Yoga instructor Dana Falsetti has over 83,000 followers on Instagram, where she talks about how her yoga practice healed her relationship to her body, especially in regards to dieting and weight loss programs. At one point, Falsetti was weighing 300lbs and decided that the extra weight was making her unhappy. She lost 70lbs but still found herself feeling miserable. Soon after, she started doing yoga.
“After all those pounds went away, I was still me,” she said. “I was still sad, feeling unworthy, even more confused, and just lost. I went to yoga because it was something new to try during a time when I felt like giving up.”
At first, she was worried that being bigger would impede her ability to hold certain poses. Falsetti soon found her dedication to her practice completely changed how she thought about exercising and her body.
Now Falsetti teaches yoga, and she wants body positivity to be a part of her method and the perspective she gives to students. She says the physical aspect is as important as the mental one and meditation, in particular, helped her quiet her mind and feel peaceful again.
“I was sure I was too heavy to hold myself upside down,” she explained. “I was trapped in a bad cycle of negative self-talk, but I kept practicing because I just couldn’t stop, and then things started to change. I was slowly getting glimpses of possibility – I call them the sparks of the practice. When you start to feel a little float, or you feel at ease in a pose that once felt impossible. You start approaching your limits, and to me, that’s the whole point.”
The yogi is starting a new series of teaching videos called Making Shapes, which is about accessibility to poses regardless of body size.
She said, “You get to decide that you’re worth it. You have to believe that you are worthy of love and happiness and fulfilling life. Everything else will get in the way as long as you allow it.”