I remember my friend saying “I’m too fat to do yoga” after asking her to join one of my classes. When she saw the puzzled look on my face, she went on to explain that only skinny people do yoga. This saddened me.
unfortunately my friend is not the only one that thinks this way, and one can’t blame her. If you were to Google search yoga, you will be confronted with images of thin, mostly caucasian, women bending and flexing in ways that seem impossible. Yoga, a practice accessible to everyone, has been narrowed done to a few people. The benefits brought by the practice is missed by many because the media has told them they do not fit the mould of the “yoga body”.
Well there is no yoga body. There is no ideal weight, gender or race. Yoga is for anyone, and I would recommend it for everyone. Here are a few yogi’s you can follow who break all stereotypes that the media has set:
1. Derrick “DJ” Townsel (@dade2shelby)
2. Kristen Deandrade
Confessions of a little yogi with a big heart: For years, I tore myself down after a yoga class. My poses didn’t look as beautiful as everyone else’s. My balance sucked. The lack of inversions in my practice made me less of a yogi. I could go on. 100% FALSE. It was only when I stopped defining my practice, as one that belonged to a woman with dwarfism who had also had more surgeries than she could count on two hands, that I found a sense of pride in my practice. When we define something, we are instilling limitations; putting it in a box, giving it a label. What I hated most about societies perception about me, I was instilling in my practice. Your practice isn’t meant to be defined. It’s meant to be your biggest teacher – whatever that looks like. The fact that so many different people can come together in one room, practice and each take something valuable away into their day – THAT is Beautiful. My excitement is building for the day that I begin teaching that on the mat. #yogaeverydamnday #littleyogibigheart #biglittleyogi #littlelegsbigheart #thisismyyoga #bodypositive #onlylove #thisiswhatayogilookslike #anjaneyasana #dwarfismawareness #madeforyoga #mfystories
A photo posted by Kristen DeAndrade (@littlelegsbigheart) on
3. Jessamyn Stanley
I talk about defying yoga stereotypes in a new video for @glamourmag. To watch the full thing, check out Glamour.com (link in bio)! Also, I am taking over the @glamourmag snapchat today- my life is totally unlike the polished & pretty yoga teacher lifestyle, so I’m pretty stoked to show y’all what it’s like to practice, teach, and live yoga when you’re a curvy fat #qpoc femme in the American South. It’s going down at 10am EST- Follow @glamourmag on snap (same name) to catch all the action! (Oh yeah & I’m @mynameisjessamy on ?) ? by @kathrynfriedman Leggings- @mandukayoga Sports Bra- @torridfashion
A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on
4. Yulady Saluti
Good Morning! Sorry I’ve been MIA. I spent few days in the hospital last week and have been taking it easy. You guys are so sweet checking in on me bc I haven’t posted in a while. I’m feeling better and I have accepted the fact that for right now I have to go to the hospital a lot. I’m ok with that. Now let’s move on ?. How are you guys doing today?
A photo posted by Yulady Saluti (@yulady) on
5. Sophia Wright Emigh
Don’t believe what the media tells you. There is no such thing as a yoga body, there only exists a willing person who wishes to learn.