YOGA ON THE PLUS SIDE

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THERE ARE ALOT OF MISCONCEPTIONS HELD ABOUT PLUS-SIZE WOMEN AND OUR ABILITIES TO MASTER AND EXERT PHYSICAL STRENGTH. WHEN YOU THINK OF “PLUS-SIZE” MOST THINK UNHEALTHY, UNFIT, POOR DIET, AND LAZY.

Written By Guest Blogger: Riezki Aisah
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PLUS-SIZE YOGIS YOU NEEED TO KNOW…

Being a woman is a challenge. Add being plus-size to this and here brings a whole new dynamic to the “challenge”. Beauty is just not enough. As plus-size women we have to consistently work harder to be recognized, respected, and valued.  All the while making a conscious effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle and lead a productive life. Since body images of women who are curvier and fuller seem to be mis or underrepresented in traditional media, new media has opened new doors for plus-size women to be seen in a more positive light. More often we see plus-size women pigeon-holed to very particular qualities- the joker, the loner, the ugly fat girl, the overweight underachiever. But what about the fit and overactive plus-size women? The ones who are breaking barriers and misconceptions. The ones who are inspiring and empowering.

With the age of information and the internet, we now have the ability to connect and empower each other through our daily activities- sharing what we love most across social media platforms allowing the world glimpse of our world.  Social media has a very strong impact to those who use it. These days, social media has allowed plus-size women a platform to connect- and inspire each other through our passions. 

Yoga is a fitness routine that requires determination and passion. It’s also, what some will consider, challenging to perform for plus-size women. But the gag is…that couldn’t be further from the truth. Plus-size women are totally capable of fulfilling flexibility and unreasonably fit yoga goals. 

THREE WOMEN WHO ARE CHANGING THE FACE OF YOGA

After a life-long struggle, today, yogi Dana Falsetti loves her body. | Source: Today

Dana Falsetti | @nolatrees

A yoga practitioner, whose story began when she  came to yoga as a last resort. Dana was unknowingly searching for something, and ultimately- that thing was peace. Peace and freedom that eventually came from a place of self-worth. Her first yoga class, she walked in having the largest body in the room; on top of being the beginner; and yoga was hard. “I couldn’t hold down dog for 5 breaths,  my shoulders were on fire, and all the while it seemed everybody else was popping up into optional headstands like it was no big deal. I remember thinking that would never and could never be me. I thought my body would limit my practice, but eventually I learned that only my mind sets limits” she said.

 Yoga Practitioner, Valeri Sagun in her Bay Area, SF Studio. Source: Instagram

Valerie Sagun | @biggalyoga

Valerie is a Jane of all trades- with many accolades based in the San Francisco, Bay Area. She’s a yoga practitioner and artist serving as an installation artist and ceramicist. In addition to these outstanding attributes, Valerie is also a radical self-love enthusiast, and body-positive influencer.  Valerie’s yoga practice is about learning to love yourself physically and mentally through yoga. Learning to listen to your body, to know when to push it and when to protect it. Valerie is a major inspiration for a lot of women. At first glance, one wouldn’t think her body can achieve such flexibility through yoga. However, she has truly mastered the art of progressive flexibility. 

Yoga Practioner, Riezki Aisah in a yoga performance.  Source: Instagram

Riezki Aisah| @riezkiaisah

I’m from Asia, specifically Indonesia. I’m also a yoga practitioner; Founder of cuRRvYoga Indonesia, a body-positive movement through Yoga. I’m also an Indonesian Plus-Size Model & Body Acceptance Activist. Being a public figure- who is plus-size- who is also a yoga practitioner comes with many challenges. Doing and teaching yoga in Indonesia is not as easy as it seems. Many people still think that yoga is just for the skinny, there is no way for plus-size to do yoga. But I came in and broke the misconceptions and stigma to prove that plus-size women can break fitness barriers- and we can be equally fit. No matter what size we are. Yoga is a great way to find your confidence and nurture respect for your body. 

“Yoga is not about self-improvement, it is about self-acceptance.” – Gurmukh Khaur Khalsa

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