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Jessamyn Stanley

[Photo: Zoe Litaker Photography]

Most Creative People 2017

Jessamyn Stanley

Yoga Teacher and Writer

For stretching yoga's image

Jessamyn Stanley started with a simple bow pose. About four years ago, the then-novice yoga practi­tioner posted an Instagram photo of herself in a sports bra and shorts, lying on her stomach, pulling her feet toward her shoulders. “I wasn’t looking for internet fame,” she says. But as a plus-size woman of color, she became an inspiration for others. Today, she’s one of yoga’s most prominent instructors—and, with more than 300,000 Instagram followers, is radically ex­­panding the perception and audience of the practice. In April 2017, Workman Publishing released her first book, Every Body Yoga, which is both a memoir and beginner’s guide, written in Stanley’s no-nonsense voice and featuring an inclusive cast of models. “There are so many people—fat people, old people, short people—who practice yoga,” she says, but they have had very little visibility. Today, Stanley is writing a second book and developing an athletic clothing line for plus-size practition­ers, but her goal isn’t to create a lifestyle brand. Yoga itself, she says, is a tool for ac­­ceptance and self-love: “I’m advocating for a whole new perspective on life.”

Jessamyn Stanley On The Web
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