Plus-Sized Yoga Instructor Posted Photos Of Herself On Instagram, And Now She’s My New Hero.
Like most fitness activities, yoga is something that was, up until recently, only thought to be practiced by primarily by thin women. After all, plus size women don't exercise at all, right?
Well, Jessamyn Stanley is here to break that stereotype. Stanley is a plus size yoga instructor that challenging the notion of the traditional "yoga body." She has been documenting her daily practice on her Instagram for awhile, and through it she has built a following of over 66 thousand followers who look to her page for daily inspiration. She also shared advice on how plus size women can get into yoga in an interview.
Don’t just go with the first studio throwing around free guest passes- look for a studio whose teachers are recognized for being encouraging and positive. The outlook of a yoga teacher has just as much of an effect on your practice as the clothes you wear or the amount of water you drink. Once you find a studio, give yourself at least one week of classes, consisting of at least three classes before determining if you want to continue. If you’ve never tried yoga, your first class might be a little more intense than you’re expecting which might lead you to set fire to your yoga mat and curse the whole practice to hell.
Check out her inspiring photos - and killer poses - below.
Day 12 of #flowforall w/ me, @nolatrees, and our kick ass sponsors @lineagewear, @personalrecordofficial, & @fractal.9 is a bit of a monster flow- transition from down dog to uttanasana. Hook your big toes individually to gently stretch your legs before stepping into #utthitahastapadangusthasana- pick any modification or variation you like. After that, pass through #warrior3 to sit down in #ardhamatsyendrasana and twist both ways. THEN, lay down on your back, extend your arms & legs in the air and do at least 10 "toe touches"- core work can be a bitch but it's importance can't be denied. After that, roll back up into plank pose and take a vinyasa before repeating on the second side. Modify whenever and wherever you need it- this is YOUR practice. Watch the full length flow on my youtube channel- link is in my IG header. Song is Shawn Chrystopher "One Of My Homies" To Participate: 1. Post a video of you doing the flow of the day 2. Tag hosts @nolatrees and @mynameisjessamyn, and our lovely sponsors @fractal.9, @lineagewear, @personalrecordofficial 3. at the end of the month we will have put together a flow you can play with at home!
Day 12 of #SizeDoesntMatter w/ @yogimj & @biggalyoga is #EkaPadaRajaKapotasana, one of my absolute favorite #hipopeners. Y'all, my boo @raysegev has crafted the cure for the flopping belly fat and it is THESE MOTHERFUCKING PANTS. She did a ton of research to design Molly Maven, a clothing line featuring a waistband that can really tuck in your midsection throughout any exercise routine. The pants have an interior lining that you can pull up over the parts of your belly that are usually exposed. It's kind of genius technology, really- I did my new favorite @kathrynbudig @yogaglo flow ("Hotel Yoga" for my fellow #yoga nerds) and I was unbelievably impressed by the fact that the pants not only didn't slide down but provided a consistent compression element which actually helped me remain even more aware of my core than usual. Basically, they are the jam- though I really wish I had them in a straight leg, slim cut. That's where you come in- click the link in my instagram header to check out the Molly Maven kickstarter page- let's help make these excellent compression pants an option for curvy athletes worldwide.
Since today is Teacher Appreciation Day, @yogafoster wondered if there was a teacher who has particularly inspired me. I don't know if she knows it, but Sharon Oxford (my high school political science and economics teacher) made a huge impact on my development. An OG feminist Southern Belle, a woman who wears a million hats but always has her makeup applied properly- she sowed the seeds of my personal feminist mission and always encouraged me to be the best I can be. She also gave me the most valuable financial advice I've ever received- "Never get a credit card if you don't know where you'll find cash for the bill." To find out more about @YogaFoster's awesome mission to bring free yoga training and resources to school teachers, check out their instagram! Top- @paramitadesigns Undies- @hipsandcurves
I am so full of love for my #yoga students- today's PWYC classes filled me with a level of happiness I can't accurately describe in words. I mean, it's one thing to find clarity on your own mat. It's one thing to feel your own joy shine through. However, it's entirely different to serve as a vessel for the clarity of others. I don't know what to say- these beautiful people have left me undone. I am so grateful for the opportunity to practice with others, and it's an additional gift to be able to practice in the beautiful North Carolina sunshine with spring's bounty under my toes. Do I sound like I'm exaggerating? Are you rolling your eyes at my grand pronouncements? That's cool- no big deal. I understand that it can seem flaky to ramble about love for one's yoga students. But maybe one day, if we're lucky enough to practice in the same space, we can experience some version of this magic together. Leggings- @lineagewear #invertyoself #Invertyocurves
Day 10 of #SizeDoesntMatter is #standingarcherpose. This pose is an interesting balance shift- If you start from a #forwardfold, gripping your big toes with your "peace sign" fingers, it doesn't seem terribly difficult to simply raise one leg. However, the actual balance shift requires pretty intense focus maintenance. I know I'm not the only person who has difficulty maintaining focus when dealing with a shift in balance, both on and off the mat. For my part, I'm just going to keep my eyes firmly planted straight ahead and try not to let them shift to the rear-view window. Top- @paramitadesigns ('SDM20' gets you 20% off your order!) Pants- @mymanifesta ('CURVYYOGA' gets you 20% off your order!) Want To Participate? 1. Follow me (@mynameisjessamyn), @yoga_davina, & our lovely sponsors (@mollymaven, @paramitadesigns, @mymanifesta) on Instagram. 2. Post a pic of yourself in the pose of the day- check @yoga_davina & I for daily pose updates. Tag us & hashtag #sizedoesntmatter. 3. At the end of the month we’ll select a few of you to receive goodies from our generous sponsors- don’t forget to tag all your pictures w/ #sizedoesntmatter! (BTW, if you’re participating via tumblr, just tag your posts #sizedoesntmatter!)
I had a really good time shooting with @alliemullin & @cadyshannon for @clarioncontent today- I love my small, weird, diverse Southern town to pieces and I'm excited to be part of this burgeoning community of creative doers and thinkers. I can't wait to share @alliemullin's final shots paired with Cady's article about me, but here's a quick shot my love @cadyshannon snapped. Leggings by @maleshactivewear/ Top by @paramitedesigns It recently occurred to me that many of my 'non-internet' yoga friends have difficulty understanding the necessity of an online yoga community. I mean, I keep encountering really awesome lifelong yoga practitioners who are completely flummoxed by the yoga social media community and I can't help but notice that they are all, well.....not "different". It's largely people who have a completely unintended privilege within the Western yoga world which is purely based on the fact that their bodies are either white and/or slender. It's funny because, simultaneously, I encounter an overwhelming number of people who are both white AND slender and STILL feel excluded from the Western yoga world. Without making any bastardized generalizations, I think we can all safely agree that all of this is a fucking problem. There isn't a person on earth who should feel left out of the Western yoga world- as we walk deeper into the 21st century, the face of yoga has become even more undefinable and the internet is the only place we really have to put that undefinable face on display. I can only hope that those who roll their eyes at the yoga social media community will find a way to put their prejudices aside, but at the same time- who cares? This is a new world order- it's time for change. I'm excited to see so many of you are down to do the work that needs to be done- I feel blessed to be 'internet friends' with all of you.
I can't stop practicing #forearmstand. Obviously, there are a wide variety of other poses in my daily practice, but this is the full focus of my attention right now. It just feels good to work on something, you know? To see slow progress and feel the joy of accomplishing small goals. It's like learning to read, or learning to drive. Learning to ride a bike. This kind of slow but rewarding learning process isn't celebrated or encouraged in adulthood. You're always expected to know everything and have everything figured out. Practicing #pinchamayurasana as often as possible is my personal reminder that it's ok to not know everything. It's ok to learn and it's ok to celebrate the small victories. Leggings- @maleshactivewear
Some awesome things have happened since I've been in #Asheville. For one thing, I'm literally eating, drinking, and breathing #yoga right now- my body and soul feel better than they have in...probably ever. My practice has seen great improvement- catching serious hang time in #sirsasana was a beautiful treat this afternoon. I'm really thankful for all of these really obvious beautiful things because I actually had an unbelievably frustrating experience today. During today's teacher training, we watched a video featuring some pretty self-indulgent representatives of a very popular style of yoga- I'm not going to say the names of the people or the style of yoga, but the people in the video were (in my opinion) acting really narcissistic and superficial, and there were some pretty ghastly displays of cultural appropriation and brash moments of self-promotion. I was appalled. I spent the last portion of the film searching the faces of my classmates, assuming that at least one other person must be having a similar reaction. Strangely, everyone else seemed to be chillin'. During discussion, I was shocked- NO ONE seemed to have any problem with the people in the video. They all thought their behavior was normal, even ASPIRATIONAL (!!!!)- to them, that level of shameless self-promotion was perfectly acceptable in our world of Western yoga. When I brought up my concerns and specific moments that gave me pause, almost everyone met me with blank stares. But then I remembered- oh, yeah. We live in a world where Westerners shamelessly appropriate the cultures of others ALL THE FUCKING TIME. In fact, cultural appropriation is a huge part of why I know anything about yoga. It was a humbling moment. I mean, I could rant for ages about how offensive that fucking video was, but it really doesn't matter in the long run because the same cultural appropriation that brought that video to fruition is the same appropriation that brought me the practice that changed my life. I guess what I'm trying to say is- I need to learn to let shit go. Song is The Black Keys " Grown So Ugly" #headstand #invertyoself #Invertyocurves #inversion
I took a little break from the internet this weekend. I mean, I likelovehate social media as much as the next late twentysomething but JEEZ- a femme can only take so much 'internet-ing' before she needs to get outside and feel the grass under her toes, ya dig? In addition to spending time with my loved ones, eating @krispykreme doughnuts, and sunning myself by the banks of the Eno River, I spent the past few days catching up on projects that slid to my back burner while I was in Asheville. Of course, I would love to spill the beans on everything new and exciting to come, but I'm sworn to secrecy on several different topics. HOWEVER, I am SO STOKED to announce that my #yoga teenage dream is about to come true- my long distance yoga love @nolatrees & I are hitting the road....together....to teach joint yoga workshops! Dana & I are getting pumped to bring our body positive yoga mission to as many of you as humanly possible. However, if we hold a workshop, would you come? What studios/cities would you like to see us in/at? If you're too shy to write in the comments, feel free to shoot me an e-mail @ [email protected] The instagram yoga community has blessed us with the opportunity to find kindred spirits across the globe- I think it's high time we take the #bodylove yoga movement into the stratosphere. #effyourbeautystandards #honoryourcurves Pants- @lineagewear P.S. via @nolatrees- if you're a studio owner, e-mail us!
Today I balanced in #bakasana. This doesn't happen every day- frequently, I'm falling forward on my face or rocking back and forth in prep poses. And that's ok- my practice isn't a race. It's not a competition. Just an opportunity for full body maintenance. The journey is the best fucking part. #crowpose #inveryoself #invertyocurves
This man wasn't able to walk without the use of crutches until he started practicing yoga.
Next, check out what happens when pets interrupt yoga.
Source: My Name is Jessamyn