Because moving your body is good for your mental health! and because not everyone wants to exercise with thin white cis women...Here are other options for exercise classes and communities:
As a therapist in Oakland, CA, I know getting in movement regularly is super important for your mental health. Going on a brisk walk or taking an exercise class is one of the annoying things therapist recommend that actually work. Sorry. I also know that many people find the fitness industry, gyms, or information about exercise intimidating, triggering, or offensive! Traditional fitness culture can sometimes promote extreme dieting, overexercising, and other harmful behaviors in pursuit of an ideal body image.
In order for exercise to actually be positive for one's mental health, classes need to create an inclusive environment where individuals of all body shapes, sizes, and abilities feel welcomed and accepted. This inclusivity helps reduce feelings of exclusion or shame that can deter people from participating in traditional fitness activities.
Body Diverse Exercise Resources and Classes:
Slow AF Run Club seeks "to empower every person on this planet to become a runner in the body they have right now."
Joyn Classes provides free "joyful movement for every.body. joyn brings you body-inclusive, encouraging, and kick-ass movement classes." Includes yoga, pilates, dance, and seated exercise.
Jessamyn Stanley is the founder of Underbelly Yoga and promotes the message that all bodies are yoga bodies. The free yoga classes on her YouTube channel includes chair yoga!
Body Positive Fitness is a paid service "promotes feeling good in your body through joyful movement and functional fitness. We train to become stronger, faster, more mobile and more energetic without focusing on weight loss or changing our appearance."
Mental Health and Exercise
***Resources are not a substitute for therapy and are not intended for making diagnoses or providing treatment. Not all practices and tools are suitable for every person. Please discuss exercises, practices, and tools with your individual therapist or health care provider.