Award-winning author, body positivity advocate, yogi and all around badass Jessamyn Stanley is always putting out content to show the world why self-love is the best love. Calling herself the Beyoncé of yoga, the content creator has amassed nearly half a million followers, and it's no surprise how.

"I first got into yoga when I was in graduate school. Before that, I’d always thought yoga was just for thin, white women; I didn’t think it had anything to do with me. A friend suggested I join her at a yoga class and, while I was initially skeptical, I went because she said it would help with my depression and anxiety," shares Stanley. "I remember feeling very lonely and isolated in those first few classes. I was very often one of the few fat people and one of the only Black people. However, yoga showed me how often I tell myself ‘no’ and don’t even try to go beyond the barriers I perceive in life. It wasn’t like I was immediately really flexible—every yoga posture seemed impossible to me. More than anything, yoga became my safe haven to explore possibilities within myself and to extend beyond the narrow boundaries I’d created for my identity."

Over time, body positivity, acceptance, and liberation became the pillars of her life. As her yoga practice deepened, self-acceptance became the focus and body positivity and liberation became the gateways for Stanley to find value in herself and her journey. This all eventually led her to co-found The Underbelly Yoga, a digital yoga community.

"I incorporate self-care and mindfulness into my habits by treating them the same way I treat showering, drinking water, and brushing my teeth. They are daily necessities that insure my physical, mental and spiritual well-being. I schedule my self-care, giving it the same level of importance as my appointments for work and with my loved ones," shares Stanley. "I keep my tools for sacred practice at the ready—my journals and tarot cards and yoga mats are with me wherever I go. When I feel stressed, my first response is to scream, and my second response is to meditate on that scream. I try to stay away from energy vampires, or at least notice when they’re in my realm. The biggest thing is trying to be easy on myself and not give myself a hard time when my practices slip and my mental health goes south. I think being hard on yourself is the worst part."

Seeing that the yogi has this self-care thing down to a science, we tapped her to get a few of her favorite mantras for self-love. So whether it's when you first wake up or when you start to feel self-doubt in the middle of a workday, pause and reflect on these 5 affirmations and mantras.

Stanley's 5 mantras for self-love

  • Your light is necessary in this world.
    • Your existence is proof of your survival and strength.
      • You have something to offer the world that no one else does.
        • You’re not a bad person for hating yourself.
          • Everything your body has been through is an opportunity for growth.