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Meet Jessamyn Stanley! The Plus-Size Yoga Instructor Challenging the Traditional “Yoga Body”

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Jessamyn Stanley - BellaNaija - June2015

When you hear about Yoga you usually think of hard poses, head stands, flexibility and a slim body if you want to pull off those moves. But plus-size 27-year-old certified Yoga instructor and body positive advocate Jessamyn Stanley, is slowly but surely changing the traditional definition of a “yoga body”.

There has been a lot of conversation discussing the standard of beauty in the world, from Bruce Jenner‘s debut as Caitlyn Jenner & LaVerne Cox to plus-size models & models with vitiligo – this has caused Jessamyn’s cause to get even more shine.

Jessamyn shares tons of photos and short clips on her Instagram & videos on Youtube on Yoga and has classes all over to encourage more people to join in the art.

Jessamyn Stanley - BellaNaija - June2015001 Jessamyn Stanley - BellaNaija - June2015002

Speaking on her passion for Yoga and how she first started she said;

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.

Jessamyn Stanley - BellaNaija - June2015006 Jessamyn Stanley - BellaNaija - June2015003 Jessamyn Stanley - BellaNaija - June2015004 Jessamyn Stanley - BellaNaija - June2015005

Her story has been inspiring more and more plus-size women to try the art, knowing now that there are no specific body types that can benefit from or try Yoga.

To find out more about Jessamyn, visit www.jessamynstanley.com

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of BellaNaija.com. Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at)bellanaija.com or style(at)bellanaija.com | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle

31 Comments

  1. Abena

    June 3, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    WOW!How can she be this big and soo “bendable”?amazeballs!Go OU!

  2. Ndali

    June 3, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Wow. This is really impressive.

  3. chidinma

    June 3, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Lovely

  4. Bide

    June 3, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Waoh

  5. wagamama

    June 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    W.O.W

    The devil is a liar!

    I. HAVE. NO. MORE. EXCUSES……..!

  6. Fabulous B

    June 3, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Fabulous! I love. Kisses. No more excuse from my plus size sisters.

    • Tickled

      June 4, 2015 at 2:12 am

      You, the minus size, u fit do am?

    • Just saying

      June 4, 2015 at 9:26 am

      I can’t ooo hahahahah

    • o

      June 4, 2015 at 11:03 am

      buhahahahahahahahaha na real minus size…..lol

  7. C'est moi

    June 3, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Nothing new here, I’ve had a fat yoga instructor for a few years now and she isn’t the only one at my local.

  8. TK

    June 3, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Plus size yato si obese tho. #JustSaying

    • Rolly

      June 4, 2015 at 6:52 am

      She is not obese. Come on..

  9. SOLO ACT

    June 4, 2015 at 2:43 am

    obesity is not cute! i hate all these terms like “thick” “curvy” “plus sized”
    “fun sized” its like no. u are fat and plz shave your armpits

  10. Temilade

    June 4, 2015 at 4:34 am

    No offence! I promise, I’m not even skinny or anything, but we all know that fat is fat
    FAT IS FAT! Don’t try to sugarcoat it by saying plus sized or thick or whatever it is.. she’s a yoga instructor.. good for her! probably on her way to losing some weight soon, I hope,, but giving hope to women who have sedentary lifestyles and just eat their way to happiness isn’t going to solve anything..I’m not trying to slander fat people oo, but just know that trying to make them feel better about their size, is going ahead to allow them to binge eat more and increase their weight until they can no longer see their toes!

    • Californiabawlar

      June 4, 2015 at 9:43 am

      I try not to respond to crappy comments like this as the matter no concern me but I just have to say this your epistle is meaningless… A fat chick shouldn’t give hope to other fat chicks and encourage them to get off their asses and try yoga? Cos that’s all I see her doing here…and on the terminology, of what importance is that to this? How is it always pinching you guys for body? Will using the word fat make people loose weight? It’s like me assuming that calling you olodo will make you pick up a book… I believe your teacher would be in the best place to put that handicap in perspective for you. Thick, curvy, plus sized and of course your fav term, fat people know that they are overweight/obese, so i never think it’s my business to tag people or let them know they are unhealthy…am I their doctor? Did they eat my food? Do they have to sit on me? Am I their spouse or family? Abi which one is erin ku wahala ba obe gan?

      Sit here and be ranting, since it ka e lara this much, i dare you to call the next orobo you see fat to their face, then come back and testify…lols oshisko.

    • maria

      June 9, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      I personally feel sorry for people like you. seriously speaking I really do. so you think every fat girl eat their way to oblivion? if this is what you think then you are as ignorant as they come. I know Fat girls that work out eat healthier than most skinny girls. the funniest thing is that you typing this comment is probably obese and you are here typing self-hating yourself because you believe you do not meet the standard society has created for you. the fact that someone is Fat and I am using the word FAT does not mean they are unhealthy or will die early because thin people die too. this woman is probably healthier than you are and that is a fact. people think yoga is easy please honey try it, you won’t last 30 minutes. I am an FAT lady I am a size 16 so don’t think I am trying to justify my size but honey I am healthier than the majority of my skinny friends. some have never worked out a day in their lives. so shouldn’t that let you know that sometimes your size could be genetics. so honey before you open you mouth or go in front of that computer and type out your thought and self-hate or simply just judge people check your fact. life is not that deep. you only live once and if you do it well once is enough.

  11. Rolly

    June 4, 2015 at 6:51 am

    I’m just mad that even though I’m half her size, I can barely get through one sit-up without getting dizzy.
    This is why I always tell people that just because I’m slim, it doesn’t mean I’m healthy. Time to buckle up!

  12. It

    June 4, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I thought yoga was for weight loss… It’s just like having a pot bellied fitness coach….it’s uninspiring on so many levels….if I ever considered yoga….I now have a change of heart !

    • Californiabawlar

      June 4, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Haha! I feel you jare, i once had a chubby Zumba instructor who took over another instructor’s time slot. Mehn, i just couldn’t…as we dey dance, I would keep asking myself “why are we here again? ” Attendance started dwindling o, eventually she came with before/after photos of how she lost 50+ pounds doing zumba and she knows she still had like about 15 more to go….omo, cool story but the visual just didn’t work for me, I had to switch my work out routine and attend early morning classes instead ?…her moves were perfect and all but it is what it is and it was probably my loss anyways.

  13. Ebony

    June 4, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Ewo!! That 2nd pic though.
    Get it gurl.
    Please I don’t understand the last pic. Is that witchcraft?

    • Olay

      June 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      Lol! No, she is hanging from a supporting robe/strap.

  14. mrs chidukane

    June 4, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Oh Chim oh, thank God the bible never said only slim people will enter heaven cos these women here will make sure it is enforced, mtcheew. Impressive jare, do you.

  15. le coco

    June 4, 2015 at 9:03 am

    please.. it is not everyone that is big that eats, there are people that were born big, and when you look at them ou know that this child will be that way, i am by no means fat, but i am bigger than a lot of my nigerian friends, hu r nothing more than a size 4.. the things they eat ehn, i cringe…. because i do not drink coke, but they will go through 3 bottles at lunch, neither do i eat kfc or other fried stuff.. i do not eat bread, puff puff or any of those things, but i am still bigger than them. i am incredibly healthy, with a good bmi, and a regular gym user, but some of my gym mates cant even get through a sit up, and they are really skinny, i can hear them debating about what is healthy and admitting that they eat junk everyday. one of them even saw her bmi nd became depressed, because she thot that just cus she is skinny she can get away with bad eating habits. stop judging this yoga instructor, you dont know her, neither do you know her health status. an unhealthy person would not do the things she is doing. who told you she eats junk food? who told you she is trying to lose weight? just stop fat shaming somebody who is clearly more active than most of us

  16. OD

    June 4, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Wow, this is impressive. Common somebody should wake me up. I am challenged.

  17. nonye

    June 4, 2015 at 10:00 am

    so essentially there is a difference between being slim and being fit. Slim people should work on remaining fit and full-figured people should work on losing some weight I guess. More power to Jessamyn! If you look at her body and if you know anything about yoga you will notice her arms are toned, her quads and glutes look firm. Most of her weight is in her mid-section which tells me that she may have had kids and hates to do sit-ups. She is definitely quite fit. It takes a lot to lift your body like that

  18. bunmi

    June 4, 2015 at 10:28 am

    E nor easy o. Nor b childs play o

  19. nully

    June 4, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Am Impress. Good work

  20. jide

    June 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Nothing visually pleasing or inviting about these photos.

  21. le coco

    June 4, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    @nonye ,mehn i thot i was the only one that noticed her firmness… goodness.. nd here i was being proud of my super toned arms till i struggled to use the wheel to work my core today…. lol.. it takes a whole lot of muscle and upper body strength to hold yourself up like that..

  22. sam8558

    June 8, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    postural exercises and w

  23. Alessandra Abra Meu

    July 9, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Yoga is not about weight loss. While you can lose weight doing it, it’s a very mind conscious experience that leaves you feeling mentally energized and helps with your joints and muscles. I have had pregnant women and elderly men and women in classes. Yoga is for everyone, regardless of size.

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