So in the last couple of months I have been engaging in some serious Instagram time and serious Instagram community building. You see, I’ve Instagram yoga challenges and it’s pretty exciting. I have been dabbling in yoga for brief periods of time over the years when I would come across a new favorite YouTube video, but these yoga challenges have really inspired me. The images of everyday women and men in yoga poses or asanas of various shapes and sizes many of whom are large, fat, curvy and round bodied have inspired me to begin my own yoga journey.
It started with @Jessamyn who is a Black Fat Femme lesbian, beautiful and tall and clearly strong in her clean and simple images. She and her her friend Davina @yoga_davina initiated a yoga challenge hashtagged #sizedoesntmatter encouraging all body types to try join. Seeking out other fat and curvy yogis, I came across many participating in a #balancebasics challenge and joined that too.
I accepted these open invitations nervously. There may have been nothing harder than posting that first picture. My big round protruding belly, short chubby arms and legs and never noticed before pudgy faced profile center stage for all to see in the most odd positions were a bit of a shock. But I was hooked. Hooked on the yoga, on concentrating on the practice in my attempts to get that image worth posting and feeling and seeing my own progress while doing so. But even more amazing to me was the idea of transforming how I felt about seeing myself and putting myself on “display”. Transforming my awkward self conscious horror of what the world tells me my body should be to finding piece in mindful movement and strength and sharing that with the world. Ultimately celebrating my body in its ability and purpose and innately beginning to truly love it as it is. By participating in this challenge I have actually tested the limits of my mind more so than my body. I have been catapulted into a journey of Body LOVE!
I wanted to share with you some instagram goodness from the women who ultimately inspired me to begin this journey. Jessamyn Stanley of @mynameisjessamyn, Valarie of @biggalyoga on instagram and tumblr and Brittany Daniel of @crazycurvy_yoga. Below are beautiful images of some wonderfully strong and empowering yogis. I love their power and that they are so diverse.
Oh and let’s not forget my newest favorite fat fabulous yogi, me!
My Instagram account is @sweetvanessaleigh and you can find my yoga posts under the following hashtags, not to mention so many more amazing yogis! #curvyyogasistas #yogaforeverybody #yogaforall #yogisofcolor #blackyogis #bodylove4all #bodypositive #curvyyoga #yogabodyproject #fatyoga #bodylove