Boobs have always been a pain.  You’ve heard me rant about the Robocop contraptions you have to bind them in, in order to run, and followed me in search for the waterproof sports bra to carry them through the triathlon.  But, yoga?  To be honest, I’ve been rather enjoying NOT having to think about them all that much.  I can wear normal, underwired, cotton bras and my god is it freeing.  Not having the blood flow restricted beyond your shoulder blades, and the elastic digging into your ribcage.  Feeling like a woman, breasts rounded and soft, not squashed and flattened into lego-shaped blocks.

Up until the last couple of days, I hadn’t even really noticed that not that many other people in the shala share a similar shape to me: wide hips, big tits, and a bum.  No.  Looking around today, I started to see a bit of a trend.  Slender and lean.  Athletic, and elegant.  Not rounded and bulbous like me.

It doesn’t bother me.  Not like that feeling in the changing rooms at school, when you discover the first stretch-mark across the hip and thigh, because you seemed to have hit puberty and ballooned out into a womanly shape overnight.  Truth is, I’ve grown to quite like my body – just the way it is.  The yoga’s helped with that.  The heightened awareness and control, you carry yourself better.  You hold yourself with some sort of personal pride.  This is my body, and I like it just the way it is.

Which is wonderful, until you come across a pose and wonder what the fuck is going on.  Like Matthew Sweeney’s workshop back in June.  We had to lie on our fronts and thread our arm across our chest to stretch out our backs and shoulders.  It was a bit disconcerting, balancing atop two fleshy mounds, looking down on everyone.  Matthew spotted me from his stage, and added a quick disclaimer.  Obviously, the larger breasted of you, ie me, would have problems with certain poses.

What do I do?  I wanted to scream from across the hall, rocking from side to side, arms like two oars jutting out from a bold-breasted sailboat.  I just waited silently for it all to be over, and sighed to myself.  Ho-hum.  The curse of the dratted boobs has struck again.

Today, I felt the tiniest hint of embarrassment, as I tried to wedge myself into position in Marichyasana C.  I’m pretty sure, it was mostly to do with not grounding my hip, elongating and twisting my spine enough, but lets just say, the additional inches of fat protruding from the front of my upper body weren’t particularly helping matters…

I tried on the right side, and Prem, was moulding me, like he usually does.  “Back straight, back straight, twist, reach, that’s it…”  But, then, after a quick conference with Radha on the side of the room, it was Radha next to me for the left side.   “Back straight, twist, that’s it, now sweetie how about you lift and move your breasts to the side….”  Ahhhhh – it all clicks into place.  A bit of a shift and a heave to the left, and my – what a difference it made.

Having larger than average breasts, I think you sometimes forget that they’re there.  But when you really stop and think about it….the additional weight, the amount of space they take up, the imbalance….I guess it’s not that surprising that when you stand in a shala, or look around you at the starting line up of a race, that there aren’t that many girls with a shape like you.  I could rant at them, like I rant at my hips, feel self-conscious when a male teacher doesn’t know what to do with them…or I could just laugh at myself, like I did today.

With time, I’m sure they’ll shrink, just like the rest of my body’s beginning to.  And you know what, that makes me feel quite sad.  I realised today, that I want them to stay – just as they are.

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