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  • Kiara Ruth

The Culture of Yoga: How Jessamyn Stanley changed my view on Yoga

A couple of years ago I was invited to hear Jessamyn Stanley speak at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) on Body Positivity. The discussion was centered on Eunice Johnson’s progressive inclusion of all body sizes in the Ebony Fashion Fair. After hearing her speak truths about yoga, it absolutely changed my life. I started doing yoga a couple of years ago because it was trending. I hadn’t really taken the time to step back and see what the possibilities were in the yoga practice. I was always on the lookout for the cutest pants, I had fallen into this pit hole of only going just to say I went but after hearing Jessamyn Stanley speak about yoga and what it truly is and should be, I took a break, reevaluated my why and the purpose of me going to sessions.

It was such a liberating moment for me. I stopped because I found myself following the crowd and not really connecting and using yoga for what it truly is and should be used for. I felt convicted each time I visited the mat because I wasn’t there for the right reasons. My body was different, my poses didn’t look like the next girl, there were hardly any women of color…. the list goes on. Had I somehow begun to see my body differently to my counterparts because I couldn’t keep my leg straight for 30 secs?

I admired Jessamyn Stanley for her courage and her ability to shatter stereotypes of what the body should look like as it pertains to yoga. Please take the time to read the piece I wrote for Indy Week in 2018. I hope you enjoy it:

Thank you,

Kiara TBMx

Yoga Outfit: Yogalicious


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