Devaki (aka Curvy Girl Yoga)
Yoga is for everyone, no matter what size you are: that’s the message from Bristol-based yogini Devaki, the creator of Curvy Girl Yoga
How did you first get into yoga
I’ve been practicing yoga for as long as I can remember. But the pivotal point was attending a class at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in London…it felt like I’d come home! I went on to do the teacher training course in India and have been all over the world training, teaching and undertaking karma yoga.
What does yoga give you personally
My yoga practice connects me to the Divine. It takes me away from the material world and drops me into the very soul of me.
Any favourite teachers or studios
The Santosha Studio in Chippenham is where I head to practice and learn. It was founded by Claire Murphy who’s an amazing teacher. I’ve learnt so much from her.
How would you describe your own teaching style
I have been fortunate to have trained with a number of teachers including the Claire Murphy, Donna Farhi and Gary Carter. Although the structure of my classes is based in the Sivananda tradition, what I teach and the way I teach is informed by the training I have received.
“Two years ago I created Curvy Girl Yoga offering a safe, supportive space for those who identify as a woman and are size 16 or more to practice yoga. We started with one class a week and there are now five. However, Curvy Girl Yoga is so much more than the yoga. It’s a space where the women share, laugh and support each other.”
Tell us about Curvy Girl Yoga
Two years ago I created Curvy Girl Yoga offering a safe, supportive space for those who identify as a woman and are size 16 or more to practice yoga. We started with one class a week and there are now five. However, Curvy Girl Yoga is so much more than the yoga. It’s a space where the women share, laugh and support each other. It is a very important place for them to talk openly and without judgement about their anxieties and experiences. Their practice is beautiful, and I learn a lot from them. They often have so much more body awareness than the people who come to non-curvy classes. What’s more, the women fully experience just how strong, flexible and capable they really are. Whilst the stigma around fatness continues, it is important that CGY exists. Indeed, it is growing exponentially with workshops and more in the pipeline. I am also taking Curvy Girl Yoga to yoga studios across the country (and am always open to invitations!).
Any advice for new yoga teachers starting out
Go to lots of classes and experience different teachers and different styles. That way, you’ll find a style or teacher that speaks to you, that really resonates.
What do you say to those who feel they’re not able to do yoga
There is so much more to yoga than the asana (physical) practice. It’s a mindset – and if you’re open and willing to learn, you can do yoga.
What do you do when you¹re not doing yoga
Yoga is my life. When I’m not teaching I practice or attend workshops and learn. I’m very busy with Curvy Girl Yoga so don’t have too much time to myself, but when I do, I love to cook and to get out into nature on my bicycle. I live my life as best I can in accordance with the principles of ayurveda.
Tips for incorporating yoga into daily life
Everything is Sadhana; remain focused, compassionate, gentle and kind. The greatest blessing is to give to others.
Find out more about Devaki and Curvy Girl Yoga at: curvygirlyoga.co.uk