Experience Body Acceptance on the Cellular Level with Anna Guest-Jelley
Anna is big into Body Acceptance, and I’m big into Body Thrive. In this episode, we tease apart the levels and layers on the journey to deeply embodied living. Anna Guest-Jelley is the founder of Curvy Yoga and the author of Curvy Yoga: Love Yourself & Your Body a Little More Each Day. She and I have talked before on the show. I was curious about what happened since the last time we talked about the growth of Curvy Yoga, its curriculum development, and her life at the helm of a growing Yoga organization.
From Anna: “One thing that’s really up for me right now is how we learn to listen to our bodies — and particularly how Yoga can help us with that. I think of body acceptance as an ongoing conversation with our bodies, so this listening skill is really key. We talk about both how this unfolds for us as students/practitioners as well as how teachers can help facilitate it.”
I rap with Anna Guest-Jelley about:
- Body Acceptance
- How Yoga works on Beginners
- Why the process of self- acceptance + cellular embodiment take time
- Is a support community a necessity to evolve?
From Anna “One thing that’s really up for me right now is *how* we learn to listen to our bodies — and particularly how yoga can help us with that. I think of body acceptance as an ongoing conversation with our bodies, so this listening skill is really key. We talk about both how this unfolds for us as students/practitioners as well as how teachers can help facilitate it.”
What you’ll get out of tuning in:
- Why body acceptance doesn’t have a final destination or a clear endpoint
- How body acceptance gives us the freedom to really live in our bodies — in the moment and at whatever stage they’re in
- Why we can’t outsource our relationships to our bodies
- How to say “no” to make your own time a priority and connect with what’s really important
- 2:00 — Yoga teachers might sound like they’re speaking in metaphors when they’re initiating work with beginners. It helps when we as coaches make it clear that certain feelings aren’t metaphors — they’re things students can really feel! It’s all about moving into our subtle bodies.
- 4:30 — Body acceptance doesn’t mean one specific thing, and it doesn’t have a set course to follow. There’s a beginning, but there isn’t an end, and it’s about having a conversation with your body.
- 9:30 — Anna explains how body acceptance provides that “moment of exhale” wherein we stop waiting to live our lives until we’ve lost weight or changed our bodies and can begin truly living in and enjoying the moment.
- 14:30 — It’s common to make the mistake of thinking that we’ll get our bodies to a final place where we want them to be — and that they’ll stay that way forever.
- 20:00 — It’s essential to connect with people on your wavelength who are also on similar paths. The shared experience and support are habit-forming and habit-changing.
- 27:00 — We can’t take a “prescription-based” approach to Yoga. It shifts right along with the ebbs and flows of life.
- “The goal is to move from Body Acceptance to Body Blessedness. We are blessed to have a body. Not just accept it – but to deeply, cellularly embody the blessing.”
- “It really starts with something Yoga gives us so clearly: a conversation with the body.”
- “Acceptance is something that’s active, not something that’s static.”
- “I didn’t lose that weight and suddenly have that perfect life like I thought I would.”
- “For so many people it really does start with that physical experience — foot on the mat — and then we start to go inside a little bit more and a little bit further.”
- “A big part of body acceptance is learning to ride those waves of how our bodies are always changing.”
Anna Guest-Jelley is founder and CEO (Curvy Executive Officer) at Curvy Yoga, a training and inspiration portal offering classes, workshops, teacher trainings, retreats, a virtual yoga studio and lots of love and support to people of every shape and size — all over the world.
Anna is a writer, teacher and lifelong champion for women’s empowerment and body acceptance. Co-editor of “Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body” (Llewellyn), Anna has been featured online and in print at The New York Times, The Washington Post, xoJane, The Daily Love, MariaShriver.com, US News & World Report, Southern Living, Vogue Italia, Yoga International, Yoga Journal and more. Visit Curvy Yoga online.