Valerie Sagun is a 28-year-old yoga enthusiast that is inspiring thousands of people across the world thanks to her Big Gal Yoga blog and Instagram account. That’s because Sagun is a size 22 and weighs 238 pounds but still loves to showcase just how much she loves performing the exercise.
Sagun, who hails from San Jose, regularly posts images to both accounts that show her in a number of flexible poses, including balancing on her head and doing the splits, and because of this, she has now amassed over 97,3000 followers on Instagram.
Because of the variety of images, Ms. Sagun is now hoping that her variety of yoga “selfies” are actually inspiring and motivating people from different countries and continents to simply feel comfortable with their own body. In fact, she hopes that people will follow suit and copy her poses at yoga.
Sagun also loves to litter her images with long captions that discuss how she has overcome problems that she has with her own body through yoga. In fact, Sagun admitted that she previously suffered from depression, and yoga helped her to overcome these issues.
In one post on her Instagram account, Sagun wrote, “I used to be weirded out of the thought of other people seeing my body, but now I fully embrace and enjoy that people like myself are loving their bodies.”
Sagun intimately added, “I have lumps, rolls, scars, dark sports, uneven skin, stretch marks, fat, body hair; all the things that make me who I am. All those things I’ve come to accept and love about myself.”
While studying at university, Sagun has admitted that she began to suffer from depression. During this difficult period, Sagun started to practice yoga, which she insisted not only helped her to get into better shape, she also was able to relax mentally too.
“Doing yoga was the only thing to take my mind off of over thinking,” Sagun explained, via the Express. “Yoga has become a personal therapy that has helped me so much. Even though everyone sees me physically, it’s more of what yoga does for me mentally. I thank my practice for always being the supporting hand on my shoulder when things get tough.”
Sagun is now looking to take her efforts as a yoga enthusiast to the next level, as she has now set out her stall to become a yoga teacher and instructor. In fact, Sagun has already outlined that she wants to start her training at the beginning of 2016.
Sagun, who had promised herself that she would partake in yoga for several years before she finally did, admitted that she’s not going to change her diet, while she also insisted that she’s just as “flexible as skinny girls.”
“My fans are surprised when I do the splits because I’m a bigger girl, but I’m just as flexible as skinny girls,” she continued. “Some poses hurt my wrists because I’m carrying a lot of weight — but I just love chocolate and meatballs!”
But how does she respond to all of the naysayers that have criticized her body, despite the fact that she is able to get into positions that most people could only dream of? Well, she simply doesn’t care. In fact, she insists that she has a great body, and she declared that “men think [her] curves are sexy” while women are constantly telling her that she’s inspiring.
Speaking to People about her newfound success, Sagun explained, “It’s something I never really intended to happen, but it’s nice that it has happened. I’m humbled by the fact that people are really enjoying the visual look of my yoga practice and that I’m inspiring them to try something they never thought they could try.”
[Images via Instagram/Big Gal Yoga]