Meet Valerie Sagun, a 28-year-old yogi from San Jose, California.
Sagun has been practicing hatha yoga for the past four years. Hatha is a set of physical exercises, known as asanas, that are designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones.
Sagun started her Instagram Big Gal Yoga a year and a half ago.
“At first, I only did Tumblr,” Sagun tells BuzzFeed Life. “But when I got to 10,000 followers and people asked me to join Instagram, I decided to go for it.”
And her photos are fly AF.
Crow pose? More like queen pose.
To start, her yoga wardrobe is TO DIE FOR.
“It can be hard for bigger women to find good leggings,” she says. But, let’s face it, she looks flawless. Sagun swears by her favorite brands Rainbeau Curves and Fractal 9 for comfy, colorful athletic wear.
And her confidence is contagious.
“I’ve never really felt self-conscious about my body during yoga classes,” Sagun says. “For me, yoga is all about the mind and positive thinking. I get anxiety and depression, and practicing has helped me through that.”
She’s always down to try new things.
Like using a yoga wheel. “It helps to open your back a lot more during stretches,” Sagun says.
And pushing herself is the only way she knows how.
“Acro yoga was one thing, especially as a bigger-bodied person, that I was scared and doubtful to try,” Sagun writes on her Instagram. “But it was so fun to practice.”
Sagun loves yoga so much that she’s currently trying to become a teacher.
She started a GoFundMe to help raise money for tuition at 7 Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona, Arizona.
“By being a curvy woman of color, I get to show a lot of underrepresented people that they are capable of anything,” she says.
“We need more diversity so that, one day, diversity just becomes something normal that happens everywhere.”
“Everyone who is interested in yoga should feel comfortable practicing it,” she says.