Flawless: Big Booty Yoga Brings Fun and Body Positivity to Denver
Sydney Hodgson | @SydneyLHodgson
It is Sunday morning and a group of yogis are gathered in The Walnut Room for Big Booty Yoga’s NamasBey class.
“Obviously there is a reason you guys are all here. We have a lot of love for this badass lady. And I think what that comes back to ultimately is the fact that she is such a confident and kind human being - I mean, I pretend like I know her really well - but the way that she portrays herself and what she does as a musician, she sings about how she is going to fucking crush life all the time. Right? She is not singing about woe is me, she not singing about her fat calves or anything like that. When she wrote 'Diva' she wasn’t worried about her cankles. Ok, she doesn’t have cankles. . . ."
This isn’t the start to a regular yoga class. No soft lighting. No designer spandex. No chimes reminiscent of a Japanese garden ringing in the distant speaker. Instead, Beyonce is blasting from the speakers, people are dancing and no one is trying to mask their laughter. Oh, and we are in a bar.
Kady Lafferty is the woman behind Big Booty Yoga, and she made a name for herself in a class very similar to this one. It all started on a night in February 2016, when a friend convinced her to make an Instagram account. This account became an outlet where she could share her practice and build an audience by, as her bio reads, “breaking the yoga stereotype one chubby chatarunga at a time.”
For Lafferty, yoga changed the way that she perceived her body. It served as is a transformative tool, allowing her to notice and then alter the way that she interacts with herself. This transformative process is one she works to cultivate in her classes. She sees yoga as a mechanism for self study; a path to learning to love yourself and your body. Self talk is at the center of this, and is something Lafferty commonly acknowledges in her practice.
“Self talk is what my yoga practice has changed most in my life. Sometimes it takes getting sweaty and putting your body in shapes it is not used to (and are not easy) for you to notice the voice inside your head. I remember when I first started yoga the moment I realized that I hated myself. It sounds so dramatic, but it’s true. The way I was talking to myself was not even the way I would talk to someone I loathe. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, I don't love myself . . . .’ How awful and depressing is that?! So, I started to change it. It was easiest to catch and change while taking yoga, at first. I told myself I was capable, then I was doing poses I didn't think were possible. I told myself I was strong instead of weak. I focused on the grace of the flow instead of how I might look in spandex. Then slowly but surely, the way I started to think about myself changed. I started to love myself.”
Lafferty is a champion of body positivity. Among women, such a champion is necessary. Roughly 91% of women in the U.S. are unhappy with their body image and according to the National Eating Disorders Association, 42% of girls in first to third grade want to lose weight. Eighty-one percent of 10 years olds express a fear of being fat. Her message of inclusivity and acceptance of different bodies and skill levels resonates in her classes and through the Big Booty Yoga brand she is building.
Fellow teacher Steph Winsor explains: “Kady is a true teacher. Her love of the study and practice are shared by her genuine love of Yoga and deep sense of inclusivity for everybody.”
The Big Booty Yoga brand creates a space where insecurities dissipate, and for an hour you are able to truly focus on yourself; a rare gift in a crazy world.