#WCW Jessamyn Stanley – An Exclusive By Myla Dalbesio
Why we love her:
We all know how intimidating it can be to go into a new workout class in general, especially a practice like yoga, which is consummately endorsed by hoards of lithe, bendy women in spandex and worry beads. If you don’t look like that, if you’re unfamiliar with even the basic moves, and especially if you are uncomfortable in your body, the pressure of trying something new and challenging (and usually in a group environment) can feel impossibly hard. Jessamyn Stanley wants to change that. A self-described “fat femme,” Stanley is here, queer, and ready to teach you how to do yoga (and learn to love yourself at the same time).
After a failed attempt at Bikram yoga during her teenage years, Stanley was convinced to give it a chance again as an adult in the throes of graduate school stress. This time it stuck. Outside of the exercise and health benefits, Stanley explains that she “became addicted to exceeding [her] personal expectations.” As she progressed deeper into her practice, her mission became clear: use her journey to self-love through yoga to help other women achieve the same. Via her Instagram and Tumblr, Stanley has cataloged her progress and insights. She encourages women to step outside their comfort zones and the limits they may have imposed upon themselves in relation to what their bodies are capable of. She leads by example, and has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers along the way. This past spring, Stanley compiled her teachings into Every Body Yoga, a book for beginners of all shapes and sizes looking for an intro into what could be an otherwise intimidating activity. She also hosts her own yoga series on Cody, aimed at getting other women to achieve the same goal she had set for herself, “to feel good all the time.”
Image Source: Glamour