Image via Instagram (@biggalyoga).
Flick through your Instagram feed and you’re guaranteed to come across at least one stereotypical ‘yogi’ photo usually featuring a slim woman in a complicated yoga pose in front of a beautiful landscape.
Big Gal Yoga is one account with a refreshing difference.
With over 60,000 followers, creator of the account Valerie is inspiring body confidence and changing the way we think about ‘yoga bodies’ one post at a time.
After first discovering yoga at university, Valerie started a Tumblr, sharing her “personal journey of a big woman’s yoga practice” and quickly became popular for her honest, open and accessible posts that catered to everyone of all levels and sizes. (Post continues after gallery.)
“When I slowly fell into a rut and didn’t know where I was going in my art, yoga picked me up. My practice has been the supporting hand on my shoulder when times get tough,” she recently wrote on her blog.
Valerie shares regular photos and videos of her yoga routine with step-by-step instructions, as well as monthly challenges such as the #SelfLovingYogis movement, designed to inspire self-love through yoga.
From mermaid leggings to colourful crop tops, she’s also passionate about feeling good while you work out and her website features a comprehensive list of fitness brands she loves that cater to larger sizes.
"The perfect body is your own beautiful body whether you are big or small. We all have different unique bodies, sometimes it's hard to love it, but we all should have a good relationship with it," she shared on one of her Instagram posts.
But while she's become a role model for body confidence, Valerie's also not afraid to share her own struggles with anxiety and body image - and how a positive attitude can beat them.