Everyone should feel comfortable at a yoga studio, no matter their body size.
That is one of the principles of GoodBodyFeel, a new yoga studio in Hamilton that promotes “It’s about the feel. Not the look.”
Owner Robin Lacambra’s goal for her studio is to make you feel good about moving your body, while at the same time shining a light on the importance of loving your body no matter what shape or size you are.
Her message is clear in her studio name, GoodBodyFeel, which promotes a healthy body and most importantly sends a message that, no matter what size you are, you should feel welcomed and confident in the body that you have.
According to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing, yoga promotes better body image and helps develop inner awareness.
It also focuses your attention on your body’s abilities at the present moment, and helps with breathing and strength of mind and body.
Yoga is not about physical appearance. Most studios do not have mirrors, helping people to focus more on their health and enjoyment. Surveys found that those who do yoga are more aware of their bodies than those who don’t. They also have more confidence and are more satisfied with their bodies. Yoga has even become a treatment for those with eating disorders and programs that promote positive body image and self-esteem.
Lacambra’s message is to love yourself no matter what shape you are or what body you have.
In this day and age, so many different body types portrayed on social media make it hard to know what a healthy body should look like. However, we all know that being underweight is unhealthy. This is something Lacambra knows first-hand as she developed an eating disorder in school and struggled with body image issues.
In an article in the Hamilton Spectator, Lacambra said she was bullied in school because she was the only student of colour in her class and one of only a few in the entire school.
“Because of those body issues, I was using those tapes (VHS tapes of pilates) vigilantly, thinking that if I lost weight, people would like me. My fitness regime was really about punishing myself or earning the right to eat. There was no joy in it.”
In 2005, she took her first yoga class after being inspired by a friend who she had met at university.
“That’s when I first experienced the healing aspect of the movement. Moving doesn’t have to be for punishment, it can be for joy, and mindfulness, and ease and peace.”
Traditional yoga studios may be intimidating for some people, since many of the participants are thin, white and wealthy. GoodBodyFeel is for everyone, including those of colour and seniors. Lacambra is also working on creating fitness classes for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
It is also important to Lacambra that the studio is affordable for everyone. They offer mats for those who may not be able to afford one, and even clothing is available for those who may need it. And, 80 per cent of the classes are on a sliding price scale, starting at $5.
GoodBodyFeel is located at 145 Main St. E., second floor, in Hamilton. Note the building requires a front door code to enter.
They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and their social media site is @goodbodyfeel