Q: What is health to you?
A: Health is having the ability to be where you are when you are therelike being at a birthday party and celebrating with a piece of cake because thats what you do at a party or putting thought into cooking food that will sustain you and your family because thats what meals are for. If we could live in this manner we would always make the healthiest decisions for ourselves.
Jennifer Gray, 38
Yoga instructor, founder and director of the Yoga Center of Minneapolis
Husband: Mark Freeman, 44
Kids: Annie Freeman, 10; Josh Freeman, 7; Isabel Freeman, 5
Q: What is your favorite body part, and why?
A: My belly. When Im sick it tells me, when Im pregnant I can watch and feel my babies grow in it, when Im healthy it feels strongits where I focus to listen to my intuition.
Q: If you had a motto, what would it be?
A: “Dream it, see it, explore it, do it!”
Q: What is “real beauty” to you?
A: Real beauty is found in women who take advantage of everything life has to offer and enjoy every bit of it. You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voicesits contagious. These women stand at lifes edge and say, “OK, universe, bring it on!” Real beauty is humor that lights up a smile, a light heart that brings a softness to the face, passion that creates a sparkle in the eyes. Perspective and compassion are all the makeup you need to look and feel beautiful from the inside out.
Q: When do you feel most beautiful?
A: When Im able to balance all that life gives me, practice yoga every day, step back and look at my true self and my beautiful family.
Q: When did you first start feeling comfortable in your own skin?
A: I think this is a lifelong journey. But Id have to say that it didnt begin to happen for me until after I began doing yogaat 31 years of age!
Q: Whats your favorite beauty secret?
A: Yoga, of course.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Casual and somewhat trendy.
Q: What made you want to participate in this project?
A: Because I have a passion for wanting to help women see all that they are or can be. I feel its time we start to focus on liking ourselves instead of constantly trying to be what we think we should be. Projects like this can go a long way in building this new way of thinking. Im hopeful that my daughters will see me as beautiful for these reasons and aspire to be that for themselves.
Q: Tell me about Big A#$% Yoga. Where did the idea come from?
A: When I started doing yoga, I weighed almost 200 pounds and my muscles had atrophied after 4 years of infertility and a bout with cancer. Yoga changed my life. I began to trust my body for the first time ever. So I created the Yoga Center with the dream of serving anyone at any stage of their lives. But I still wasnt reaching the community of people who wouldnt feel comfortable coming to a regular fitness facility. So I created the Big A#%! Yoga program, hoping people would see the lighthearted name and intention and trust me enough to take the leap into yoga. The results have been heartwarming. I hope you can meet some of these powerful, courageous women someday, women who are conquering lifelong issues and finding fun and trust in their bodies like never before.