Anodea Judith prefaced the second edition of her book Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self with this beautiful gem:
“The idea that mind and body exist on a spiritual continuum has finally entered the mainstream…The shadow side of this exposure is that, at least in the West, any cultural meme that gets seized by the collective consciousness runs the risk of trivialization, thus diluting its power.”
The global presence and impact of yoga has significantly increased over the past few decades. Since its humble origins to the multibillion-dollar industry it has become, many parts of yoga have been lost in translation.
The ancient spiritual practice has in part transformed into a highly coveted premier lifestyle with a blend of unconscious and conscious competition for designer yoga clothes, mats, towels, retreats, studios, and of course, the picture-perfect yoga poses complete with the ideal looking yoga body.
However, dedicated body positive yogis are spearheading the call for change. Below are 15 of those inspiring yogis you should be following today:
1. Amber Karnes (@amber_karnes)
//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsCommunity builder, yoga teacher, and self-confessed wannabe backyard naturalist, Amber has been practicing yoga for over a decade and started Body Positive Yoga. She motivates others with her journey and promotes the philosophy that “your body is not a problem to be solved.”
2. Dianne Bondy (@diannebondyyoga)
A photo posted by Dianne Bondy (@diannebondyyoga) on Aug 23, 2016 at 8:55am PDT
Dianne is an activist, trailblazer, educator, consciousness shifter, disruptor, writer, and yoga teacher. She also founded Yoga for All and teaches Yoga for All: Creating Body Positive Yoga Classes for All Shapes, Sizes, & Abilities with Amber Karnes.
3. Yulady Saluti (@yulady)
//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsWhile she may look like the typical Instagram fitspiration, Yulady is much more than she may appear at first glance. The self-described Colombiana, wife, mom of six, ostomate, and breast cancer survivor, lived with a colostomy bag for nearly five years after an ileostomy procedure. Her photo captions are inspiringly honest and raw.
4. Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn)
A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on Sep 21, 2016 at 2:33pm PDT
With over 200K followers on Instagram, Jessamyn is taking the yoga world by storm. A self-described “fat femme,” Jessamyn radiates body positivity and promotes self-love through practicing what she preaches.
5. Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees)
//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsDana speaks openly and honestly about her struggles with binge eating, confidence, depression, and anxiety. She started practicing yoga and found peace and freedom that came from a place of self-worth. She promotes the philosophy that yoga is for everybody!
“Be patient with yourself, nothing in nature blooms all year.” ❤ A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on Jun 28, 2016 at 12:42pm PDT
“Every human body is unique. That is beautiful.” – Nude Yoga Girl remains anonymous and posts tasteful black and white nude asana pictures. Her Instagram is dedicated to helping everyone realize they are beautiful exactly the way they are.
7. Masumi Goldman (@masumi_g)
//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsSince 2012, yoga has helped Masumi turn her life around. She was diagnosed with a painful condition (Lyme disease) that targeted her joints and tendons. She lost mobility in some parts of her body because of the inflammation. She was able to battle the illness through lifestyle changes and yoga.
8. Dan Nevins (@dannevins)
A photo posted by Dan Nevins (@dannevins) on Jun 29, 2015 at 10:27am PDT
Warrior. Speaker. Teacher. His mission is to get more veterans and wounded warriors onto a yoga mat. He created a non-profit called the Warrior Spirit Retreat (WSR). He speaks about his personal story of overcoming incredible obstacles and is a certified Baptiste Teacher.
9. Valerie Sagun (@biggalyoga)
//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsValerie is a yoga practitioner, installation artist, ceramicist, radical self-love enthusiast, and encourager of the body positive movement in yoga. She is currently located in the Bay Area and working on a book.
10. Brigitte Kouba aka Gigi Yogini (@gigiyogini)
A photo posted by Gigi Yogini (Brigitte Kouba) (@gigiyogini) on Sep 8, 2016 at 6:35pm PDT
Brigitte is an LA-based body positive yoga teacher. She has partnered with the Yoga & Body Image Coalition and is revolutionizing the way the yoga body is perceived.
11. Annie Carlin (@supportiveyoga)
//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsWith over 12 years of experience on the yoga mat, Annie is a yoga inspiration. She offers workshops, including Embodying Ahimsa: Teaching Yoga to Larger-Bodied Students, to help create a more accepting and educated yoga community.
12. Bad Wolf (@badwolfyoga)
A photo posted by Bad Wolf ૐ (@badwolfyoga) on Aug 28, 2016 at 8:47pm PDT
Captioned with the most beautiful quotes, Bad Wolf posts yoga photos that are inspiring and body positive. There are also a bunch of cute dogs on her account as well!
13. Sparkle Thornton (@sparkleasyouare)
//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsSparkle is a yoga teacher, musician, healer, and artist from Oakland, CA. She offers creative and radical body-loving movement medicine and hopes to present yoga as she has experienced it: “a wellspring of creation, vitality, and hope.”
14. Heidi Zoltak (@heidiyogi)
A photo posted by Heidi Zoltak (@heidiyogi) on Jul 23, 2016 at 11:58am PDT
Heidi is a woman, yogi, mom of three, amputee, cancer survivor, and human. She offers beautiful photos partnered with words of wisdom and positivity.
15. Michael Hayes (@buddha_body_yoga)
For over 20 years, Michael has been the proud owner of Buddha Body Yoga. His studio in NYC focuses on providing safe and successful practices for all people. He modifies, adjusts, and adapts standard yoga poses to work with the body.
Hopefully this list will help you connect with the many body positive and accepting yogis in the world. Please feel free to share in the comments section below any yogis you know that are helping create a more accepting and inviting yoga community.
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