Stanley isnít your average yogi, so it makes sense that her
new book, "Every Body Yoga," isnít your average
yoga book. Part comprehensive guide, part reveal-all memoir,
the book (Workman, $16.95) is refreshingly frank,
laugh-out-loud funny and more than a bit profane (F-bomb
alert!). Stanley, who calls herself a "yoga enthusiast
and fat femme," believes that everyone can practice yoga
and that yoga can help everyone move past the obstacles in
did you write "Every Body Yoga"?
Everywhere I go, I get questions about yoga. And I get why
people have questions. Is it a religion? An exercise? A diet?
I thought Iíd never have the time to answer all the
questions I get, so I decided to write a book.
there are lots of yoga books. But there are very few books
about modern yoga that tell the truth about how most people
come to yoga. Typically, a yoga practice is rooted in some
kind of life event, a trauma, an injury, an unmet need.
differentiate between ancient and modern yoga. Why?
Ancient yoga is very deeply rooted in Hinduism. Since yoga has
come to the West, itís very different here. Itís a new,
modern kind of yoga. Itís still a spiritual practice. The
union of breath and movement and looking within yourself is a
deeply spiritual practice. But itís not religious. Yoga is a
therapeutic and healing practice that helps you build up from
did you write your book for?
for every single person who ever felt left out in a physical
sense, who ever felt left behind. I wanted to write from the
perspective not of a teacher, but of a friend. To say,
"Yeah, I know what itís like."
bared your soul ó and your curvy body ó in this book. Why
was it important to do so?
was hard, but it was necessary. To explain how and why I
started practicing yoga, I needed to go into depth about my
life, my problems with alcohol abuse, my problems with
dieting. I didnít do it to say, "Look at me!"
These experiences, while personal, are so universal. My story
isnít unique. Itís an every person story.
an evangelist for the body-positive movement. Tell us about
me, body positive means a space that allows you to be exactly
what you are. Never any judgment. No one is staring at you,
the teacherís not hawking you because sheís afraid youíll
take a wrong step and fall over.
sounds radical, but itís what should be happening in every
yoga class. Itís what should be happening in the world.
cover almost everything ó from the history of yoga, to how
to roll out a mat, to annotating individual poses. Why is your
book so thorough?
wanted people to be able to dip their toes into the practice
immediately after reading the book.
thatís your message in a nutshell?
Start practicing yoga today. Right now. As soon as you finish
reading this, and my book. You think you canít, but you can.
And itís going to change your life.