Caley Joyner kicks her legs over her head effortlessly to come into a forearm balance, folding her body in half slowly and gracefully. Her toes nearly graze the top of her blonde crown as she holds the pose, completely still, as the camera flashes.
Watching her, you’d think the LA-based yogi had been doing this for decades. For millennia, maybe. At first glance, she’s so intimidatingly talented and it almost seems like she was born with this gift. But get to know Joyner’s story, and you realize just how hard she’s had to work to get to this point in her life.
The Cliff’s Notes version of her story? Joyner lived in and worked in San Francisco in finance, and hated it. After stumbling upon yoga, and falling in love with the practice, she opened a yoga studio (OM) while working full time at a bank. Sounds like a perfect life, right? But Joyner wasn’t happy. She left her bank job, and “moved begrudgingly” from San Fran to LA for her partner, and went through a divorce.
“My entire life changed and yoga was there with me through it all. It was the one constant in my life,” says Joyner. “It helped me to forgive myself and let go of things I needed to. It helped me invite in good and positive vibes.”
“Yoga helped me to feel ok when everything else in my life seemed like chaos.”
Despite the tumult of her personal life, Joyner found herself embraced wholeheartedly by LA’s vast yoga community. “My LA yoga community welcomed me in with open arms! Not only that but they helped me and boosted me up when I needed it most. We are all dreamers, and in LA people are just crazy and wild enough to actually attempt to live their dreams.”
Her positive attitude and clear focus have launched Joyner into yoga-world stardom—and helped her gain some real attention on social media. Over 90k followers on Instagram tune into her feed to read her inspiring posts and gawk at the incredible shapes she twists and folds her body into.
When asked about her insane following, Joyner admits that her real and authentic posts are the ones that attracted viewers. “It wasn’t until I moved to LA that I started posting yoga photos. But when I started writing meaningful messages with my photos, and getting real, that’s when I noticed the followers begin to come.”
It’s not all ohms and green smoothies with this yogi—we love how real and honest she gets about every aspect of life, even “taboo” topics like finances, wealth, and self-doubt. “Yoga teachers aren’t known for our financial abundance … it’s been tough at times. So my biggest challenge and another great lesson has been in knowing my worth. Asking for what is fair to me. AND being OK with saying no if a deal or contract doesn’t feel right to me.”
Real talk, right? When we asked about the greatest lesson yoga has taught her, Joyner left us with this: “It’s more than ok to be alone, at the end of the day, we all move into the next chapter by ourselves. So get comfortable with you. And, meditate. Meditate. Meditate.”
Special thanks to our amazing photographer, Ja Tecson, for his incredible image captures!