Jessamyn Stanley likely isn’t the person you picture when you think of a yoga Instagram celebrity. As a self-described “fat femme,” she’s far from the stereotypical body type. And that’s exactly the point. The 29-year-old wants to change Americans’ perception of yoga. You could say she’s trying to democratize wellness.
“The more that I travel, the more it nauseates me how inaccessible [yoga] is,” she says.
Stanley boasts over 300,000 Instagram followers, a new book, Every Body Yoga: Get on the Mat, Love Your Body, along with a burgeoning fitness class empire. The body positivity advocate posts intricate poses and inspirational videos for people who feel excluded from the practice: minorities, the overweight, disabled individuals, and pretty much anyone suffering from body image issues. She’ll photograph herself doing the splits upside down, showing off her curvaceous body in an industry generally exemplified by a size two and toned abs.