#GorgeousGirl Brittany Richard of @crazycurvy_yoga

Posted on June 27 2016

We've been big fans of @crazycurvy_yoga on Instagram. Any chance to see a body taking part in fitness that doesn't look like it's made strictly of muscles, one that isn't perfectly tanned and toned, is gladly welcomed. Brittany of @crazycurvy_yoga does just that. She is clearly talented, strong, and flexible while still being equal parts approachable and inspirational. We love how Brittany has found herself through her yoga practice, and has grown with the support of her followers. We sat down with Brittany to hear all about her journey.
We're teaming up with Brittany to giveaway 3 activewear prizes. Enter To Win.

Introducing Gorgeous Girl Brittany Richard of @crazycurvy_yoga

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Brittany is wearing the Aqua Racerback Tank and the Citrus Palm Legging.
Hey Gorgeous!: When and why did you start your yoga practice?
Brittany: My journey started two years ago, in March of 2014. I had recently delivered my second baby and found myself at my highest weight. I knew for my own health and for the benefits of my children I needed to lose weight and live a healthier, active lifestyle.

I began practicing yoga to reconnect with my body after many years of dieting and battling a binge eating disorder. I tried going to the gym but always lost my motivation. Crazy workout exercises just don't appeal to me. The thought of getting super sweaty and feeling like my heart is going to explode sounds more like a punishment than a beneficial work out. It was just not for me. But, yoga...Yoga... YOGA! I just fell in love with it! I started by following yoga accounts on Instagram and self-educating by watching yoga videos on YouTube.  It’s taken some time to build my yoga practice, but it wasn’t very long until I knew yoga would become indispensable in my life. Since then, yoga has not only helped me change my body image, but it has made me more compassionate, and more emotionally and mentally strong. I would never have thought that a fitness routine would be capable of this internal change. I no longer look at yoga as a way to lose weight. I know it can help others lose weight, but if I’m practicing with that expectation, I'm practicing for all the wrong reasons. 
Brittany is wearing the Aqua Racerback Tank and the Citrus Palm Legging.
Hey Gorgeous!: What drove you to share your yoga practice on Instagram?

Brittany: Instagram’s Yoga Community has thousands of inspiring yogis, but it wasn’t until the last year or so that larger bodied women have been seen doing yoga on social media. Over the past two years I've been sharing my yoga journey in hopes to inspire others like myself, the atypical yoga body type: curvy, plus size, working mothers, and larger bodied women, and even others that are not like myself, to practice yoga. I want women, and people in general, to know and see that everyday women are capable of doing extraordinary things. I’m here, challenging the preconceived notions of what a yoga body should look like. While it’s very intimidating, it’s also very liberating.


Brittany is wearing the Lycra Racerback Tank in Heather and the Nylon Workout Legging.
Hey Gorgeous!: You have an extremely engaged group of followers. How has the support of your followers affected your life and your yoga practice?

Brittany: It’s the support of my followers that really gets me through some hard times. I openly share my life experiences as a woman, mother, and plus-size yogi as a form of self-help therapy. Putting myself out there is and has been very scary, but I’ve also found comfort in being free and open with who I am. For years, I hid myself from the world, feeling ashamed and un-worthy of love, even my own self-love. Embracing my flaws, mistakes, and body has allowed me to feel comfortable with vulnerability.

If you fear the judgement of others, are uncomfortable with self-promotion, or are afraid of failure my advice is to put yourself out there. It sounds cliche, but over time I’ve gotten used to it, to broadcasting my trials and tribulations. Putting yourself out there is a small price to pay to have the freedom to express myself.
Brittany is wearing the Lycra Racerback Tank in Heather and the Nylon Workout Legging.
Hey Gorgeous!: What advice do you have for those who are hesitant to try yoga?
Brittany: Yoga might not be for everybody, but it is for any BODY who wishes to try. Coming into your own yoga practice takes time and dedication, you won’t be changed after one class. There are many different styles, disciplines, and teachings of yoga. I suggest trying different ones until you've found one that suits you best. You might find that your body craves more than more style of yoga, and that's okay too.

I am a self-taught yogi and haven't practiced in a studio much. If you can't get to a studio or don't have the funds to support a practice, there is always the option of using online classes, and social media outlets like Instagram & YouTube. Most of which offer free training, education, and classes.  If you’re intimidated to step into a yoga class, start your practice in the privacy of your own home with the help of a video.
I often hear, “I’m too big to do yoga,” as an excuse. I am no stranger to that feeling. I’ve come to learn that yoga doesn’t come in one size, it has nothing to do with size at all. Ignore your inner critic and make peace with your body: every jiggle, crevice, and every space in between, those that are flexible and those that are not-so-flexible. We all have our own challenges, so what you're capable of is going to be different than others, and that's a good thing. Sometimes even what one leg is capable of, the other is not. Embrace it and learn how to work with it, not against it.

Brittany is wearing The Essential V Tee in White with Short Sleeves and the Embossed Paisley Workout Legging.

Hey Gorgeous!: What struggles have you overcome in regards to your relationship with your body and fitness?

Brittany: For the majority of my life I have been overweight. When I was 26 years old, I decided I needed a change. I have struggled with a binge eating disorder since I was a little girl. Before knowing what eating disorders were, I knew at a young age that my relationship with food was unhealthy. As I grew older and into adulthood, my relationship with food spiraled out of control. Some simply believe that one’s relationship with food is about self-control, but there were mental and emotional ramifications for me. For all those years, I thought no one could love me. What I didn’t realize was that I didn’t allow any to love me because I didn’t know how to love myself. I am still struggling with binge eating, but I have created a healthy relationship with my mind and body. I have gained a new perspective for life that focuses less around food and more around experiences. I’ve gained resources from my yoga practice to allow me to better cope with adversity.

I'm am the healthiest, mentally, emotionally, and physically I've been in years. For anyone that doubts yoga’s power to heal and transform, I am living proof that it can if you trust the journey and allow yourself to open up to the experience.


Hey Gorgeous!: What have you discovered about yourself from your yoga journey, through Instagram and otherwise?
Brittany: The greatest thing I've discovered about myself is that I am one strong-willed woman, capable of doing anything I desire. It is unreal to see my work receiving positive recognition. It's because of my yoga practice that my life has drastically changed. People think that I practice to lose weight. It's never been about losing weight. I set out to discover myself as a person, to connect with my body, and to learn what I wanted out of life. Yoga has taught me how to love myself and others. It has healed my deepest scars. Once where I knew pain, I now try to shine a light of love. Yoga taught me how to live, not to just exist. As I've learned to becomes less judgmental with my own self, I've also learned to accept others as they are. The world is made of colorful, diverse, unique individuals and I am so honored to be a part of a movement that supports equality, love, and acceptance.

Hey Gorgeous!: As a girl with curves, what was your relationship with fashion like when you were young? Has it evolved?

Brittany: Growing up I hated shopping. As if being a bigger girl wasn't bad enough, I'm also pretty short. I've always had a hard time finding clothes to fit both my body size and height. My freshman year of high school, my dad took me back-to-school shopping. All I wanted to wear on the first day of school was a pair of L.E.I. Jeans. I remember crying as I stood in the Woman’s section shopping for clothing while my older sisters shopped in the Junior’s department. I was angry, and questioned why I couldn't be like all the other girls. That mentality stuck with me throughout high school and into adulthood. It wasn’t until I was 26 years old and started my yoga practice that I finally stopped wishing and trying to be like everyone else. Accepting myself and my body shape has been liberating. My confidence has since skyrocketed, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Shopping is now a pleasurable adventure. I’m always on the search for funky, fresh new finds. Where I once stood over in the "plus-size" section feeling ashamed, I now stand proudly, wearing a full figure.
Larger women, or any woman for that matter, should not be afraid to enjoy participating in fashion, to show their bodies, to embrace their own unique style instead of hiding. It’s time for people to acknowledge they are beautiful at every size.

Want to win what Brittany is wearing? Enter to win 1 of 3 activewear prizes.


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Photography by The Bearded Lensman

Thanks, Brittany! We love your story, and how yoga was a tool for you to find acceptance. xoxo


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