Recently, on Instagram, I had a bit of a rant about how I find it very problematic and harmful when other fat people feel the need to defend their bodies with proclamations of how much they exercise (and/or how “healthy” they are).
I’m gonna be straight up: I don’t really exercise. I don’t like talking about it, thinking about it, or doing it.
If the mood strikes, I might take a walk and listen to a podcast. Sometimes in summer, I go for an occasional swim. But it’s only when it feels right for me, and not something I tell myself I “need” to do. Years of internalized fatphobia and forcing myself to do things I don’t want to (out of guilt) have given me a whole heap of cognitive dissonance about exercise, and i’ve had it (officially).
Last year, the Australian fatty scene was taken by storm with Fat Yoga – a yoga class exclusively for fat people. It was such a phenomenon it was even featured on a few prime-time telly shows etc, and as a result; it kind of exploded. Lots more classes, lots more locations.
I decided to support Fat Yoga and went along to a bunch of classes, and it was amazing on so many levels. Being in a space just for fatties to explore the movement of their bodies is an obvious reason. Actually experiencing the practice of yoga (as someone who exists in a body that has been told it is not allowed to) was even MOAR amazing. After my term of Fat Yoga, I now I see it as more of a relaxation activity rather than exercise.
If, by chance, you’re sitting there thinking “how is yoga exclusionary? Isn’t it an ancient Indian spiritual technique?”… yeah. Nah. Think: the yuppy explosion coupled with the “yoga aesthetic”… movies & shows with cool NYC loft-style spaces – how many fat bodies do you usually see participating? Sure, it started as an Indian spiritual practice, but these days it’s cultural capital. And how difficult is it to find appropriate yogawear above a size 14/16? (Speaking of which, Big Gal Yoga has a few collab designs with the totally awesome Bombsheller Leggings who now go up to a size 6XL! Progress, folks!).
Enter: Valerie Sagun.
I’ve been following Big Gal Yoga on Instagram for a while now, and she is absolutely inspiring. As a yogi, as a human, as a fat woman. The representation that she is generating through her visibility has got me at FUCK YEAH levels of excitement. Oops. Maybe swearing isn’t particularly zen of me?
So when I was offered the chance to receive an advanced copy of her book and help promote it (not sponsored, thx), I was SO IN. Even more exciting was the opportunity to host a giveaway, so that somebody else can experience the magic of Valerie’s spandex-clad and uber flexible body gently guiding them through yoga for bigger bodies. *claps excitedly*
Big Gal Yoga – The Book.
The book itself is really lovely – colour pages, a lovely matte finish (i’m a design nerd, sorry), and covers a wide variety of additional topics like the history of yoga, advice on selecting props, and even homemade recipes for things like mat cleaner! Really, this is a beautiful book for beginners and people with yoga experience.
If you don’t win the comp, you can always grab yourself a copy right here – I strongly advise doing so if you’re looking for ways to further nurture the relationship you have with your fabulous bod <3
The giveaway details are below, and Big Gal Yoga’s website is also worth a peruse.
This is a super low-key competition: just follow me and Big Gal Yoga on your preferred platform/s and go into the draw to win a copy of the book – anywhere in the world (sorry, no P.O. Boxes!). Entries will close on my Sunday (13th August) evening at midnight (Australia, EST) and i’ll draw the winner on Monday and notify them. Break a leg, babes!