How did you get into yoga? What aspect of yoga got you on the mat in the beginning?

I started practicing yoga when I was pregnant with my first child, Hailey, now 23 years ago.  It connected many things for me at the time, I was becoming a mother, my father was dying, my body was changing, I had recently moved.  Physically, spiritually, and emotionally it all sang to me….and continues to do so.

 

What would you consider your yoga style and who were a few teachers that influenced you the most?

I teach a mindful vinyasa flow practice.  I studied dance as a kid and through college and am drawn to movement.  When I first started practicing yoga, my teacher was a strict Iyengar teacher.  I didn’t know what any lineage or “style” was and thought ALL yoga was that.  Then I took a vinyasa class and had my mind blown.  There was a part of me that thought I had to abandon all I ever knew about dance, movement, and action.  Two people early on, teacher Cyndi Lee and my dear friend and brilliant teacher Margi Young, reminded me that I had been a student of the body and movement my whole life – and that knowledge was very much a part of me and not to be alienated, but to be incorporated into my yoga practice and ultimately into how I teach.

I am drawn to cycles and try to explore things through the lens of ever evolving and changing, nothing lasting forever.  When teaching asana, I think about the whole cycle, the arriving, the sustaining, the dissention and the pause.  Teacher Katie Brauer in San Diego gave me the tools and the words to explore this further. 

 In class, expect the transitions to be as important as the actual pose.  I feel that that is where we practice resiliency, challenge our expectations, build strength and offer humility.

 

If you could change one aspect of the modern yoga world, what would that be?

I am a yoga teacher, not a social media maven.   My hope is that teachers are respected for what they offer and who they are as people, not by how big their social media platform is.

 

Why do you love teaching at yogaview? *What do you love about yogaview Wilmette*

I adore the community.  I was a part of the teaching and student community at the Wilmette studio when it first opened. Because of a job shift, I left for some time and explored other roles with yoga studios.  There is of course a clarity after having been removed for some years.  Having returned to yogaview not only as an instructor but as one of the managers, I can say that yogaview is the best fit for me.  Tom + Quinn the owners of yogaview, the teaching community and the community of students allow me to feel welcomed and valued.

 

Within the 8 limbs of yoga, the experience of Samadhi is often described as the top rung of the ladder. It's considered by many to be indescribable, yet it is often described as such and more. Can you please describe your personal experience of this state or what the concept represents to you?

I don’t prescribe to this notion of a classical philosophy any longer….I no longer believe there is a ladder to be climbed that it is a vertical ascension.  I am choosing to celebrate and be a participant in the sheer enjoyment of life and wonder in every day and in every moment.  I feel it and experience immense joy while spending time with my children, when I catch my husband’s glance perfectly, when I drink an amazing glass of wine, or when the sun sets just right and lights up the room.

 

What was one of the funniest or most humbling moments you've had while teaching a class?

Most of those have happened while offering a private lesson.  I don’t lose sight over what an incredible invitation it is to be in someone’s home and offer this practice.  I have had this privilege with some clients for almost a decade and those relationships humble me.  That said, Jessica Sandstrom and I pretend we are writing a movie script all the time which we cannot release until we retire and move!  You would not believe some of the things that happen….the insane, the beautiful, the sad, and the hilarious.  You’ll have to wait for the movie.

 

In less than 140 characters, describe your inner experience going about daily life pre vs. post developing a regular yoga or meditation practice.

I honestly find it difficult to remember.  Movement has always been a part of my life; the mindfulness and meditation part came over 20 years ago.  It has permeated my entire existence, it influences everything…how I choose to spend my time, whom I love, how I show up as a partner, parent, daughter, sister, friend.  I feel forever grateful.

 

If there was one spiritual teacher or guru that you would desire to study under (dead or alive) who would it be?

I would love to study asana with Donna Farhi who since my original 200 hr yoga teacher training, I have referred back to her books and videos more than any other teacher. I find I still go back and re-read her materials.  I would like to spend time in PERSON studying meditation with Tara Brach. But I would really want to head to some unknown place, eat and drink and talk shit about life with Anthony Bourdain. 

 

What is your favorite non yoga activity?

I am a voracious reader and like the texture and feel of a book, not electronic.  I have stacks next to my bed and am usually reading 2-3 books at a time.

 

Jenny's Schedule

Wednesday   8:00 - 9:15am           Level 2    Wilmette

Sunday         4:00 - 5:15pm            Level 2    Wilmette