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Our New Favorite Yogi Is Teaching Us All About Body Confidence

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    To mark International Yoga Day, we're looking back on our inspiring conversation with Valerie Sagun of Big Gal Yoga. This article was originally published on September 9, 2015.

    If you aren't already one of her 50,000 Instagram followers, you need to know about Valerie of Big Gal Yoga. A prolific social media user, tireless yogi, and avid body-confidence enthusiast, she is changing the way people think about yoga, ability, and body image, one hashtag at a time.

    Valerie started practicing yoga about four years ago, and her passion for the lifestyle has only grown since, to the point that it's at the center of her mission to encourage others to use and love their bodies. Her site features a truly beginner-friendly guide to starting a yoga routine, most notably with a list of fitness-gear brands that are inclusive of all body types. Once outfitted, you can head over to Valerie's Instagram page and kick off one of her many month-long challenges. Her updates on her own progress with each challenge will consistently deliver a dose of warm motivation to your Insta feed. We guarantee it.

    A recent college graduate, Valerie plans to begin her yoga teacher training at Seven Centers Yoga Studio in Sedona, AZ. You can support her training here.

    Click through to see a selection of Valerie's most stunning poses and read what she has to say about getting into yoga and how to respond to body-shamers.

    Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Valerie will be attending her yoga training in California. She will, in fact, undergo training in Sedona, Arizona.

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