“I thought yoga was just stretching and it’s NOT. The way I felt after class was just amazing. I couldn’t get over that feeling (whatever it was), so I immediately signed up for the first month of unlimited yoga. Right off the bat I knew something was there, and realized that it wasn’t the physical I was so in awe of, but mental – and I had never experienced that before.
Looking back, what I felt was ease and clarity. I was in a very stressful job, and going through a weight loss program. I was beating myself up, and I felt old, but, I got a little taste of HOW I could feel even just in that one class..and I wanted more of it.
I started in August 2014, and by November I was going at least 7 times a week and signed up for the Assist & Align 1 and 2 workshops – and THAT’S when it flipped the other switches: that not only could I experience these crazy feelings of ease, peace, and clarity myself, but there was an opportunity for me to share that by assisting and maybe even teaching. At that point I was just assisting during classes – and man, I know that when you get a good assist, it just literally makes your whole class!”
I didn’t think teaching was an option for me at first. I never really saw myself up there- I never thought I was “that guy”. I’m very shy believe it or not. Even outside the studio I’m still shy, and in social situations I’m VERY uncomfortable. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, though– a music teacher, but I hated the college and never went anywhere from there. I’ve always had that inkling to teach and help people learn.
I was having a blast assisting in classes at first- meeting everybody and getting to see what a great community was here. That word right there: “community”, is what yoga has become to me. Yoga IS the community. It’s like a family, and is the only place where I can be myself. I can be crazy; I can be corny; I can just be me and nobody judges me. I never have that fear like I do other places.
A lot of it’s the learning you do on the mat too. I almost got a tear in my eye this weekend. One of my Sunday morning class yogis – she’s a college student, and after class she said, ‘I’m getting ready to go on an internship and I’m really nervous. It’s the first time I’ve really traveled without my family, but I’m going to do what you said – I’m going to take all my tools that I have off my mat, and when I get nervous I’m going to ground myself; I’m going to feel my feet; I’m going to breathe. ” – And I was like, “That is soo coool.” And it is cool, were getting the word out there, and people can step outside their comfort zones OFF their mat and use these tools. We’re able to share that, and they’re getting it, and it’s SO rewarding.
That right there makes it all worth it. We’re making a difference in people’s lives, and not just getting them physically fit.”
Check out our other inspiring stories of everyday yoga practitioners and please, #ShareToEmpowerALL ! We strive to empower others to get vulnerable, be inspired to start a yoga practice of their own to bring in hope & possibility.
Reach out to Jen to get involved, here.