Yoga teacher Trina Hall gained 40 pounds on purpose, and, gauging from the reaction online, we’re not the only ones having trouble understanding why.
In a report on Mother Nature Network, Hall, a 34-year-old yoga instructor, gained the weight so that she could “learn compassion and understanding – which is part of what yoga is (really) all about.”
I have a slightly different impression of yoga, but that’s Tony Horton’s fault, not Trina Hall’s.
Anyway, since all people who like yoga are depicted in popular culture as super-skinny fit-folk, one of Hall’s friends apparently became distraught, afraid to be seen as the “fat yoga teacher” in their clique. Hall was surprised she would feel that way and then wondered… what if I felt that way?
Of course, she admits that her friend is actually quite fit but suffers from an eating disorder, which kind of skews her self-perception (eating disorders are known to do that).
But instead of exploring the eating disorder, which isn’t recommended but is definitely closer to what her friend is psychologically and emotionally dealing with, Hall just decided to eat everything in sight (no really, that’s a quote from her blog).
“As a yoga teacher, this could be considered career suicide,” she wrote. “Instead of slaying my means of supporting myself, I want to slay the notion that people who do yoga need to look like the beauties on the cover of magazines.”
Sure, that’s kind of noble, but we’re not the only people wondering what Hall is trying to accomplish here.
Some commenters on Fark wondered if Hall was missing the point. The honed in one one specific quote: “I’m just questioning our values – I learned that I value my physical appearance more than I could have imagined before this.”
“So she discovered she’s superficial and feels better when she’s fit,” wrote one commenter. “I wonder how she broke this to her fat friend?”
“So her lesson was she didn’t like being fat. I could have told her that,” wrote another observer.
Some also compared Hall’s story to that of Drew Manning, a personal trainer who gained 70 pounds both to empathize with overweight clients but also to work it back off just to show that it’s possible.
It does kind of seem like Hall’s weight gain exercise was really more for herself than anyone. Meanwhile, her friend is presumably still struggling with an actual, serious physical and mental illness. One wonders how this was supposed to help her.
Also, are people really swayed off yoga because of their weight, or just the desire to not be bent into a pretzel?
Let us know what you think of yoga instructor Trina Hall’s weight gain experiment… mostly what you think it accomplished (or didn’t).