Yoga is improving my core strength and balance; it has brought a renewed enjoyment to simple activities like walking and gardening.

Yoga had interested me for some time; I have always been intrigued by the mind-body connection. I tried some yoga classes in the past, but some of the poses and transitions were so difficult for me that I did not keep with it for long.

I have been lucky to be active all of my life, even being overweight. And I love to do things like garden, ride bikes, hike, swim and travel. When I travel I enjoy walking through cities and towns from morning to night. This definitely can be hard on the feet and legs, and truth be known it is getting harder to do this.

When I heard about Yoga for the Larger Woman, I knew I wanted to try it. I am so glad I did. After the first class I felt like this could work for me. The safe environment, the props, the other women, and especially Vilma with her lack of judgmental attitude and constant support make this yoga an experience that overweight people rarely get to have. I have been going to class for over a year now and that by itself is a pretty amazing milestone for me. But there are plenty of reasons why I continue.

Yoga is helping me build my core strength and increase my balance. I had started noticing that I was losing my balance. That really concerned me. If this was happening now, what would I be like in twenty years?

Gardening also was becoming harder and less enjoyable, but this year, I am happy to say, I am experiencing much less stiffness and soreness.

My yoga is also helping me to manage my stress. Like most of us, stress is no stranger in my life. I am pleased that now I have management techniques I can use in the moment, especially at work.

Not least, through yoga I am regaining self confidence. I feel that I walk taller. Part of this comes from physically challenging myself. But more of it is mental. I am proud that I am taking control of my life and positively affecting my health.

- Cheryl