This Plus-Sized Yogi Will Amaze You With What Her Curvy Body Can Do

She may not be as skinny as your average yogi, but ‘Fat Femme’ Jessamyn Stanley is showing that anyone — no matter what shape or size — can reap the benefits of doing yoga.


Stanley, a 27-year-old North Carolina resident, came across Bikram yoga by accident. In 2011, while studying in grad school, she got a Groupon offer for a one-month access to a studio. She instantly fell in love.


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn


Now a certified yoga instructor, as well as a body positive advocate and writer, Stanley has over 55,000 Instagram followers.


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn


Her massive social media following has allowed Stanley to reach out to and empower her fellow curvy women and men to follow in her footsteps.


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn


She encourages them to ask themselves ‘how do I feel?’ instead of ‘how do I look?’


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

She recognizes that she doesn’t have the usual body type of a stereotypical yoga teacher. But she says it makes her all the more unique.


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn


As is characteristic of yoga practitioners, Stanley is often scantily clad in her Instagram photos.


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

“I think it’s intimidating [to see the ‘typical yoga body’ at the front of the class],” she said. “It creates more of an aspirational experience as opposed to an inspirational one.”


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

She added: “It doesn’t actually elicit what yoga should give people. The whole point of this practice is to burn away the parts of our lives that are built up over the years that don’t matter, and to burn that away to who you truly are.”


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

“We live in a society where we are trained to think that being overweight is wrong so people are going to stare at you,” Stanley said.


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

She added, “Our society throws crazy shade at anyone whose body differs from the models featured in Western media. The only thing that you can control is your reaction to that.”


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

Right now, Stanley teaches three classes a week, but later this summer she will be teaching in different parts of the country every weekend.


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

“There are a lot of things you learn as a larger-bodied person practising yoga — what to do with your stomach, what to do with your breasts,” she said.


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

And she has a word of advice to all aspiring yogis: “The only person in control of your life experience is you.”


Instagram: mynameisjessamyn

“Your body is not standing in your way. Only your mind is standing in your way,” she said.


Jessamyn Stanley

You can find more info on Stanley on her website and via Instagram.

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