed is Big Yoga: A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies by Meera Patricia Kerr.

There is some background information about yoga and direction on meditation and relaxation in the book that I really appreciated, since I don't have someone local to teach me. That part was more in depth than what's available on the videos I've been using, which I really appreciated.

The main part of the book goes through hatha yoga warm-ups, inversions, backward bends, twists, foward bends, standing poses and seated poses. There is also a section of breathing practices.

Each pose has photos of each stage and sometimes of a modification or two. There is a section that talks about the benefit of the pose, one that describes the technique, and then information about how long to hold the pose for beginners and intermediate yoga practitioners. Each pose section ends with information for the reader to consider, including tips on posture and modifications.

The book is beautifully laid out. It's easy to read, easy to understand and easy to follow.

The author suggests picking two or three poses from each section. I sort of wished that a series of poses had been laid out for me, since I don't really know what I'm doing.
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Format: Paperback
Even though I am a large size yogi I have accumulated a lot of yoga knowledge since practicing on and off (more off) for over 30 years. This book is basic enough for a beginner, those with flexibility issues, or those who just want to get on with it without being bogged down with a lot of stuff. Yet, it is detailed and complete enough for us who have years of yoga under our belt, or just want more information. The structure of the book allows the reader to choose either a basic, simplified approach, or to go into the less discussed aspects of yoga such a breathing techniques.

I love this book for many reasons (I just got it the other day). The author's description of "the evolution of yoga" was probably the first one I have read that was easy to understand. The section on "what yoga can do for you" (actually the whole book) is like a warm and loving friend taking my hand, leading me to something wonderful they discovered and wants to share with me.

I also love that Meera includes a substantial, and understandable chapter on breathing techniques. I recently acquired (before I got this book) Richard Rosen's book, The yoga of Breath: A step-By-Step Guide to Pranayama. I'm having a bit of time making it through his, though I understand it to be a valuable guide. I have set it aside, for the time being, and am going to work with the pranayama instruction in Big Yoga.

I am so happy a book like this has been published. Now, I'd like to see more "Big Yoga" oriented yoga classes.
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