Our Yogis – introducing Jess

Our Yogis – introducing Jess

Yoga has had a profound and lasting impact on all of us at Byron Yoga Centre. Here, we share the yoga stories from our team members…

Meet Yoga Teacher and Retreat Coordinator, Jess How did your yoga journey start? My first experience of yoga was when I was 14 and went along to a class with my Mum. The class was full of women who were much older than me, and I don’t remember finding it particularly interesting or engaging but it definitely resonated with me on some level. I came back to yoga when I was about 19 and at uni. I was studying western philosophy at the time, and I loved this introduction to eastern philosophy as well as the physical and emotional awareness that came with it. Why did you become a yoga teacher? I knew for a long time that I wanted to teach yoga. As soon as I started a consistent practice I felt very strongly that it was what I wanted to do someday but I kind of pushed those desires aside to pursue goals that I felt would lead to greater ‘success’. After working in a corporate office job for a few years I felt pretty sure that no amount of financial or career success would fulfill me, especially if it meant sitting under fluorescent lights and living a sedentary lifestyle forever. I had been saving some money to travel with my boyfriend at the time so after we broke up and that plan was shattered, I made what felt like quite a whimsical decision to use the money I’d saved to do my teacher training. The rest is pretty much history. After seven months of yoga study, I decided to move from Sydney to Byron and I’ve never looked back. It’s the best decision that I ever could have made for my ‘career’. I can’t imagine doing anything else now. What yoga pose puts a smile on your face? My favourite pose is Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, or One-legged King Pigeon. It always reminds me how far I’ve come in my practice because it used to be so uncomfortable, and now I could fall asleep in it. What have you learned about life from yoga? I’ve learned about my own habitual reactions to challenges in life. Often when I’m faced with a challenging asana I feel the overwhelming urge to run away. I have become very in tune with my own emotions and that has made me a much more sensitive person. I’ve become more conscious and mindful in everything that I do, and learned that the ‘goal’ is not to change anything, not to become ‘better’ or perfect an asana or a meditation technique but just to keep practicing and accept wherever I am – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s an ongoing journey, and I’m always faced with the challenges of being a human being, but yoga has taught me to be comfortable with who I am, and to see myself as part of a whole, rather than this one ego that the universe revolves around. How would you describe your yoga classes? Generally, I teach a very flowing dynamic class, but I also love to teach longer holds in restorative poses. If you came to my class, you could expect to work through a vinyasa flow with lots of movement during the first part of the class, and then spend the last half hour holding lots of hip openers and really taking the time to observe yourself in your practice. My experience of yoga has mainly been in iyengar, power vinyasa and yin/restorative, so I really integrate these three styles to create something that I love to practice myself. It’s important to me to give students a holistic understanding of yoga, and so I try to move past that student/teacher barrier, and to connect with my students by sharing elements of yoga philosophy and also the gems that I’ve received from my own practice so that they can fully benefit from this beautiful practice. I love to challenge people when they want to be challenged, but I always remind students to work with their body and to approach their practice from a place of non-violence and non-judgement.

2017-06-08T17:29:00+00:00