If you’re anything like team Sporteluxe, your Instagram feed is probably populated with images of palm trees and perfect holidays, inspirational fitness quotes to get you off the couch, and the occasional, enviable long legged yogi contorted into some form of enlightening, hard-to-pronounce yoga pose, complete with philosophical quip about how you should breathe into your hips and embrace life’s curveballs.
As inspirational and motivational as these carefully crafted and edited posts may be, these images can sometimes send the wrong message, making the art form that is yoga seem like it’s reserved for the flexible. Sure, a lean and toned body is what you’d want to get out of a regular practice, but not everyone was born with what is considered the “mainstream” yoga body of celebrities and social media fitness gurus.
Well + Good recently wrote about the growing awareness of “Body-Positive” Yoga, a term used to describe the empowerment of individuals of all body shapes, sizes or gender, to practice yoga regardless of their ability to stand on their heads or touch their toes.
This newly prescribed awareness of body acceptance has entered the mainstream media outlet via Instagram stars like Jessamyn Stanley and Valerie Sagun. The curvy yogis have embraced the true nature of what yoga is really about by coming to terms with the fact that yoga is more about how you react to your thoughts about your body, rather then the ability of the body itself compared to those around you.
Dear @instagram, Today I had lunch with @biggalyoga and then we went to the beach. I was trying to be chill about it, but having this babe and @nolatrees in my life really means a lot to me. I asked Val to strike #mermaidpose with me because a photo of her in this pose is what inspired me to start photographing my practice. And the reason that we’re all able to kick it in real life is because of you, @instagram. So thanks- I never knew I would be able to have a curvy #yoga babe squad, but it’s an unexpected gift that is blowing my mind right now. Xoxoxo from Carlsbad beach, Jessamyn @jessamynstanley swimsuit- @forever21 @biggalyoga Top- @poprageous @biggalyoga Bottoms- @abombapparel
Body affirming yogis such as Anna Guest-Jelley, founder of Curvy Yoga explained to Well + Good the outcome of being able to truly quiet the mind though yoga.
“Whatever you call it, it’s about being with the truth of your body in the moment and showing yourself as much kindness as you can muster, grace for when that doesn’t feel like much, and space for your relationship with yourself to ebb and flow,” she explains.
Organizations like Yoga & Body Coalition are active advocates of the self-love movement through workshops, online campaigns and books, bringing to the general public an understanding and appreciation for who and how they are. With the intention of making yoga an accessible, less intimidating version of what it needs to be, we hope you have all the more reason to hit the mat, judgments and self-consciousness aside.
You can read the whole article on Body Positive Yoga on Well+Good.