[We have] classes for everyone. We don't care if your overweight, aren't flexible, or have no experience.
What’s your reaction? Is it inviting or insulting?
I zeroed in on the word “overweight.”
I felt its punch like a smack in the face. Linguists refer to this as a 'face threat.' It is a statement that pushes me, the reader, down, i.e., by insulting me or impinging upon me in some way.
The "voice" of the studio is that of a fit, lean, healthy person…speaking to a fat person. I'm not feeling the yoga solidarity here. Suddenly “difference” (their healthy weight vs. my extra few pounds) is called out in a bald way. On the record, they are putting me down!
The studio wants to set a tone of inclusion. They know that yoga studios can be intimidating for the un-initiated. And they are trying to counter-act their “image,” i.e., lots of lean, limber people who seem to know their way around a sticky mat.
Back to the Facebook post. Why doesn’t it work?
You usually see marketing ploys to build up the 'positive face' of the reader. That is, use flattery all over the place to cultivate customers or encourage repeat business. It sounds something like this:
“You have exquisite taste ... you are a hipster ... you deserve it … So buy what we’re selling.”
What might work better?
I have found that yoga and the language of yoga is gentle and inclusive. Yoga instructors talk discretely in terms of “body types” vs. “fat” and “inflexibility.” They also emphasize the individual, non-competitive experience of yoga. This tends to disarm new people and create a comfort level in the studio. They also help orient new people to the "culture" of yoga in a positive way. It's true that yogis “stay on their own mats.” No one is looking around (much of yoga is an eyes-closed activity) making comparisons around the room as to “who’s better.” So, play this up!