Style

My Beauty Uniform: Jessamyn Stanley

Jessamyn Stanley beauty

North Carolina-based Jessamyn Stanley has always been one of our favorite people to follow on Instagram. Over the past couple years, the yoga teacher and author has taken off, becoming a body-positive icon and powerful advocate, making the world of yoga (and the internet) a more inclusive place. Here she shares the $8 mask she swears by, her beauty motto, and the joy of CBD baths…

My Beauty Uniform: Jessamyn Stanley

What’s your take on beauty, in a nutshell?
I’ve always been into it, but my understanding of beauty has changed a lot. I grew up in the era of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, frosted eyeshadow — so I had a very late-90s/early 2000s idea of what beautiful looked like. As I got older, I began to understand that beauty isn’t something that can be marketed. It’s about highlighting the most unique and pure parts of every person. My attitude has morphed from ‘How can I make myself look beautiful’ into ‘How can I understand that everything about me already is beautiful?’

Jessamyn Stanley beauty

You’ve talked a lot about how photographing yourself doing yoga has helped with that.
Yeah, definitely. For a long time, I was very afraid to look at my body in an objective way. There are years of my life where there are very few photos of me, because I avoided them so much. But when I started doing yoga, I would photograph myself to check my form. Being forced to look at those photos had a profound impact on me — I mean, when you’re looking at your reflection in a mirror or window, it’s easy to change the angle or the way you’re standing. But a photo is a moment frozen in time. Those photos helped me come to terms with parts of my body and created a sense of love that probably wouldn’t be there otherwise.

My Beauty Uniform: Jessamyn Stanley

And now you have zillions of people looking at those photos on Instagram! Do you think that platform is helpful?
It has definitely been helpful for me to see other women, especially black women, on social media, who are going through the same experience. L. Shauntay Snell and Lizzo photograph themselves at angles that we’re taught not to see — like, from underneath where you can see all the chins or full body shots from a low angle, so you can see the cellulite. Seeing them having these genuine connections with themselves has been inspiring.

What does your beauty routine look like these days?
Because I travel for work, I’m constantly dealing with dehydration and not getting enough sleep — and that immediately shows up in my skin. I’m very specific about what I put on my body. I’ve tried a ton of cleansers and they always seem to leave a film on my skin. So, now I just use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap to wash my face. After that, I use a toner to get a deep clean (I always have a bit of excess oil). I recently starting using the Nubian Heritage toner, and I also love the Heritage rosewater that you can get at Whole Foods.

Jessamyn Stanley beauty uniform

What about moisturizers?
After the toner, I put on Weleda’s Soothing Almond Oil, and then let that set for a minute. Then lately I’ve been using Weleda’s Day Cream — or their Night Cream, depending on the time of day. And that’s pretty much it.

Any other treatments you love?
Oh, yes! There’s this great mask, which you can also get at Whole Foods. It’s just pure bentonite clay and you mix it with apple cider vinegar before putting it on. That’s my favorite mask. It’s like I can feel it pulling stuff out of my pores.

My Beauty Uniform: Jessamyn Stanley

On Instagram, you’ve made a point of showing your face and body in a natural state. Do you ever wear makeup?
Yes, but not every day. I’ve gone through periods of my life where I wore makeup all the time — like, would not go outside without a full face. Now, I’ve gotten to a place where I’m getting comfortable with what my face actually looks like. When I do wear makeup, I have fun and try different colors. For eyeliners, I’m always drawn to blues and greens — shades that are a bit of a surprise.

Do you have a favorite lipstick?
I’ve been enjoying the Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle line. The colors are so bold. I used to be very timid with lip color because I was self-conscious about my large lips. But I’m finally at the stage where I’m like, ‘No, it’s cool! I have thick lips, it’s great!’ I’ve also used Black Radiance lipstick from the drugstore since I was a kid. Most of my makeup is stuff you can get at the drugstore or Target.

My Beauty Uniform: Jessamyn Stanley

Let’s talk about hair. How do you typically care for yours?
If I use shampoo, I like Lush’s honey shampoo, which looks and SMELLS like straight honey. But I don’t use shampoo very often ‘cause my hair is really dry. Instead, I usually co-wash, which is conditioner-only washing. My typical routine is to detangle and co-wash with coconut oil. Sometimes I use Shea Moisture’s Rescue + Repair co-wash for natural hair. And then I’ll use Miss Jessie’s Leave-in Condish and Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine hair butter.

You have a physically demanding job. Do you have any tips on treating sore muscles?
Oh my gosh, YES. I love bubble baths. I recently started using a brand called Kush Queen. Their CBD bath bombs, I mean… there are no words. You will get in the bathtub and never get out again.

My Beauty Uniform: Jessamyn Stanley

What else do you do for self-care?
I think my biggest self-care tactic is just turning off — unabashedly. Being able to just carve out time where it’s like — phone, gone. The internet is not a thing. I’m just going to be in silence and not interact with people unless you’re right in front of me. That’s hard for me, but so important. Self-care isn’t about doing one specific thing, but remembering that if you’re not taking care of yourself, no one else will. That’s been the biggest lesson for me. You have to go to bat for yourself.

Thank you so much, Jessamyn!

P.S. More women share their beauty uniforms, including a funny journalist and a labor and delivery nurse.

(Studio portraits by Jena Cumbo. Photos of Jessamyn in front of the bridge and the rainbow wall by Lydia Hudgens. Photo of Jessamyn on her bed by Justin Cook. All other photos by Zoe Litaker.)

  1. SB says...

    Always great to see and hear from Jessamyn. She has a great book about yoga that is so inclusive – highly recommend!

  2. Casey says...

    I travel a lot for work also. I’m curious what she does for work?

    Also I’m into yoga and am inspired by her beautiful, strong forms in her poses. Admittedly you really never see someone her size and shape in these poses and it’s simply inspiring. She looks free and strong and beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • hannah says...

      she teaches yoga.

  3. Tracy says...

    Thank you so much for all of this <3

    Jessamyn is so marvelous and beautiful. I want to be just like her.

    Now she's inspired me to start doing yoga (wish me luck).

  4. Angela Thompson says...

    Just got a Christmas present – this beauty uniform has been on-line for 6 days and I just noticed! woot woot.

  5. María says...

    Oh my gosh her flexibility!! She transpires self love and self care…. and that is utterly beautiful.

  6. Margaret Forsey says...

    I LOVE Jessamyn Stanley, and am delighted with this post ❤️.
    I’ve been reading through your beauty uniform and week of outfits posts, and have noticed that you regularly feature plus size women. Thanks you for this! It is inspiring and comforting to see women who look like me in fashion and beauty articles.

  7. laura says...

    I just love her…Thank you for including diversity, I love this blog so much.
    Greeting from a black french mom of two daughters who lived in Harlem 4 years but now is living is in Mexico City and loving it.

  8. JP says...

    Oh my goodness, what an absolute joy to see a body that looks like mine here on Cup of Jo! Thank you, thank you, thank you Jessamyn for being your wonderful self and thank you Kelsey Miller for the lovely write-up!

  9. Cynthia says...

    Excellent post! I love Jessamyn’s dress. It would look great on anyone. Where is it from?

  10. Jessamyn says...

    I just read all these comments and pretended they were about me for one small second. What an ego boost! It’s so rare to find another Jessamyn! Sending love to my much cooler and WAY more flexible name twin.

    • Brooke says...

      Jessamyn, I love that you did this. What a beautiful name to share and a lovely way to soak in the love.

  11. kata says...

    “Co-wash”! Stealing that. :)

  12. Ali says...

    “It’s about highlighting the most unique and pure parts of every person. My attitude has morphed from ‘How can I make myself look beautiful’ into ‘How can I understand that everything about me already is beautiful?’”
    FIRE! I love Jessamyn.

  13. This is the best! I’ve followed Jessamyn for a long time and she’s helped me break the idea that been stuck in my head about having the ‘right’ body for yoga. I’ve completed my yoga teacher training certification and now my focus is yoga for everyBODY and showing women that you don’t need to be a certain body shape / skin colour / size to do yoga. Thank you, Jessamyn!

  14. Des says...

    What a Queen!

  15. Ahhhhh I’m so excited to see Jessamyn here!

  16. Jessamyn, you are incredible. But you don’t need me to tell you that!

    I’m in the process of finishing my prenatal yoga instructor training (I’m a doula) and I’ve been intimidated by the warped image of the person I think should teach yoga (thin, blond ponytail, Lululemon, etc…). But you remind me and inspire me to show up every day with all my curves and buzzed hair and t-shirts and be exactly what my students need.

  17. Jenny says...

    “…but remembering that if you’re not taking care of yourself, no one else will. That’s been the biggest lesson for me. You have to go to bat for yourself.”
    very true and something I vow to do better in 2019

  18. Jenny says...

    I love Jessamyn and I love more contributions from Kelsey Miller!

  19. PS – and written by Kelsey Miller no less?! Double whammy of body diversity, love seeing it here.

  20. Love this one! She’s so fabulous and just seeing her taking up space is medicinal. Thanks COJ!

  21. Jillian says...

    I tried my first CBD bath bomb a few weeks ago and it was HEAVEN. So happy to see a link to a company who sells them online! I keep going back to my neighborhood shop that sold them but they are always out. I just ordered myself a 6 pack of CBD bombs. Christmas vacation, here I come.

  22. Sara says...

    I wished jessamyn would be my yoga teacher! You are my inspiration!
    Many greeting from Berlin

  23. Audra says...

    Thank you for introducing me to Jessamyn! She is awesome, and this post is exactly what I needed today. Can’t wait to see her posts pop up on my Instagram now.

  24. Rebecca says...

    “…like, from underneath where you can see all the chins”

    I’ve thought of this view countless times as my daughters lovingly gazes at me while she’s breastfeeding. I think of what I see when I accidentally have my phone camera turned on my face and cringe. But not my daughter. She looks up at me with more love than I could have ever imagined. She likes her view and I should learn to love it, too!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, rebecca, i’m tearing up. that’s so lovely. xoxo

  25. Heather says...

    “My attitude has morphed from ‘How can I make myself look beautiful’ into ‘How can I understand that everything about me already is beautiful?’”

    GENIUS. I am going to try to remember that.

  26. Kristy says...

    Love her. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Maggie says...

    Worlds colliding! I went to a small all girls boarding school with Jessamyn for high school – what a small world! So great to see her kicking some serious ass all these years later. LOVED this Beauty Uniform!

  28. Lynn McKoy says...

    She lives in my town… so excited you featured her!!!! She’s amazing.

  29. Justine Clark says...

    Love Jessamyn! Thank you for featuring her :-)

  30. ali says...

    Such an enlightened attitude and I’m seriously envious of her head
    stand!

  31. Meg says...

    I loved this beauty uniform so, so much. What a gorgeous and awesome person Jessamyn is! I like her attitude and advice too.

  32. Kelly says...

    I use all the Weleda stuff too! So lovely. That Lush Shampoo is on my list now, too.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, it smells so good!

  33. asia says...

    Love this. And now I’m really curious about CBD bath bombs!!

  34. Lalon says...

    Wow. This is useful!

  35. Jewel says...

    Love her! I just recently bought her book and it’s great!

  36. fiona says...

    all the heart eyes in the world, she’s just fantastic!

  37. Kate R. says...

    Would love to know where her workout clothes are from- so cute!

  38. Ro says...

    “Self-care isn’t about doing one specific thing, but remembering that if you’re not taking care of yourself, no one else will. That’s been the biggest lesson for me. You have to go to bat for yourself.” Loved that.

  39. liz says...

    alsooo hate to be that person, but could she tell us where she got those awesome tights from, the ones in the picture where her hand is on the orange part of what looks like a rainbow wall?

    please and thank you! also thank you again for sharing your great philosophy and tips!

  40. liz says...

    yesssss love her! this was such a great one. she’s so beautiful!!

  41. grace says...

    100% here for the pit hair!! Hate that women are taught that showing it is disgusting and even most of “natural” influencers don’t show it like jessamyn does (nothing wrong with individuals with not having it, it’s just that it seems like EVERYONE across the board is still beholden to this patriarchal beauty ideal)

    • liz says...

      agreed!!

    • Kate says...

      YES! I’ve been letting my pit hair grow out this year hugely in part to ladies I’ve seen on the IGs and it’s so freeing! I do shave once in a while but a lot of the time I go months without and I go to yoga all the time with it all there. My mom never shaved hers, so to me it’s very comforting and feminine and totally beautiful. It’s so soft and it’s a part of ME so why should I get rid of it??!!

    • Lesley says...

      100% agree. I haven’t shaved my armpits in years. Legs either. People hardly notice. My partner couldn’t care less. I think it “disgusts” some people, but honestly who cares what those people think, right?

    • Owl says...

      The weirdest thing is that I didn’t even notice that she had pit hair until I read this quote!!! Lol! Isn’t that interesting?

  42. Camille says...

    YAAAAASSSS I am so excited to see Jessamyn on here! One, because I love her and love hearing more about what she has to say. Two, it’s really wonderful to see people from areas that aren’t NY or California; I live in the same town as Jessamyn (Bull City!!), and it was so great to see familiar sights in her images.

    Also going to second a comment earlier that it was really great to see suggestions for items that are actually affordable. So often on here, I feel like everything linked to is just aspirational, because there is no way on earth I or anyone I know could afford it.

    • Avery says...

      Bull City dweller here too! Love seeing Jessamyn featured on CoJ. Anyone else local, get yourself to one of her classes around town – she is phenomenal!

  43. Kim says...

    I loved this! Jessamyn is so inspiring. Off to follow her Instagram now…

  44. PAOLA POLIGNANO says...

    Jessamyn’s is one of my favorite instagram people ever! so inspiring in her strength as well as her weakness; I am much older, come from another part of the world, have had a different life, yet how it resonates, her struggle to accept her body and herself, something we can all relate to
    thank you Jessamyn and thank you Cup of Jo
    we are strong, sisters!

  45. M says...

    The poses are incredible and I love her philosophy on beauty. I loved this one so much.

  46. Naomi says...

    Just once, I’d really appreciate reading, “I don’t watch what I put on my body because I don’t have $50 to spend on moisturizer and they don’t sell it at Target anyway.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I hear you! Most of her products are drugstore products and also you might like Nora mcinernys! https://cupofjo.com/2018/11/nora-mcinerny-beauty-uniform/

      We strive to feature a mix of lifestyles, stories, budgets, locations, etc. thank you so much! Xoxo

    • Rue says...

      I use Neutrogena cleaners (including their Benzoyl peroxide wash for my adult acne), CeraVe moisturizers, Differen acne medication (over the counter retinoid!), Maybeline BB cream, Boots No7 mascara, Revlon or NYX lipstick. My cleaners, moisturizers, and retinoid are all recommended by my dermatologist.

      I appreciate that some fancy brands *do* look and feel a bit nicer. I’m a sucker for anything from NARS. In the past, I’ve gone for fancier stuff if it a long time and feels nice. But right now I’ve got other financial priorities, and I’ve been frustrated before by some fancy products that DON’T work or feel better than drugstore stuff. So I’m totally with you: if I can pick it up from Target, then it’s on my list. Otherwise, it’s a “maybe someday” item.

    • Naomi says...

      Thanks, Joanna! I’ll have to check them out!

    • Cait says...

      Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, which she says she uses, is quite inexpensive and can be found at Target, FWIW.

    • gfy says...

      I really appreciate that she uses ultra natural, and ultra simple products because I do too. It’s difficult to find affordable natural cosmetics though and the chemical load in regular cosmetics is through the roof. For those reasons, I just make my own and have simplified my look to almost no makeup. It really forces you to actually BE healthy because you can see it right away on your face if you need to drink more water, eat more beets or greens or need more sleep!

    • shannon says...

      Here to say you can absolutely watch what you put on your face and still get things at Target. Brands like Pacifica, Burt’s Bees, and SheaMoisture are clean and affordable. Almond and grapeseed oils are wonderful multipurpose moisturizers and makeup removers. The Amazonian clay mask mentioned in the post is less than $10 for a pound size tub. Sugar and coconut oil mix up to make a luscious hand and body scrub.

      It’s such a myth that you must pay a lot for all natural beauty and skin care products! Many, many affordable, natural options are out there (even at Target)!

    • Ro says...

      Caring about your skin and what gets absorbed into your body doesn’t have to be bougie or expensive or difficult. I make a point of using natural products like oil, instead of store-bought moisturizer that’s positively laden with chemicals. Also natural deodorants, which you can find at Target or online, are only ever a dollar or so more than the usual Secret brand. Folks who really live the natural life, and share their special routines like this online, might shell out for a $50 lotion here and there. But that’s not the only price point.

    • lesley says...

      i loved jessamyn’s recommendations. they were all very affordable, like a $2.29 lipstick and $11 toner. i always appreciate seeing a range of prices on this blog.

  47. Kumi says...

    She is so flexible, may I ask did she dance when she was younger and if not how old was she when she started doing yoga?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      She started yoga during a depressive episode in college — she hated her first class but then got really into it. I’ll ask her if she danced! Xo

    • Colleen says...

      She also wrote a book called Every Body Yoga, where she tells some of her personal story, in addition to giving instruction for yoga.

  48. Laura C. says...

    Who is this wonderful lady and why didn’t I know her before?
    Thank you for introducing us these people, Cup of Jo.

  49. Anna says...

    I haven’t even read this yet, but wanted to say Yessss! Can’t wait b/c I love her!

  50. Ellie says...

    Love her so much, so happy to see her here!

  51. Paige says...

    I absolutely loved this! Thank you Jessamyn for inspiring us all.

  52. mwana says...

    This is my favorite beauty uniform so far. I love her strength, her authenticity, and her natural vibes.

  53. Elizabeth says...

    Love her. I’m getting so much inspiration to stop wearing makeup lately . . . but the idea makes me really nervous!!!

  54. Charlie says...

    Thanks for making an effort to be more inclusive and feature our lady friends of all skin types, body types, and careers. Loved this post!

  55. Aimee says...

    Loved the bit about going to bat for yourself! This is my favorite Beauty Uniform post so far.

    • Me too!

  56. Anita says...

    I am captivated! Jessamyn looks so beautiful and strong; she is RADIANT!

    • Brooke says...

      Anita, radiant is exactly it! It’s amazing to feel her energy and peace and beauty vibrating through the pictures. Jessamyn is a JEWEL. Soooo wonderful to have her featured here.

  57. jean says...

    What a beautiful woman and a complete inspiration you are, Jessamyn. I loved this: “My attitude has morphed from ‘How can I make myself look beautiful’ into ‘How can I understand that everything about me already is beautiful?’” I have spent my whole life covering up parts of my body and thinking that if I were only thinner or whatever, I could really start to participate in life in a more confident way. Nuts!!!! You are lovely and amazing. Thank you for this.

    • Elena says...

      I read that same part and double-tapped the screen! Instant love! ❤️

  58. Emily says...

    Loved this interview. Recently followed Jessamyn’s Instagram- immediately refreshed by the strength and beauty! Thank you for sharing!

  59. Clare says...

    YES. And YES to Lizzo!

  60. YES. YES. YES.
    THANK YOU!

  61. Scout says...

    I love this for so many reasons:
    1. She’s not white or stick thin.
    2. She looks so STRONG. I LOVE the photos.
    3. She buys affordable products!
    4. She’s not trying to change herself to fit in any mold or cliche view of beauty, she’s owning that she’s amazing already.
    This post just feels so real world and I love it.

    • Jennifer says...

      Yay! I love, Jessamyn Stanley! So happy to see her featured on CoJ. (And ditto everything Scout said.)

    • Cynthia says...

      I totally agree!I am white, though, but I like to see posts about women of all races and ethnicities. I’ve never been thin, and many years ago, accepted the fact I wouldn’t be thin, and moved on.

    • barbara maria says...

      One of the best posts ever here on COJ

  62. Anna says...

    loving Jessamyn! Beautiful words and wisdom! Your yoga poses are so inspiring as well.

  63. Sara says...

    She’s so graceful. The pictures in this story probably make me want to do yoga more than anything else I’ve ever seen.

  64. Neha says...

    I absolutely loved this!!

    But this is far too good an opportunity to miss to ask a question to Jessamyn, if I please could!

    There is this huge narrative in the public sphere that being over-weight is unhealthy, increases risk of type-2 diabetes, knee problems etc. etc. Jessamyn is clearly incredibly healthy and a yoga teacher to boot! So, can she please add a bit of nuance to this issue?

    Thanks so very much!!

    • Jen says...

      I think that it is correlation, not causation. There’s plenty of healthy fat people, just like there’s plenty of unhealthy / sick skinny people. So many things can affect weight in either direction, such as genetics, general or chronic health, mental health, wealth, access to insurance or good food, time to cook etc. I think it’s over simplified and led to some negative stereotyping, especially in a culture that already preferences thinness. Hopefully the message is starting to change… I think it makes fat folx feel bad and gives skinny people a false sense of security. There’s lots of risk factors for all those things aside from weight, too. I’d love to see this messaging replaced with something about knowing your risk factors, being pro-active, and everyone taking good care of themselves – whatever that looks like.

    • Cait says...

      Hi Neha! I’m obviously not Jessamyn, but I wish this narrative could change. Yes, it is important to know the health risks surrounding carrying extra weight. BUT. I really wish people could stop seeing it as the only, or even main, indicator of health. I know plenty of naturally skinny people who either smoke, drink too much, have high cholesterol and blood pressure, tons of stress, or some combination of the above. Concern over “health” is also an excuse people often use to shame overweight people. When I was anorexic and way smaller than I should have been, few people were “concerned about my health,” let me tell you. The assumptions we make about people based solely on their outward appearance needs to stop (not saying that is what you were doing, just society in general.) It feels like any time we see someone who isn’t skinny and who isn’t apologizing for their lack of skinny, people grasp their pearls and go on about health.

    • Brooke says...

      Neha, do you know about the Health at Every Size movement? They’ve done incredible research and communication around weight not being a good correlate for health, and helping show that weight concern in health circles is often just our weight phobia. It is so helpful and encouraging-deeply freeing.

      Here are some of my favorite people/resources for more:

      HAES
      https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/content.asp?id=152
      Body Trust
      https://benourished.org/about-body-trust/
      Intuitive eating:
      https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/

    • Andrea says...

      I think that hyper-focus on weight by medical professionals can lead to unhealthy eating habits that are more harmful to health in the long run (and may be why higher weight is thought of as an indicator of potential health issues) than if someone just accepts their size and eats normally (which may or may not lead to a change in weight). Just my 2 cents as a perfectly healthy but “over-weight” lady. The narrative is slowly changing, I think. Check out Health At Every Size.

    • Libby says...

      I, for one, was really excited that this question wasn’t asked. As a fat person I’m so tired of the conversation around our health and it was nice to just see a fellow plus sized person asked about their everyday life without being asked to defend their humanity. What a breath of fresh air!

  65. Natasha says...

    Wow! What a great feature, she’s so inspirational and amazing. <3

  66. Lee says...

    Just beautiful, I want to be like her.Great article Cup of Jo.

  67. Maria says...

    I love this one. As someone who used to practice yoga before motherhood, I’m feeling inspired to make time again (and also Get Off My Phone!).

  68. Susannah says...

    I love Jessamyn!!!

  69. GoldenMoon says...

    Thanks for this authentic view and voice of a rockin’, dedicated yogi and powerful woman.

  70. Robin says...

    LOVE.

  71. Kate says...

    Thank you so much for showcasing this powerful woman! I mean, isn’t the human body amazing?

  72. Kate says...

    Love everything about this! Jessamyn, if you see this, I’d also love your reccs for activewear– all your outfits are excellent!

  73. Em says...

    She seems absolutely light filled and lovely. Not to mention very talented. Great read!

  74. Tara says...

    What a gorgeous woman! Thank you Jessamyn–love your LIFE tips as well as your beauty tips! I need that mask in my life, and was visiting my sister last weekend and my niece came out for a hug after taking a shower and she smelled so nice–sure enough, it was Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap! Thanks for the inspiration today!

  75. AMK says...

    She is INCREDIBLE!!!

  76. jade lees says...

    As someone who has very tried Yoga – any advice of where to start? To be completely honest I am intimidated.

    • Rachel says...

      Go to a basics class and give yourself a few sessions before deciding whether or not you like it. Tell the teacher you’re new and don’t be afraid to look around a lot in order to follow. It can be like learning a new language at first, but then it becomes second nature. Good luck!

    • Ellie says...

      Yoga with Adriene on YouTube! Her channel is full of [free] videos that are amazing and so great for a home practice, whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie.

    • Amy P says...

      “Yoga with Adriene” videos on YouTube are a great starting place if you’re nervous to head to a studio! She’s got a pretty chill attitude about yoga. I attend a weekly morning class at my local Y and over half the class is seniors, which means even though I can’t actually touch my toes I look very agile in that crowd! I recommend it – it’s good for my posture and body and good for my mind. Try a few different classes though; every teacher definitely has their own vibe and some focus more on breathing/mind and some focus more on developing muscle or flexibility. My favourite teacher offers a lot of modifications which is really nice.

    • Danielle says...

      Find an introduction class at a local studio- often there will be series of 4-8 weekly classes that build on each other, especially in January. I recommend looking for an instructor with a good amount of experience teaching (if you can, someone with a background in therapeutics). Experienced instructors will be more able to help you find safe, good alignment for YOUR body as a new student. This is also the reason I advise against yoga videos. The ways the body and breath move in Yoga are not always very intuitive for our western habits, and it’s easy to fall into unhelpful or unsafe practices without the feedback of a person watching you move. Done well, however, from an attitude of self compassion, it can be incredibly therapeutic.

      A regular yoga practice is one of the self care things that saved me as a medical resident by giving me a safe place to fail and to fall as I expanded my skills and knowledge.

    • Abby says...

      I second Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube! I recommend starting with the 30 day challenge which is designed to keep you sticking to yoga and is segments between 20 and 40 minutes, so super doable i before or after work. Also she makes it a point of not using Tools, so you can really easily start at home without investing in blocks or straps which you might not ever use again (although I doubt it since Adrienne got me hooked on yoga!).

    • Liz says...

      I second the low-key yoga with the older set advice. I gravitate toward yoga classes that are full of older women who remind me of my mom and the yoga classes she used to take me to when I was a kid. It’s a very different scene than power yoga classes packed with college students and there tends to be a lot of space for taking care and doing whatever you need, rather than struggling to keep up. If chill I-do-what-my-body-needs yoga forms the foundation of your practice, then eventually you can attend any yoga class and calmly ignore the parts that don’t work for you.

      Also, if you don’t end up liking yoga, don’t worry about it! :)

    • Viv says...

      Also, try a variety of classes/teachers/studios. Not every style or instructor works for everyone, and just because one was too hardcore doesn’t mean they all will be! Also, most studios have an intro package (e.g, unlimited classes for a week, or a cheap bundle only for newbies), and you can hit each offer up at each nearby studio until you either run out of new places or find the one you like the best! Shop around, not so much price-wise (although obviously that’s a factor), but to really test the waters.

    • Lydia says...

      I know everyone is saying Yoga with Adriene but I have to say it again because she is just that good! It’s the perfect way to get into yoga because 1) you can do it at home, 2) for free, and 3) she does a great job of of showing how you can tailor the practice to suit your needs without making you feel bad about doing an “easier” version of a pose.

    • Jade Lees says...

      Thanks everyone!!

  77. Midge says...

    I mean. AWESOME.

  78. Emily Yelencich says...

    I haven’t even read the article yet, but just wanted to say that I LOVE Jessamyn Stanley! Thanks for including her on CoJ!

  79. Claire says...

    “ How can I understand that everything about me is already beautiful?” WOW. That question is joining me for life.

    • Eva says...

      Yes!

  80. Kate says...

    What a beautiful, authentic lady! It is powerful for ALL women when a woman loves herself and is not afraid to tell it to the world! Thank you for this interview and for sharing Jessamyn’s voice! <3<3<3

  81. Chandra says...

    Lovely interview and lady! So appreciate CoJ for doing inclusion the right way.

  82. Marie says...

    I LOVE this!!!

  83. Laura says...

    Such a great interview!! Thank you Jessamyn!

  84. I’ve been following Jessamyn for a while and I’m so glad to see her here! Love her feed and def going to check out her beauty tips

    xx

  85. Eli says...

    A great read. Can’t wait to try that blue rub stuff and a CBD bath bomb! Her point about phone-free time as self-care was perfect.

    • Meghan says...

      The Blue Rub changed my life. It works so well!

  86. A says...

    Love that she can be so playful with makeup, I’m starting to shift into that too!

  87. Shannon says...

    I LOVE Jessamyn! It’s so inspiring to see different body types doing hard and powerful things. I’ve followed a few of her YouTube videos, and she always keeps it real. Thank you for spotlighting her!

  88. Lauren says...

    Beautiful! Will definitely check out that face mask and CBD bath bomb :)

  89. Caitlin says...

    Since I’ve been seeing it around quite a bit (Vogue, this blog, several others), please know that doTERRA is an MLM (multi-level marketing) aka a pyramid scheme. Here’s a comprehensive thread on Reddit about doTERRA’s income disclosure and income distribution:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/antiMLM/comments/8tr5ed/mlm_monday_doterra/
    Please think twice before supporting predatory companies like this one.

    • KJ says...

      I hate to tell you dear, but everything on Reddit is not a cold stone FACT! Please use common sense and educate yourself before spreading false information. Yes, doTERRA is an MLM company, but it’s not a pyramid scheme – seriously go look up the definition of what a pyramid scheme is!

      doTERRA is a company just like any other, who takes a customers funds in exchange for goods, in this case, essential oils and EO based products- like the Deep Blue Rub that Jessamyn mentions. You pay them money, they send you product. NOT a pyramid scheme.

      There is nothing predatory about a person who is loving and using a product, and suggesting it to their friends who may enjoy it too. In fact, it’s quite like being a blog brand ambassador who gets paid to refer someone to a company to purchase products they are using and suggesting to their audience. There’s a kickback involved, yes, but are you going after all the bloggers of the world too? They get paid per click when you use a link on their site to check out a product they’re suggesting….same. same.

      Please stop spreading ignorance and lies.

    • Angela says...

      Agreed with Caitlin–I hate to take away from this awesome interview with Jessamyn because she is great. But my heart sank when I saw that link. Whether you call it a pyramid scheme or not, doTERRA and other MLMs prey on vulnerable people, mostly women, and the vast majority of people who sign up with them wind up losing money. There’s a newish podcast called “The Dream” that does a great job of exploring MLMs, how they work, their history, and the sketchy laws that allow them to exist. And for a deep dive into essential oil MLMs specifically, read this great article in the New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/how-essential-oils-became-the-cure-for-our-age-of-anxiety
      I’d love to see Cup of Jo cover the subject of MLMs. It might ruffle some feathers, but this blog hasn’t shied away from taking a stand on sometimes controversial topics, and there needs to be more education around MLMs and their predatory structure.

    • Jackie says...

      Supporting Caitlin here and not a fan of KJ’s tone or content.

    • Nikki says...

      As someone who lives in our military bases, MLM schemes are frighteningly scary for our service men and women’s spouses. They seem to “prey” on these women and can cause series financial havoc for families. It is so sad to see many young naive mothers with great intentions to help their families be negatively impacted long term by MLM schemes.

    • Carrie says...

      (meekly suggesting Eden’s Garden :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your notes here! i’m reading more about this and for now, i’m going to take the doterra link out of the post. thank you xoxo

    • Heather says...

      Seconding the recommendation of Jane Marie’s (formerly Jane Feltes of This American Life) new podcast, “The Dream.” My book club just listened to the first season and it was FASCINATING. Really explains the parallels between MLMs and pyramid schemes, the psychology that gets people hooked, and how Amway and others have managed to avoid being shut down by exercising enormous political influence. (Betsy DeVos, current Secretary of Education, is married to the former CEO of Amway, and is the daughter-in-law of its billionaire co-founder, Richard DeVos.) https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/stitcher/the-dream

  90. Lesley says...

    Loved this interview. Buying the blue rub now.

  91. AK says...

    So enjoyed this!!

  92. Nina says...

    Lovely. So impressed by her yoga skills. And that quote is so inspiring – moving from how can I make myself look beautiful to recognizing everything about is already beautiful. Thanks

  93. Lindsay says...

    Amazing… she is so radiant inside and out. I second the clay + vinegar mask!! magic!

  94. Sara Campbel says...

    I love this beauty uniform – and this line “How can I understand that everything about me already is beautiful?” just resonates.

    Clothing wise – where is that fantastic silver dress from?

    • Libby says...

      It looks a lot like ones I’ve seen at Eloquii or Kiyonna.

  95. Mouse says...

    CBD bath? ooooohhhhh……

  96. M says...

    Heck yeah! This lady is strength personified!

  97. I loved this interview! I’m a HUGE Jessamyn fan on instagram :)

  98. sb says...

    Does kelsey work for CoJ now?! Xxx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      She has been doing some contributing writing lately — we ADORE her!

  99. Dajana says...

    She is #goals in every single way! Her powerful words will forever be etched in my mind: “How can I understand that everything about me already is beautiful?” ❤️

  100. Becca says...

    “Beauty isn’t something that can be marketed. It’s about highlighting the most unique and pure parts of every person.” DAMN. STRAIGHT.

  101. Di says...

    Love ALL of this— thank you so much for sharing yourself here!