#SizeDoesntMatter Challenge Shows That Plus Size Women Can Do Yoga Too
There is an amazing challenge happening on Instagram that caught our attention because it is so inspiring and empowering.
The #SizeDoesntMatter yoga challenge is a monthly challenge where women of all sizes post images of themselves performing the yoga pose of the day (challenge rules apply). The challenge for September was hosted by yoga enthusiast Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn) and yoga instructor Davina Davidson (@yoga_davina), who impressively show their skills and love for yoga daily on Instagram with the most incredible images that have us wanting to join in at the PMM office.
These amazing women perform poses such as #Bakasana (#CrowPose), reverse triangle, half moon pose and even head stands! And they are inspiring other women to accept their bodies and believe that they, too, can do yoga, which has always been looked at as an activity solely for thinner women. Are you thinking, “I can’t do that?!?” Well, you can! The best part about it is that yoga is so versatile and these women offer tips and modifying examples so you can perform these poses in a way that is comfortable for you.
The challenge has even garnered the attention of sponsors including one of this month’s sponsors Yogi Bliss Box, a subscription based box service that offers a new theme each month of yogi goodies to calm your mind, balance your body, and soothe your soul.
With October being Love Your Body month on PMM with our Love Your Body issue launching on October 1, we will be featuring stories on the blog about plus size women who are defying stereotypes and getting active. We want to celebrate those women and inspire others to embrace their bodies in order to make them work for you. It’s all about centering your mind, body and spirit. When you feel good from inside out, you look good and can do anything you set your mind to.
Jessamyn Stanley said it best on Instagram:
“A few weeks ago, I stepped on a scale for the first time in ages. I was pretty shocked to see the scale read ~185 lb. Y’all, I haven’t weighed under 200 pounds since I was a teenager. Maybe even younger. It also means that since I began practicing yoga on a regular basis I’ve managed to drop at least 40 pounds. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t mention it here, but I receive so many questions and vaguely irritating assumptions about my dietary habits and my beliefs about healthy living that I feel compelled to quell some of my thirstier inquisitors. Here’s what I think- caring for your body is a multifaceted issue. I try to avoid consuming food that I know will do my body harm, but I definitely still eat bacon and cheese fries at 2am. I try to get enough sleep, but I have two jobs and I’m in my late twenties – late nights and early mornings are kind of the norm around here. I drink water constantly, but who doesn’t like to sip a cheerwine float from time to time? However, every time I’ve attempted to completely shift my lifestyle (take my numerous attempts at #weightwatchers as an example) I’ve never seen the weight loss results that have bloomed by simply accepting my vices and my body for what they are. Yes, I lead a very active lifestyle (I mean, I punctuate 90-minute yoga sessions by spending my evenings sprinting through a James Beard Award Nominated restaurant) but I take cream in my coffee and I’m a macaroni and cheese aficionado. I’m a big believer in balance- balance does not mean guilt tripping yourself because you ate half a pizza after a grueling workout. Honestly (and I really hope you guys hear me right now), who cares? Is it a character flaw to find pleasure in things that aren’t universally accepted as ‘clean, perfect, nutritious, healthy’? I think caring for your body involves a certain amount of body and soul agreement that can’t exist when you’re living in constant pursuit of ‘clean, perfect, nutritious, healthy’. Like all of you, I’m just in pursuit of feeling GOOD- and the true definition of feeling good is entirely up to you.”
Ready to be inspired some more? Here’s some of the women (from all walks of life and different sizes) who are on Instagram, joining in on the #SizeDoesntMatter challenge and doing a phenomenal job in the process:
Annie Carlin, yoga teacher who runs the Supportive Yoga blog: http://instagram.com/supportiveyoga
Ashley Baer, a body-positive yoga enthusiast and photographer based in Northern California: http://instagram.com/justsmileandnod
Vanessa Leigh, a body positive blogger and owner of her own Etsy shop, selling items that are made from post consumer revitalized and vintage materials: http://instagram.com/sweetvanessaleigh
Amber Karnes, who runs the blog Body Positive Yoga: http://instagram.com/amber_karnes
Lynwithane, who is so fearless and will do yoga poses outside without a care in the world (we have a secret crush on her): http://instagram.com/lynwithane
Quiet_n_Quirky, who states on her IG profile that she just started yoga a few months ago – she looks like a pro to us: http://instagram.com/quiet_n_quirky
And the amazing hosts of the September #Sizedoesntmatter challenge:
My Name is Jessamyn: http://instagram.com/mynameisjessamyn
We’re not just inspired by their images but also their words…these women are genuine and candid about the challenges they each faced when starting yoga and their resilience and fearlessness is something we are in awe of. Such as this entry from Yoga_Davina a few days ago along with the image above:
“As I get closer to November 1st, which will make a year of handstands away from the wall for me, I have been reflecting on ‘commitment’ and what it really means to me. The same way I committed to doing handstands daily… Busting my ass, falling on furniture, falling on people, stressing my wrists – and then strengthening them, thinking and feeling too damn big to be trying sh*t like handstands, and then realizing the limit was ALL IN MY HEAD. I can’t help but wonder what other areas of my life am I limiting myself because of what I tell myself… I waited for the rain to settle so I could run and take this pic… Still in the rain? #puttingupwiththerain”
Will you be joining the #SizeDoesntMatter challenge in October? The hosts will be BigGalYoga (http://instagram.com/biggalyoga) and YogiMJ (http://instagram.com/yogimj). Good luck and stay tuned to the blog in October for more inspiring stories and interviews of plus size women realizing their full potential and loving themselves as they are.