*While there are certainly enough model-types out there telling you what you can do to look like them, Jessamyn Stanley is not trying to hear it.
And she doesn’t encourage you to listen either.
Stanley posts inspiring messages (and more than 500 photos of herself in awesome yoga positions) on her Instagram page, where she shares her enthusiasm for yoga in poses like the downward dog, a forearm stand, and even the usage of a strap to deepen her dancer pose.
As a self-proclaimed “yoga enthusiast and fat femme,” this 27-year-old is the kind of yoga teacher many of her 53.1K followers are seeking. She captions her colorful photos with loving, inspirational messages for her students. And even lets them know that hey, sometimes it’s okay to slow down. It’s also okay not to know everything, but to learn and “celebrate the small victories.”
Stanley became interested in yoga through Bikram classes she took in 2011. But after the classes became too expensive she got resourceful and started practicing at home.
She made good use of online resources like Yoga Journal’s Pose Index, which is how she got comfortable with a Vinyasa flow practice.
“I really think my transition to different types of yoga studios was eased by the fact that I had already established a strong home practice,” she told The Huffington Post. “It’s difficult for new yoga practitioners to venture out of their comfort zone — hell, it’s hard for long-term practitioners to venture out of their comfort zones!”
Stanley is on a mission to help women become comfortable in their own skin. Her Instagram photos along with the thousands of followers exemplify her desire to do this. And she says she would like to travel the country teaching people how to love themselves wholly.
“Our society throws crazy shade at anyone whose body differs from the models featured in Western media. I always tell people (especially women) to stop sending negative energy into their bodies and thoughts,” she said. “That negative energy is responsible for all body unhappiness. The only person in control of your life experience is you. Find the space and love to believe in yourself if only for your own overall well-being.”
See Jessamyn’s incredible Instagram photos here.