Jessamyn Stanley Tells Us Why Beauty and Wellness Are The Perfect Match 

Photo by CHRISTENE HEWITT/EVERY BODY YOGA/WORKMAN PUBLISHING CO
Four powerful women and one amazing little girl share why self-love is so important no matter how visible our differences. Next, yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley talks about celebrating your beauty by taking care your body. 

Age: 29

Location: Durham, NC

Related: Ava Clarke & Shala Edney Tell Us Why Albinism Is The 'Perfect Flaw'

Occupation: Yoga teacher and writer

On celebrating beauty…

I honor my body by taking care of it—allowing it to sweat, breathe and recover. The more I do that, the more my body is able to serve me and those around me. Beauty can only result from wellness.

On shaking off the critics…

We live in an ego-driven and body-obsessed society. I think my perspective would be more "normal" if human beings could look beyond the physical. Body shaming is the result of low self-esteem and a bad self-image. It's weak and pathetic.

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People who engage in body shaming are merely showcasing their own bad self-image to the rest of the world.

On self-acceptance and embracing our differences…

Yoga has helped me realize that my ego is the number one thing that doesn't serve my overall well-being. By practicing yoga I release my ego and can let go of the expectations I set for myself. As a result I have become stronger and more powerful and capable of striding further in life than I've ever imagined.

Stanley is the author of the forthcoming book Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, Love Your Body (Workman Publishing Co.), due out April 2017.

See more "Eye of the Beholder" stories in the January 2017 issue of ESSENCE! 

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Filed under: Beauty, Magazine