Weight is a sensitive subject for many women, but a plus-size group in Portland is flaunting their curves on a new calendar.
The 14 women credit a certain workout routine for giving them the confidence.
“Nobody’s judging, nobody’s competing. We just get on with the business of being here breath by breath,” said student Tara.
She regularly attends “Yoga for the Larger Woman” at a Southeast Portland studio.
Teacher Vilma Zaleskaite has been offering the classes for more than five years.
“We stretch, we move for the physical challenge but we also want to offer emotional challenges,” she explained.
Getting students to stretch beyond safe places is Vilma’s specialty.
“I’m a calendar girl,” said Kelly who is Miss January ,”this would be challenging for anybody of any size.”
The 14 models who Vilma refers to as voluptuous Yoginis each strike a pose in black and white photographs by Portland’s Joni Kabana.
“It’s the single most powerful thing I’ve done. It changed my relationship with my husband and my friends,” remarked Kelly who is Miss March.
The biggest hurdle in creating the calendar recalled Vilma was getting the women to show skin.
“They wanted to wear long sleeves and long pants and I had to convince them to show off their muscles.”
She hopes the calendar will inspire others to try yoga.
“It really can be for everybody,” she concluded as one of the calendar girls joined in, “that’s the whole point is that anyone can look at it and say if she can do it, I can do it too.”