Yoga teacher Maria Odugba is challenging stereotypes surrounding who can practise yoga.
Described by the media as ‘plus-size’, Odugba is determined to embody her belief that yoga is for all body shapes and sizes. Her instagram account has 74.7k followers and counting, and is full of inspiring yoga selfies, workouts and posts describing her body-positive attitude. She advocates self-acceptance and love for all body types, having overcome her own initial fear of taking up yoga on account of the common misconception that yoga is only for slim and toned people. What is particularly inspiring is her advocacy for acceptance as the first step towards pursuing goals healthily.
“I was worried that I wasn’t going to fit in with the stereotype of a yoga person”, she told the Daily Mail. “And then I slowly started to realize, and do my research, that there are a lot of other people out there that aren’t skinny who do yoga and are very good at it.”
“I kind of sprouted out of my little cocoon and I became able to walk around with my chest held high, because for a long time I just wanted to not be seen, I wanted to wear bigger clothes and hide,” she said. “So overall it has made me happy.”
Odugba wants others to be inspired by her transformation as well. “I just wish more people knew that it is possible, plus-size people can get out there and make their lives healthier,” she said. “I do believe that everybody should be healthy, that doesn’t mean you have to be skinny.”
Her followers certainly seem to be motivated. “Thanks for being so honest about your life and struggles,” a commenter recently wrote. “It is super refreshing and encouraging for gals like me starting the same journey.” Another wrote “You have motivated me to pick up yoga and get my body back.”
Odugba’s photos are a reminder to us all that health, self-care, and yoga are for everybody, no matter your weight or size.
Read the full story at Insider.