I’m currently in a yoga teacher training program at Whole Life Yoga. That’s me right in front, wearing a dress that I made out of galaxy fabric. Viniyoga is all about bringing the yoga to the person, not the person to the yoga. It happily accepts all body shapes, all physical conditions, and asks of them, “How can I make this great for you?” It isn’t a free-for-all, there is still plenty of structure, yogic philosophy, and beautiful sequencing. But there aren’t strict right and wrong ways to do asanas (the poses). Alternatives are possible for every pose, allowing for a wide range of abilities and body shapes. I love viniyoga.
Consider that I have fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that leaves me in daily physical pain, mental wariness, and can put me in periods for a couple weeks at a time where I need a cane to get around. And yet, I’m becoming a yoga teacher. Hopefully a pretty good one! Viniyoga makes this possible.
Yoga as portrayed in the mainstream, as you may have noticed, can engender quite a different set of feelings. Rather than feeling peace and confidence when you consider yoga, you might feel concerns about your body shape, your size, your flexibility, or your ability to get into an asana and out again without grunting. Even as I’m in a viniyoga program and getting inoculated weekly with a dose of body-positive yoga love, I can still find myself looking at yoga websites and magazines and thinking, “What the hell am I doing? I don’t look anything like a yoga teacher.”
Enter body-positive Instagram feeds. Feeling a little exhausted by the glut of photos of ultra thin and flexible yogis? What you need are some images of gorgeous yogis in a range of sizes, who are clearly loving their bodies and loving their yoga.
Click on the title bars of any of these photos to go their Instagram feeds, and then follow! The featured photo at the top of this post is from the first feed on the list, Big Gal Yoga. I just ❤ this feed so much.
Wendy Shakti Bell is #whatayogilooklike practicing at the 2015 @accessibleyoga Conference at the @santabarbarayogacenter. We would love to share your accessible yoga variations, use hashtags #whatayogilokslike and #accessibleyoga on Facebook and Instagram and we will share widely! #accessibleyoga #everybodyisayogabody #ybicoalition #bodypositive #yogaforall #yogabodyimage
The most important thing that I have learned on the quest to know myself better and to love myself no matter what is the idea that my body is mine. The idea of my body is mine. No one else has ownership. I do not have to feed into what marketing, culture and beauty standards set for all of us. I don't know who got to set the ruler but fuck them. This is me. This is my body. And if you don't like it you don't have to be here. This body is for my enjoyment only. Join me at Kripalu as we continue to break down and break out of body hate and body shame "Our sense of our bodies and our sense of self-worth do not develop in isolation, outside the context of our life experiences. A framework of body equity encourages us to consider all factors and contexts that influence how a person feels about themselves. We can all promote body equity by treating all people with dignity and respect regardless of their body size, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, skin colour or current level of physical or mental wellness. Promoting body equity includes speaking up and challenging assumptions that equate fatness or any other attribute with laziness, stupidity or moral inferiority." Nedic @yogasteya @ybicoalition @ybicmembers @accessibleyoga @bravebodylove @allbodiesriseyoga @wearyourvoicemag @yogi_artist_photog @thefeistyyogi @kripalucenter @erica_mather @saritphoto @amara_vidya @ltlcurvyyoga @carlystong @fusionworksmarcia @nataliecummingsyoga @lionessheartandsoulyoga @yoga_international @yesyogahascurves @themilitantbaker @thefeministyogi @blackyogasuperstars @buddha_body_yoga #thisismypractice
Wake up with movement tomorrow (Tuesday) morning by joining me for Vinyasa at 9am. I'm teaching at Yess Yoga (the coziest studio in town), and would love to see you! #yessyoga #iloveyoga #yogateacher #practice #twists #plussizeyogi #bodypositivity #curvyyoga #chubbyyoga #mycurvescan #selflove #dowhatyoulove #getmoving #yogaeverydamnday #yoga #yogi #yogini #mplsyoga #yogisofmpls #yogisofinstagram #flow #vinyasa #morningyoga
#strength feels like it's fleeting. One day you kick up to #handstand easily, the next day it's a struggle fest. One day you face the world with confidence, the next all you want to do is crawl into bed. But I think your strength is always there within you. For me, #yoga #practice has been about revealing the strength I've always had. Some days I do a better job of finding it than others. Sometimes it takes years to peel back the layers to reveal it. And sometimes, due to circumstances beyond our control, we never do. But that doesn't mean it wasn't there all along. #supportiveyoga #upsidedown #youcandoit #yogaforeverybody #yogaforeveryone #inversion
#Repost @anjelikah48 "Helped start mom's 50th with a handstand. I love being able to share yoga with her. Her fearlessness is so inspiring." #PeoplesYoga #Community #Yoga #Pilates #Health #Wellness #WellBeing #YogaForEveryBody #YogaForAll #InclusiveYoga #AffordableYoga #YogaEnEspañol #FamilyYoga #EastLosAngeles #EastLA #EastLaYoga #DonationYoga #DonationBasedYoga #RootedAndRising