Plus Size Yoga Influencers
For better or for worse, social media has changed our world quite a bit. While it's provided significantly more opportunities for us to negatively compare ourselves to other people’s highlight reels. It has also allowed us to learn about really cool people doing cool shit that we would probably never have known about before. It also allows for better representation of fat people when there are fewer gatekeepers. Of course we all know the algorithms that the social media companies code still hate us, but some of us manage to break through the noise.
One of the areas I think a good number of fat influencers have broken through, besides fashion, is yoga. Yoga can be easily modified to accommodate all bodies, and can be done in a chair, standing, on the floor and numerous other ways. It is a great form of exercise that can be vigorous or gentle, relaxing or invigorating. It can help with strength and flexibility. It’s also easily done at home, which is good right now! It’s not a surprise that over the years, it's become one of the most popular types of exercise in the US.
I can’t post about yoga without discussing cultural appropriation. I am torn here. Because the U.S. (and the Western world, in general) has co-opted yoga for the purposes of maintaining diet culture & and pseudo-spirituality, it's also left yoga’s roots and history behind. It’s rare in the US to find an Indian teacher of yoga, despite the thousands of yoga studios and classes around the country. I am conflicted about highlighting so many non-Indian practitioners of yoga, but it’s such a great form of exercise for us fatties. So, do yourself a favor and also look into the history & culture of yoga. There is so much beauty to be found in exploring cultures other than our own and doing so may actually make your yoga practice even more beneficial!
All of that being said, here are some of my favorite Plus Size Instagram Yogi’s right now. I'm assuming y'all know Jessamyn, so I'm not including her. Some of these folks are instructors, and some are just sharing their yoga practice. Either way I hope you will be inspired by the amazing things our beautiful, fat bodies are capable of doing.
fringe(ish) is very honest about the struggles of practicing yoga in a fat body: our stomachs can be heavy, ankles can be weak, etc and the difficult feelings that can come with those difficulties. But more importantly they talk about acceptance of their body and moving out of shame.
Dianne has a fairly large following and is relatively well known, but I continue to be inspired by her posts. She considers herself to be an Author, Disruptor, Consciousness Shifter and Joy Seeker. I would agree!
Luisa’s Instagram is filled with detailed, useful information about poses and proper alignment. She is a long time instructor who holds donation based online classes a couple times a week.
I think my favorite thing about Antoinette’s Instagram is her Before and After photos. Now she would probably not call them that, and these aren’t what the rest of the world considers before and after. She regularly posts photos of her asana’s from earlier in her practice next to current ones. You can see the strength and flexibility she has gained by practicing yoga over time.
Bree is the founder of Good Yoga in Flint, MI. She offers kids classes, as well as free community classes. Her feed is well curated, whimsical and uplifting.
Amber is a force! She takes on fatphobia and diet culture head on. Her Instagram is colorful, vibrant and makes me want to take on the world. She partners with Dianne Bondy on training yoga instructors on how to be inclusive of more body types and sizes.
Valerie is currently on a hiatus. But I had to include her because she was one of the very first plus size yogi’s I started following. I’ve always loved her style and voice. Self care is so important and I'm glad she’s taking some time for herself right now, but I do hope she’ll return one day.
There are a lot of other great fat yogi’s out there, more than I could include here. Is there someone you think I should have included? Let me know!