Mixed reaction for online yoga crusade

Dolly Singh, 34, in a yoga pose Picture: AFP

A plus-sized Indian woman is challenging body stereotypes and defying internet trolls with a series of yoga videos that are proving a hit on social media.

Dolly Singh, 34, has gained a fan following online for promoting body positivity by showing that size is no barrier to mastering complex yoga moves.

“To say: ‘You can’t do this because you have so much weight’, I don’t believe that,” Singh said after completing her morning stretch in a Mumbai park.

Four years ago, a doctor advised her to lose weight following an ankle sprain. Singh, who is only 1.5m tall, weighed almost 90kg.

She hired a trainer and embraced the “whole frenzy of losing weight” but became bored with running and took up with something she had never done before – yoga.

“At the first class I was thinking: ‘Can I really do this because I have a big body?’

“But I had a certain kind of stamina, of flexibility.”

Singh, who works for a TV channel, soon realised there were limitations to group classes and sought the instruction she needed from videos online.

“If my teacher doesn’t have a belly, how will they know what the problems are of having a big belly,” she said, laughing.

She started filming herself to monitor her progress and then began posting clips on Instagram.

Soon she was inundated with messages, mainly from women saying she was an inspiration to them.

But she has also been the victim of body shaming.

“I completely ignore this. You can’t fight internet trolls. But I don’t know these people so why should it bother me?”


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