Somewhere along the line we started associating yoga with thinness. But we've got to recalibrate our perceptions of the yoga world.

The truth is, yoga has been practiced for thousands of years in India, so it doesn't really make sense that we have any trendy connotations of the practice. When you start considering the history of yoga, we can start breaking down the walls we place around who does yoga.

It's for everyone. And I mean *every* body — not just skinny women, or white women, or able-bodied women!

People often associate yoga with the images they're used to seeing, so it's important to represent all kinds of people doing yoga in order to make more room for all women.

Read on and marvel at the beauty and grace of all sorts of women doing the ancient practice that is yoga.

Crow pose

Crow pose is tight because it takes a lot of trust in yourself. You're tipping your weight forward and forward until your hands are firm on the floor and your weight is nestled high up on your arms.

With strength and trust, it's a powerful pose that's totally possible.

Shiva pose


Our girl @yogineo is so flexible, my brain can almost not compute it. 

Here she's using a yoga wheel, which can be a great prop to practice new poses on. If you've been practicing yoga for a while, a yoga wheel can be placed under one leg (as in the photo) to increase hip mobility.

Headstand

If you thought inversions (going upside down) were only for skinny people, then you were sorely mistaken. They're for brave people. And braveness doesn't have a body type, as @santoshayogapnw demonstrates.

Super soldier pose  

Yoga isn't something that's just a practice for one stage of your life. It's a lifelong learning experience, and can be especially beneficial during pregnancy — @love.yoga.travel knows that!

Dancer's pose

A flexible and strong body is a happy body! @yogineo serves the #goals.

Karnapidasana, aka "Where'd my head go?" pose

You must be very flexible in your neck and shoulders for this pose ... but it's not impossible!

Just like all poses in yoga, they take time. Don't force anything. Don't hurt yourself. Be consistent. Be patient, and your body will reward you with health and flexibility!

Bow pose

Good for training the back body, this is a beautiful strengthening and lengthening pose.

When my butt is really strong, bow pose comes to me all easy-peasy and then I take a week or two off and I'm back in a class and then uh oh. Where'd my strong legs go?!?!

Reclined hero pose

I'm a fit lady, but my knees are what some would call trash. However, I encourage healthy knees, and this elegant pose is so open and vulnerable that you can't help but feel happy looking at it. Right, @coffeewithcasey?

Vasithasana, aka Star Side Plank

Hello, core strength! A strong core isn't exclusively about a visible six-pack and a snatched waist. It's about having the strength to support your entire body — including in poses like this.

Warrior 2 (reverse)

Anybody else love how their butt feels when you're in Warrior 2? And then, as demonstrated by @theadventuresoffatandhappy, you reverse that Warrior and your whole side stretches so long that you're like, "I really am a warrior."

Exactly.

Crescent lunge

Something about seeing soft bellies out and proud makes me so happy, because six-pack abs do NOT equal healthy or strong.

Imagine if we all just let our bodies show instead of fussing with our shirts at the gym? I bet we could rule the world.

Mermaid pose

I look at this picture and I'm hard-pressed to think of something more graceful. 

This is literal art. 

You might just see the pose, but look beyond it and you'll see hours and hours of hard work and stumbles before mastery.

Tree pose

Tree pose is an exultant pose! Eyes up, heart open, balancing, and fearless. It's full trust, no ego.

And here, these two gorgeous friends are holding hands ... putting their trust into the other to hold them up! Sometimes yoga is about going inside, but sometimes it's about connecting with the people around you.

Embryo pose

Embryo pose refers to yes, being an embryo in your mama's belly. You were folded up like an itty-bitty soft pretzel and yet, the older we get, contorting ourselves into these binds gets harder and harder.

Sometimes, yoga is an unlearning — going back to a time when twisting your body was second nature. And that has zero to do with your size.

Chair pose (with a twist)


Yoga has an age problem, even though yoga can be beneficial to many people as we age. Why shouldn't we see older people doing yoga? Many practitioners of yoga attribute their yoga practice to their lengthy lives.

And I believe it! Yoga isn't just something fitness models on Instagram should do. It's for all of us, throughout all stages of our lives.


King Pigeon pose (variation)

The realest, real-deal yogi @heidiyoga is out here fighting two kinds of melanoma and inspiring thousands. 

Her story is so moving, her spirit is so genuine and raw, I feel blessed to have stumbled across her.

Yoga is dope because you confront your limitations (bad back, knees, whatever), but then you move through your limitations and surprise yourself.

If you're @heidiyoga, you surprise everyone.

This variation of Pigeon Pose is all about that back. I love seeing @heidiyoga work through challenging poses as a person with an amputation.

Yoga for all!