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Jessamyn Stanley Gets Really Real About Yoga Stereotypes and the Word "Fat"

We've been huge fans of yoga instructor and body pos activist Jessamyn Stanley ever since she first drew headlines early last year. Since then, she's taken the Instagram and yoga world by storm—and now has a loyal fan base of 168,000 followers and counting. And as we recently learned on set with her (in between her stints traveling the world teaching yoga!), it's about so much more than cool poses on Instagram.

Fuel Your Fire: Cycling

"Cycling is the perfect therapy for a breakup because mentally you can turn off and physically you can turn on," says Natalie Gargiulo, cycling instructor at SWERVE Fitness. "The physical release from pushing against heavy resistance and flushing it out with speed is enough to bring anyone to tears. There is nothing more satisfying, cathartic, and therapeutic than listening to music in a dark room surrounded by strangers and friends, working yourself so hard you can't tell if you're mascara is ruined from sweat or from tears." Amen, girl.

And if that's not enough, fellow SWERVE instructor Seth Maynard adds why he thinks it's perfect for personal therapy: First, sitting alone and feeling alone is THE WORST. Being around others and being active is key, and on the upside you also don't have to talk about it! And second, a common feeling after a breakup is failure—that you tried really hard for something you wanted, and it didn't work out. After a cycling classm you have a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

If this isn't enough to get you to go cycle, Maynard doesn't hesitate to quote Miss Elle Woods herself: "'Working out releases and endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don't go around shooting their husbands!' Or in this case, your ex." Consider us sold.

Photo: Corbis Images

Punch It Out: Boxing

Boxing is an obvious choice, because, punching. But also, because "it challenges you mentally and physically, and you have to focus on your body movements at all times, there's no room for your mind to wander off into thinking about your horrid ex," says Julie "Jaws" Nelson, boxing instructor at Shadowbox. "Other great benefits include how empowered you feel during and after the workout, the 'revenge body' it will give you, and—obviously—getting to hit things."

Here's an extra pro tip from Jaws: Use your breath with each punch. If you exhale every time you punch, not only will you be able to create a lot more power, but you'll also be releasing so much pent up emotion.

Photo: Corbis Images

Distance Yourself: Running

While yoga, pole, and HIIT are usually all about the class atmosphere, running does quite the opposite. "While it seems counterintuitive, something about the solitude of running is perfect," says Joe Holder, S10 Training and NRC/NTC Coach. "You get to know yourself a bit better during these runs and have the time to work through your own mental barriers. Running is like 'dating yourself'. During a relationship people often lose themselves in the situation; running presents the opportunity to find yourself again, get in shape, and you can even imagine stomping on your ex's face (if it ended badly, that is!)."

But you don't always have to fly solo: "If you're the type that can run with a friend, use them as an outlet (if they're OK with your talking!)," he suggests. "The perfect playlist will also for sure boost your mood and is cathartic. Lastly, and I love doing this if it's a beautiful day, stop at the end of the run and find a seat to take it all in. Review not just how the run went but how you're feeling overall. A little mindfulness goes a long way!"

Photo: Corbis Images

Take Your Mind Off It: HIIT

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all about going as hard as possible. "It gives you a sense of empowerment," says Julia Avery, an instructor at HIIT studio The Fhitting Room. "Knowing that you conquered a really tough workout leaves you feeling like you can take on anything that comes your way, including your ex. And when you're in the middle of an intense workout, your mind is focused. You don't have time to feel upset about your breakup because you're completely wrapped up in the intensity of the workout. The endorphins that you're left with afterwards help you stay in a good mood long after the workout is over."

Bonus: Avery says the classes are a great way to meet like-minded people (oh, hey, hot fit guys). (If you can't make it to a HIIT class to meet hot guys, we have the perfect sub: our 30-Day Hot-Guy HIIT Challenge.)

Photo: Corbis Images