Angela Johnson and Jessamyn Stanley: Inspiration for Plus Sized Yoga


Angela Johnson, a plus-sized health and body positivity blogger, has always been a huge fan of yoga as a way to deal with the stresses of work. In New York City, yoga offered the enticement of positive vibes and relaxation, so Johnson started attending classes at a Manhattan yoga studio. After working incredibly hard on the moves and still being called out by an instructor for an ill-aligned tree pose, she didn’t want to return. She felt silly, as even though she had done the move incredibly, it looked different than it did on girls with smaller bodies. Enter Jessamyn Stanley, who is curvy, Black, and creative—everything yoga has never been. Angela used Standley as an inspiration, returning to yoga in the comfort of her own home. Stanley inspires people just like Johnson to implement props and necessary modifications and to use yoga as a way to focus on how they feel, not how they look.

For Further Reading

Want to check out Jessamyn Stanley’s blog? Click here.


Discussion Question

Has the discomfort of your own body ever kept you from trying something you are really interested in, such as yoga? Do you think there is an ideal space where you would be comfortable doing such activity? Could you find such a space or create one yourself?


Action Item

Workout environments—gyms, studios, etc—are often uncomfortable spaces for plus-sized people. Make sure any words you have to offer are encouraging, any gazes you meet are friendly, and any advice you give, inclusive and solicited.


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