As we are talking about Self Care this month and Embodyment and moving our bodies, my mind immediately went to Anna from Curvy Yoga. How could I not mention this inspiring woman who encourages us to grab life by the curves?? I reached out to Anna and caught her just in time this month to complete an email interview to share with all of you.
Anna is body positive and has a great smile that invites all of us to roll out our mats no matter the shape of our bodies. Browse the Curvy Yoga site which is stuffed full of videos, goodies and Anna’s gorgeous, inclusive and healthy philosophy. Three cheers for Anna and Curvy Yoga!!! Now, get out there and start striking a pose – join Curvy Monthly!
Anna Guest-Jelley is the founder of Curvy Yoga – a training and inspiration portal for full-figured yogis and their whole-hearted teachers. As a writer, teacher and lifelong champion of women’s empowerment and body acceptance, Anna encourages women of every size, age and ability to grab life by the curves. And never let go.
1. What are three words that people use to describe you?
Thoughtful, caring, funny
2. What are you most proud of professionally? Personally?
Professionally, I’m most proud of being willing to change course. When I graduated from college, I was on track to become an English professor. If I hadn’t been willing to change when things had become less of a good fit than I’d been hoping, both with that and nonprofit work I did for a few years, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And I love where I am today!
Personally, I’m most proud of being willing to do my personal work – therapy, working on my communication, being willing to be open in my relationships. I don’t want to hide from myself, and I always want to be as authentic and true to myself as possible in any given moment.
3. How do you de-stress?
My favorite things for de-stressing are yoga (no surprise there, right?), meditation, taking a bath and reading. Sometimes I also think that chilling in front of the TV helps, but I rarely feel de-stressed when I do that, just checked out, so I prefer not to use that to de-stress but rather just engage in the show if I really want to watch it.
4. What is your favorite place in the world?
The ocean, for sure. Getting time in front of the waves is a must for me; it always feels healing.
5. What book are you reading right now?
I’m never reading just one! Right now I’ve got on my (virtual) bookshelf: Mother Daughter Me: A Memoir by Katie Hafner, Reduced to Joy by Mark Nepo, The Trauma of Everyday Life: A Guide to Inner Peace by Mark Epstein and Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Lasater, which I’ve read many times, but am re-reading again for a teacher training I’m leading soon.
6. What sound or noise do you love?
This is the same as place for me – ocean waves.
7. What does a normal day’s schedule look like for you?
Like many people, my days vary quite a bit. But on days when I’m working from home, I usually have breakfast with my hubby, then let the dogs out as he goes to work. After that, I practice yoga and meditation, and then I dive into my work, which could include everything from email (always email!), calls with colleagues and students, writing, preparing for the next thing I’m teaching, connecting via social media, etc.
8. What is on your To Do List for the next year?
Next year I’m planning a really fun get-together for curvy yogis. This is something I’ve been dreaming about for years, and I can’t wait to spill the beans early next year!
9. What does Self Care/Self Love mean to you?
To me, self-care is best summed up in this quote from Anne Sexton: “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”
My self-care continues to get more and more subtle as I continue learning how to listen deeper and earlier.
10. Where will you be in five years?
You know what, I honestly have no idea. Five years ago I was in a different career, living in a different state. I had no idea I’d end up where I am now, so I’ll just say this: In five years, I hope I’m still trusting the process, wherever it may lead me.
11. What is the best advice that you can share for other women?
Do whatever you need to do to listen to the wisdom of your own body and heart. They’ll lead you where you need to go.
Connect with Anna and Curvy Yoga: