Health & Wellness

Fitspiration: Plus-Sized Yoga Instructors Jessamyn Stanley and Dana Falsetti Defy Body Stereotypes

Fitspiration: Plus-Sized Yoga Instructors Jessamyn Stanley and Dana Falsetti Defy Body Stereotypes

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and we've got plus-sized yoga instructors Jessamyn Stanley and Dana Falsetti to prove that. Jessamyn and Dana strongly advocate against body-shaming and inspire people to embrace their true form. Jessamyn, in this article published on the Daily Mail UK, expressed how disgusted she is on how the the word ‘Fat’ is often used as an insult.


Up to something out here in Seattle with @mynameisjessamyn... snapchat @nolatreesyoga and @mynameisjessamy!

A photo posted by Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees) on


The dynamic duo has been making waves particularly in the yoga circle worldwide. They've become widely popular on Instagram, too, with over 300k combined followers, where Jessamyn identifies herself as a "Fat Femme" on her bio. "I call myself 'fat' because I am. Because I am not ashamed to be "fat". Because I am sick and tired of the word "fat" being used as an insult. 'Because it is the responsibility of the oppressed to reclaim the language of their oppressors. Because I don’t want to fear a word. Because I am 'fat' and I am proud."

She and Dana have been proudly posting photos and videos of them assuming various yoga poses, proving wrong the notion that people who are fat won’t be able to do it just because they don’t have what the public perceives as the ‘ideal’ yoga body.  


Today's #RedefiningYoga Challenge pose is #trikonasana- this is my favorite variation, and I shot a little video with my favorite transitions- check my youtube later tonight or tomorrow to see it. I've been sick as hell for the past several days. I think the medical equation is probably a mixture of traveling + seasonal shifts + sensitive immune system + I wear leggings and sports bras all day regardless of season. Yesterday, in spite of my congestion/cough, I still decided to get back on my @codyapp grind and started a new (to me) @meghancurrieyoga plan (it's 'Wild & Free', if you're also a yoga geek). Anyway, even if I hadn't been sick, this class would've still kicked my ass. But a difficult practice paired with my illness meant that I spent the last few minutes of the class literally just catching my breath, both in the flow and in unintended child's pose breaks. I attend very few live classes, and it occurred to me that if I were a new yoga practitioner who wasn't very comfortable with getting my ass brutally kicked in public, I might be intimidated to attend this class in a live setting. I mean, I'm not #handstand pressing like Meghan. I'm not seamlessly moving from pose to pose. I know that these types of things don't matter, but not everyone feels that way. Many people are (understandably) intimidated by the difficulty of certain styles of yoga. But because I bid farewell to my yoga practice shame long ago, it's easy to forget that feeling comfortable with permanent beginner status doesn't happen immediately. However, we're all beginners, right? No matter what? Because even if you learn "everything there is to know", you still don't know everything. It's comforting, honestly. Anyway, I like stepping out of my comfort zone. I know it's not for everyone, but it's definitely what works for me. I like challenging myself to step beyond my boundaries. It's addictive as all hell. Plus, it's hard to get bored when you're taking a self-inflicted ass beating. PSST- Durham loves, I'll see you tomorrow for the noon flow at @durhamyoga! Leggings- @rainbeaucurves

A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on



Can we get some body diversity up in here PLEASE? I had a pretty in depth discussion today with some friends and fellow practitioners about activewear clothing companies. Honesty, this is one of the reasons I've even remained on social media. To be a voice in the midst of the bullshit. I get messages every single day from people asking where I get my yoga clothes because they can only find black leggings that fit poorly. Fat people want comfortable, flattering, black/striped/patterned/fun colored yoga pants just like everybody else. I want to buy a pair of yoga pants I can practice in, not an imagine. I get it, it's smart marketing. They want you to believe you're cool and sexy and skinny and whatever if you're rocking Lulu head to toe. I get it, it's lame. Inclusivity, I'm looking for you. There are so many companies, all the big guys really, who continuously perpetuate this problem. The only conclusion I can come to is they don't want fat people repping their clothes. Not only is it incredibly shallow, it's also just bad for business. I find myself scrolling through some of the most popular companies like @aloyoga and @lululemon, and I cannot find a single inch of diversity. I have no shame in calling them out. I'm just stating the obvious anyway, right? I scrolled and scrolled and couldn't find anybody over a size medium being featured, and even that's pushing it. I'm not saying don't buy their clothes, I'm not saying their clothes aren't great (haven't tried them), I'm not saying the people they market aren't beautiful or shouldn't be shown. But the rest of us are beautiful too, and we deserve to feel it and be represented just like anybody else. But we're in luck :) My personal favorites that run roughly from S to 4x: @k.deer (wearing), @lineagewear, @mymanifesta, @fractal.9 (all 4 are manufactured or handmade in the US) and @torridfashion. My bras are @underarmour. Tag your favorite companies below so we can all be in the know! Post is not sponsored in any way. I want everybody to feel comfortable and confident and I never want ill-fitting or ultra boring yoga pants to keep you from practicing.

A photo posted by Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees) on


[related: Fitspiration: Ellen Adarna Will Prove to You that Yoga Can Be Done Anytime and Anywhere]

"It used to be that when I felt anything, whether it be happy, frustrated, stressed, excited, whatever, my response was to eat,' Dana explains in this interview with Daily Mail UK. "As I continued to practice I found myself wanting to get on my mat instead of looking for food."



Hey y'all- sorry for the internet break. If you've been here since the beginning, you know that I need to unplug from time to time. I'm honestly pretty sketchy about the spread of social media- I don't know if this much internet-ing is really good for any of us. I always think it's weird when people try to be inspirational. I see it all the time on instagram- a yoga pose, lit by the sun, captioned by a vaguely inspiring quote or song lyrics. It's almost like everyone is trying to figure out how to package inspiration. It confuses the hell out of me. I've never tried to inspire. I don't have a timeline, and I abhor having my picture taken. In fact, photographing myself in spite of decades of body shame has become the key to my body acceptance. I don't post every day, and I only speak when I have something to say. Sometimes I talk about products I like. But mostly, I just practice yoga- not because I want my body to look a certain way or because I have particular spiritual goals. I'm just addicted to this very particular way I've found to feel good. To feel normal. To feel happy on a daily basis. I've been blessed with an opportunity to share my love of yoga with all of you, and I am so grateful. If you're interested in finding out more about my local #Durham, NC teaching calendar, my online #yoga classes on @streamyoga, my national teaching tour w/ @nolatrees, my youtube channels w/ demos and snippets from my home practice, or anything else, click the link in my instagram header. Top + Bottoms- @vonscheractive #Natarajasana #KingDancerPose

A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on



ALSO READ: Cheat Sheet: Here’s A Healthier Alternative to Your Favorite Mid-Night and Midnight Snacks


Interview by Miranda Bryant and Erica Tempesta for  Photographs are from and




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