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Yoga activist Jessamyn Stanley is on a roll—and everyone’s invited to come along on the journey


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Photo: Jaimie Baird
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Welcome to Next Gen of Wellness, our spotlight of the nine up-and-coming icons you need to know about *right now*.  Here, yoga and Instagram star Jessamyn Stanley shares her mindfulness tips, nutrition advice, and routine-simplifying hacks. 

If you’ve been following Jessamyn Stanley’s rise as a yoga teacher and Instagram celebrity—and now, author—you know she’s manifesting some serious magic. And it all started with a few yoga classes to try to ease depression, followed by an intense home practice. (As she tells it in her book Every Body Yoga, she was “at home, alone, in a little corner of a 750-square-foot apartment that I shared with my ex-girlfriend, a rambunctious pit-mix, and my grouchy orange tabby cat.”) Then, one day she decided to start photographing it, and the rest is Insta-famous history.

The North Carolina-based teacher is well aware that she doesn’t fit the “yoga body” image in many people’s eyes—and that’s exactly the (double-tapped) point. “I have issues with being fat. I have issues with my blackness. I apologize because I cannot accept my own existence. So many people feel the same way,” she told us last year. “I have told this story so many times, and someone always says, ‘I feel that.’ That is the reason to teach yoga—to help others acknowledge these things and move past them.”

Read on for more about her mission—as well as the self-care (and skin-care) she’s obsessed with these days.

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1. How did you get into wellness, and what’s your personal mission in the wellness space?

I got into wellness as a way to heal, maintain, and harvest compassion within my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. My mission within the wellness space and industry is to reflect my personal journey of wellness and compassion into the world around me.

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2. Why do you think people have started prioritizing wellness in the last few years?

I think the constant and mounting chaos of our world subconsciously encourages humans to prioritize wellness as a method of overall survival and growth.

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How to do yoga when you're on your period
Photo: Instagram/@mynameisjessamyn

3. What does a typical day look like for you? How do you stay productive?

No matter where my yoga teaching takes me, whether I’m globetrotting or at home, I always like to start my day with meditation, yoga postural practice, and journaling—these practices keep me grounded and motivated through the frequent pandemonium of my professional and personal life. I stay productive by remembering that every day could be my last—and every moment is worth living to the fullest.

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4. What are a few of your favorite wellness essentials?

In terms of products, I swear by Dr. Bronner’s, especially their soap, toothpaste, and lip balm. I’ve been obsessed with Luminance Skincare products for ages, especially their Rosewater Toner and exfoliating face mask. Weleda Arnica Muscle soak is perfect for post-yoga practice relaxation, and doTerra deep blue rub is a godsend.

If I want to crack my soul open on a yoga mat, I turn to Seane Corn’s classes on Cody App and Elena Brower’s classes on YogaGlo. Durham Bodywork’s multilayered bodywork experience is one of my favorite ways to treat myself, but I also have a monthly subscription to Massage Envy so I can visit any of their nationwide locations if I desperately need to relax when I’m on the road teaching. Also, I have become very dependent on Care/Of vitamin packs and pretty much don’t remember my supplements regimen before I started subscribing.

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5. What do you think the future holds for wellness as a movement?

I don’t know what the future holds, but I hope that the wellness movement continues to be inclusive of holistic approaches to wellness so that practitioners can focus on healing from the inside out instead of the other way around.

Ready to rededicate yourself to yoga, a la Jessamyn? These poses can help detoxify your body, and this a.m. flow will keep you energized all day.

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