These 5 body-positive Instagram yogis will totally inspire you

Yoga is not for the faint of heart — nor is it exclusively for the slender of body. While traditional yoga classes certainly don’t bar overweight people from joining, it can be difficult to perfect a pose (or feel comfortable trying) when your body is not as slim or flexible as some of those enrolled in the class.

To combat this, women and men across the United States are making waves by starting “body-positive” yoga classes that are inclusive of all shapes, sizes, and ranges of motion.

With celebrities like Amy Schumer bringing media attention to the intense pressure women feel to be thin and beautiful and major brands signing “plus-sized” models, body positivity is, thankfully, on the rise. But it’s not just those in the spotlight who have made it their mission to teach women to cherish and accept their bodies as they are.

Here are five inspiring body-positive yogis to follow on Instagram who prove that no matter your shape or size, you can still be healthy, strong, beautiful, and amazingly talented at yoga.

Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn)

A yoga enthusiast and teacher who self-describes as a “fat femme,” Stanley has more than 67,000 followers on Instagram. She recently spoke to the Huffington Post about helping women get out of their comfort zones during yoga.

“Our society throws crazy shade at anyone whose body differs from the models featured in Western media. I always tell people (especially women) to stop sending negative energy into their bodies and thoughts,” she said. “That negative energy is responsible for all body unhappiness. The only person in control of your life experience is you.”

Valerie Sagun (@biggalyoga)

#mayibeginyoga2015 with @beachyogagirl and @kinoyoga

A photo posted by Valerie Sagun (@biggalyoga) on

Though not an official yoga instructor, Valerie has given private lessons to friends and local Instagram followers. She says it’s important not to feel ashamed if you have to modify poses to work better with your body. “I would hope that all teachers should understand that whether you are big or small, we all could use modifications on some poses [until] we feel comfortable in the full expression of a pose,” she told the Daily Dot via email.

Annie Carlin (@supportiveyoga)

Annie, who offers classes in the DC and Maryland area, specializes in “making yoga work for you.”

Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees)

Dana promotes “self-love and yoga for all,” according to her bio. She frequently posts almost-nude Instagrams of herself in various yoga poses — that’s some serious body-positivity.

Omega Jefferson (@phatgirlyoga)

Omega is an East-coast based yogi who has been practicing for over a decade, and says on her website that she is “an every woman, a real person who will no longer be held back by some narrow view of what it is to be beautiful, healthy and whole.”

Photo via Jessamyn Stanley/Instagram

Laken Howard

Laken Howard

Laken Howard writes about sex and dating. Based in Brooklyn, she's contributed to Bustle and Business Insider.