© Jessamyn

She’s not your typical yogi model but damn does she know a thing or two about the ancient practice.

Ivana Lucic   08 April 2016 14:47

Brilio.net - When thoughts of a yoga master come into your head, you’ll probably envision someone that’s small, flexible and most of all skinny. Contorting your body into some of those dreadful poses isn’t an easy feat. And Instagam has only brought about the rise of the classic yogi model poses, usually with an exotic background and sponsored by LuluLemon. We often tend to lose sight of the fact that everyone can and should do yoga, regardless of their size.

In comes Jessamyne Stanley. The North Carolina native is taking the Interweb by storm with her inspirational posts, both on social media including Instagram and Youtube and on her own website. She’s not your typical yogi model but damn does she know a thing or two about the ancient practice. “I think it’s intimidating to see the ‘typical yoga body’ at the front of the class,” said the Durham resident. “It creates more of an aspirational experience as opposed to an inspirational one. It doesn’t actually elicit what yoga should give people.”

She started with a discount class back in 2011 and has been hooked ever since, and most importantly, hasn’t let her weight stop her. She can do things some athletic people can’t even do (I’m looking at you handstand with split legs!) “Our society throws crazy shade at anyone whose body differs from the models featured in Western media.” And Jessamyn is just the girl to fight the preconceived stereotypes. The certified yoga instructor now has over 166,000 followers on Instagram and they just keep on coming.

Her parting words of encouragement to all those who need a little motivation – “Your body is not standing in your way. Only your mind is standing in your way.” And Jessamyne is a living expression of that.

You go girl!


Today I finally tried @cbquality's #splits program on @trainersvault and, as one would expect from the high priestess of thick fit #yoga girls, it left my hips and hamstrings VERY happy. I'm really excited to keep practicing her sequence and feeling my body open even more- it's very simple but extremely deep delicious stretches. I've had a lot of new developments in my life and my hips are holding all of the associated stress- It was a gift to open into them and release some unnecessary tension. Also, @thechalkboardmag mentioned me in a yoga roundup along with the likes of @gigiyogini, @tarastiles, @mackenzieyoga, and my boo @nolatrees- click the link in the @thechalkboardmag instagram header to check it out! Leggings- @mymanifesta

A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on


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 @ mynameisjessamyn@gmail.com. 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!

A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on


When I look at this #headstand during the @mandukayoga clothing line jump off a few weeks back, all I can think is how grateful I am for my chubby back boobs. And how happy I am to have (FINALLY) made peace with my giant ass. I mean, I'm sure @mandukayoga didn't necessarily expect someone with so many fat rolls to get upside down in their sports bra. But the bra is cute and I'll wear it if I feel like it. I don't give a fuck if my belly and back rolls are starring in the photo as a result. Because, regardless of lighting and clothing choices, those body parts are still present. And if I can't accept them when my body is upside down practicing yoga, how the hell will I accept them in other parts of my life? Plus, let's be honest: those are probably the elements that actually make me #madeforyoga, anyway. Strength ain't free, y'all. Top+Bottom- @mandukayoga Photo by @peterruprecht

A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on


Hello from California! Today, @nolatrees, @t_menace & I went to the Pacific Ocean. Were it not for an unquenchable desire to practice yoga on the shoreline, I surely would've spent the entire trek staring at the waves completely dumbfounded. I take this earth for granted. It is fucking magnificent and I am so guilty of letting that beauty go unnoticed. When I put my feet in the water, I just kept mentally quoting that line from Heart's "Soul of the Sea"- it's something like 'Mama ocean, hold me to you'. That's exactly how I felt standing on a shoreline so far and distant from the shores of my home. The sand provided an incredible surface for understanding balance- I practiced a bunch of hip openers in preparation for #hanumanasana, both upside down and on the ground. Sand is an incredibly humbling surface. The uneven bumps and slanted coastline make #inversions unusually challenging, but the soft surface is very gentle under sore joints and #headstands that turn into tumbles. It was also a great way to take the serious undertone out of my practice and just act like a kid again. Now I just need a shower- the sand situation is way too real, y'all. Leggings+ Top-@mandukayoga #madeforyoga

A video posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on


You guys got me nominated for a @shortyaward. I mean, I know I'm supposed to be like "oh my god, I'm so excited and proud and blah blah blah" but all I can think is how fucking grateful I am for each of you. Really. At the end of the day, all media hoopla aside, I'm just a femme from Durham County by way of the Gate City, practicing her yoga under the gaze of an over protective pitbull and a Garfield-style Tabby cat. I began teaching because so many of you guys asked for my presence in your lives. I am astounded by the power of social media- really and truly. Even if we've never met or never meet in the future, and even if this comes off as the flakiest pile of bullshit you've ever read, please know this fact- I am grateful for you. Yes, you. Even if you think my belly is repugnant and you're only here because one of your friends tagged you, please hear me-I am grateful for you. I cannot tell you what an impact you've had on my life. If you want to vote for me, click the link in my Instagram header- but, to be honest, I'm not really hunting for votes. I'm just glad that fat people are finally standing on their own two feet. Thank you for being part of that mission. ALSO MAD LOVE TO EVERYONE WHO IS BEING SO NICE TO ME ON TWITTER I LITERALLY CANT EVEN WITH YOU GUYS. A #crowpose grows in Brooklyn- thank you, @lydiahudgens, for getting my ass out in the middle of traffic practicing an #armbalance. Sports bra- @purelimesport Top- @k.deer Leggings- @maleshactivewear Fingers + Toes- @yogapaws Photo by @lydiahudgens EDIT-@themamaamma YAS I AM FROM GREENSBORO GUILFORD COUNTY THE GATE CITY BEST CITY IN THE WORLD. Tarheel born and bred, wouldn't trade it for anything- I am damn proud of my Southern roots.

A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on


I'm very happy to announce my full 60-day EveryBody Yoga Bundle on @codyapp! When I began taking yoga classes, I was very intimidated by poses like Downward Dog, by fellow students who seemed to know all the transitions already, and by instructors who didn’t know how to teach someone with my body type. I’m familiar with the difficulties that come with practicing in a larger body, which is why it was so important for me to create a series where others could feel safe, accepted and comfortable, regardless of their age, gender, experience or body size. This is exactly why this series means so much to me! I arranged this 2-part bundle the way that I wish studios programmed their classes when I first began practicing. The classes move at a comfortable pace, but are also challenging because they are meant to help you learn and grow. I can tell you without a doubt that the next 60 days will change your life. Yoga changes the way you interact with the world around you and how you treat yourself. I want to help you build the confidence to embrace who you are, experience life with open arms, and love your body! Try a free preview workout with the link in my bio! Top- @vonscher_active Leggings- @lineagewear EDIT: Thanks for asking, @leilanibush- YES THERE'S A DISCOUNT IF YOU'VE ALREADY BOUGHT LEVEL 1! This is the perfect next step if you're working on/finished my first plan and you're ready to start working on #splits, #wildthingpose, & much more! EDIT2X: haay, @leyddy_ro- Everybody Yoga is fun, fast paced, and vigorous- ass whoopings can be expected! But as long as you have an open mind and an open heart, it'll be perfect for a new yoga student! EDIT3X: what up, @eckeltricity- This discount on the bundle will be going on for a week- but even if you bought level one, you can always upgrade to the bundle! codyapp.com/everybody

A video posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on






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