Dana Falsetti is a plus size yoga practitioner and instructor who became Instagram famous via a Buzzfeed article in her senior year in college! From then on it was a landslide; she was soon catering to 10k followers and now, only a few years later, she has a 350k followership on social media after a viral video some articles about a "plus size yogi." She is excited to know that what she has been putting out is authentic and completely HER.
Dana advocates for any words that people choose to discuss their bodies and she ascribes to many. Jana and Dana discuss the importance of embracing the term "fat" and how empowering it is to see other women of size using the term and normalizing it for the rest of us and for the world. Jana asks Dana about her existence in the body positive lifestyle sphere. Dana describes the way that yoga and body positivity gained popularity in pop culture simultaneously. She was immediately tokenized in that landscape (which is not inclusion) and Dana and Jana go on to discuss the commodification of body positivity. The ways that capitalism is cashing in on each of our self image is truly a crime and Dana is a warrior working to make sure that yoga as a practice and a spiritual journey is held sacred and accessible to all people.
Dana just launched her new podcast called Deep Dive which everyone should subscribe to if this conversation is one you're interested in having . She describes the ways in which advertising and capitalism has de-centered the voices that need body positivity the most. "BoPo" has become a term for thin women who have rolls when they're sitting down and for exploring self love. It is no longer about justice for all people's bodies and lives. Women of color have been devalued in this space and people with disabilities have been devalued, and these are some of the ways that body positivity has become problematic. We need to believe the experiences of marginalized people, believe the experiences of fat people, believe the experiences of people of color.
Jana and Dana go off about how they were treated differently people have treated them when they have been thin and when they have been fat. Ultimately, as much as people can say they're not fatphobic, no one is above social conditioning. Jana and Dana talk about romance in a big body, how we move on from perception and fat bias. It's so hard to separate the experience of being a fat person with the experiences of being just a person with failures and privileges and oppressions. Dana and Jana are both very over the narrative that fat people are lazy. They are also very over the narrative that people of size are unhealthy, unhappy and in need of validation when we show our bodies.
Dana drops some Yama and Niyama wisdom on Jana in terms of the difference between "help" and "support." They discuss the ways they choose to care or not about what others think about them publicly and intimately. Dana discusses intimacy in her body and how she encourages her yoga students to touch their own bodies, to address their own bodies so as to teach others how touch should feel. Jana asks Dana about her new podcast, Deep Dive and how she's planning on sharing her experiences and new awarenesses.
When asked, Dana said an ideal interview would be with Ericka Hart. Dana, like Jana is delighted by hearing from and amplifying the voices of marginalized people. Dana talks about her hustle as a yoga instructor and her impact in the accessible yoga space. She unveils the ways that she's practicing genuine authenticity online and offline, how much that has changed her life and what kind of impact people can be if we just use our authentic voices to speak about issues that we care about and support others.
Dana's One Cool Thing is a Body Works Ball, a foam roller attached to a rope and handle that you can use for your feet or your back or shoulders. Use the discount code Nola when you buy and support BJ, a woman of size who owns this business! Jana's One Cool Thing is an instagram account called Fat Girls Hiking. Jana talks about hating hiking because she's...big but that this instagram account is bringing her life! Another account that gets a shout out is Brown People Camping, an Instagram account that honors people of color delighting in the outdoors. The two go on a roll and Dana drops another instagram account called The Vulva Gallery. Ladies, get into this account because some really vulnerable discussions happen on this account. Follow Dana on instagram, facebook and snapchat @nolatrees. Check out her online yoga classes at danafalsetti.com, very accessible and at all levels.
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