Photos by Melissa Gidney
Jodi Guber Brufsky
Age: A teenager trapped in a grown woman’s body
Occupation: Founder & visionary of Beyond Yoga
Jodi, thank you so much for taking time to get raw with us! If you had to describe yourself in two sentences what would you say?
A lover of life, a mother, a wife, a great friend and always up for swimming in the ocean. I consider myself an authentic and inclusive person who is always searching and seeking and growing. I love to share what I find and yearn to create meaningful connection and nourishing conversations that feed your soul.
We absolutely love what you’ve created with Beyond Yoga. What inspired you to build an athleisure brand that celebrates body positivity?
As if growing up struggling with low self esteem and body image issues, as I did, wasn’t enough I also was the daughter of a family deeply emerged in the entertainment business and felt like I was in the spotlight but didn’t fit the part – I wasn’t a size 2 – I was a size 12 – 10 – 16 -12 – as the story went lost in a sea of skinny. So I spent quite a bit of time learning how to flatter my body at any size. This is where it really all began and what led to me creating Beyond Yoga.
I took my passion for yoga and my love of fashion and expertise in flattering a body at many sizes and I set out to launch a line of active wear and lifestyle clothing that was made to fit and flatter many shapes and sizes . I wanted to grow a company that used models of all shapes and sizes, didn’t photo shop bodies and encouraged you to love who you are just as you are!
What does body positivity mean to you?
Body Positivity means talking nicely about myself and to myself. It is amazing when I stop and listen to the things I say to myself. I would never be friends with someone who talked to me like that – so why should I tolerate it with myself – I shouldn’t – and I won’t and I don’t! Body Positivity means finding and focusing on things about your body that you love and knowing that you are not your body – you are your heart, your soul, your thoughts, your love. If you love who you are as a human than you best be positive about your body so it loves you back.
We were honoured to partner with Beyond Yoga for a special dinner to celebrate your 10-year anniversary and the launch of the Beyond Yoga X RAW capsule collection. Twenty women joined us for a conversation about women’s representation in media. What was your biggest take-away?
That this conversation is one that people want to have and are hungry for. That we all want to be seen and heard and not discounted. We all want to belong.
We’re inundated with the highlight reel of people’s lives on social media and sometimes it can make it seem like our own life isn’t “enough”. Can you describe a real, raw moment that you’ve lived that you didn’t necessarily share on your Instagram feed?
I feel like I share my highs and lows – my FOMO, my feelings of being left out and my struggle with body image. What I can share is how I am impacted by the social media highlight reel- where people show the highs and not the lows, which often leaves me feeling less than. I forget and then I remember and I step away and celebrate me and my life and all the goodness in it. It is a practice and sometimes it takes me five minutes and sometimes it takes a lot longer. Its a work in progress but I’m proud of my growth!
What are 5 things you love about yourself?
Skin – super soft like a dolphin – makes me feel blessed
Body – Strong & healthy – capable to do so many things
Heart – I am super loving and big hearted and love to give and share
Authenticity – I strive to be unapologetically myself and share the ups and downs and highs and lows
Brain – super smart & capable
If you could give one message to other women what would it be?
Be unapologetically yourself! And to be inspired by this quote:
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” -ee cummings