Yoga is my exercise of choice. I was a runner and rower for a while and even dabbled in soccer, football, and tennis. Now? Yoga and me are tight. I also bike but my soul is in yoga or some shit because of all the meditative qualities (and bendiness) it provides. It’s my therapy away from therapy.
The thing about yoga though is that it’s surprisingly difficult to get the uninitiated excited about it. It’s not that hard! Nor is it about athleticism: it’s about the mind. That’s why this interview with Jessamyn Stanley is quite illuminating. Stanley is a “self-described fat femme” yogi who teaches and encourages all to partake in the practice of yoga. Why? Because she—like me—believes it is something everyone should try despite the baggage that they have. She is big yet she rocks her yoga ass off. Is your body size standing in your way? She not only proves that is all in your head but preaches that gospel all over. Here’s a delicious excerpt from that interview that I think sums up the idea:
Is it intimidating to see the “typical yoga body” at the front of the class?
I think it’s intimidating. It creates more of an aspirational experience as opposed to an inspirational one. 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.
Moreover, she has great advice that I tell people who are new to yoga: practice at home. Get comfortable with it! Find what you like and know a baseline of how yoga works—then do it! She (Like me!) also loves Bikram, which is a more open, no-shits-given yoga where you are in a hot room and pose and focus on doing you. It’s the most ~*~ZeN~*~ of all the forms, in my opinion. You feel like you are doing yoga on a hot beach and you melt away everything in your mind and on your body. It’s great.
Get more on Jessamyn here. She’s super awesome and her Instagram is great (but know her captions are way long).