Meet The Woman Who’s Changing The Face of Yoga
Jessamyn Stanley, 29, is a Durham, North Carolina native who’s making a splash in the world of fitness. Stanley began her journey of yoga five years ago in graduate school and since then has become a certified instructor. Her main focuses have been body positivity, self-love and stressing the importance of self-care.
Stanley’s transforming the image of yoga and the typical body type associated with the fitness practice. Within the past few years, curvy body types have become a trending phenomenon. Stanley adds to the change in popular culture by making yoga a more inclusive and accepting community. She also adds empowerment to plus size women by proving that they can do anything. In her interview with Self Magazine Stanley states:
“I am not a person society would expect to see great things from. As a woman of color, you definitely grow up thinking that there are certain limitations to what you’re supposed to do. I always thought that because I'm fat, I'm not the tallest, I'm not the ‘prettiest,’ there’s always going to be something wrong with me.”
Stanley clearly touches upon insecurities many women face daily. However, she’s becoming a role model to many people who’ve felt this way. She’s relatable to anyone who’s ever felt like they weren’t enough. Stanley later mentions her struggles with becoming fit:
“I realized when I first started that I was obsessed with the way that my practice physically looked. You end up in fewer situations where you’re genuinely uncomfortable because you're trying to be like somebody else or trying to embody something that has nothing to do with who you are. [Asking yourself,] 'How do I feel?' insteadof 'How do I look?'—that’s the crux of everything.”
Making the decision to workout when your body doesn’t fit the societal norm can be nerve wracking and intimidating. That’s why it’s important for courageous woman like Jessamyn Stanley to help break the stigma about what certain body types can do. Yoga isn’t based upon who looks best, but about who can build inner strength.
If you’re interested in improving your physical health be sure to check out Jessamyn Stanley’s YouTube page!