Jessie

What year did you first start practicing yoga?
I took a few Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga classes in 2011 and 2012, but I didn’t start practicing Bikram until the end of 2012. I immediately clicked with the Bikram style and have been practicing consistently ever since.

Was there any particular reason you started practicing yoga?
I was in a bad place mentally and physically around that time after suffering a lot of trauma. People had suggested yoga to me, but I did not feel like I was getting anything out of it. When I started practicing hot yoga, I loved the physical aspect of it having come from an athletic background. As soon as I started practicing more consistently, I noticed excellent healing mental benefits and was officially addicted.

Favorite posture and why?
Standing Bow / Dandayamana Dhanurasana
It is a beautiful posture and takes tremendous mental determination, focus, and control to build the endurance needed to hold it, thus gaining the flexibility. It works the whole body opening the shoulders, hamstrings and hips, all while doing a backbend on one leg!

Why do you currently practice this yoga?
I currently practice this yoga consistently for the meditation and physical stretch. I find the heat and deep stretch very relaxing. I often deal with injuries or muscle soreness from dance or the gym and this practice really helps keep my body in tune. It also gives me time to focus only on myself for an hour and a half, which I don’t get to do often. My jobs are demanding in service to others so this is my time to meditate and create group energy with a like-minded community.

What do you love about teaching yoga?
There are many things I love about teaching, but the best is when I have students who share their stories about their yoga journey. Everyone has a yoga journey and I love hearing how yoga has changed people’s lives mentally and physically. A lot of times students, especially new practitioners, will look like they are completely suffering in class, but then after class they come up to me and say, “that was amazing!” I love that. I know first-hand how this yoga can heal your body, mind, and spirit, so I love that I am able to share that with so many others. It really touches my heart when students compliment my class because my first goal is to help them gain the same benefits I have achieved from this practice. I also learn a lot from my students about different body types and injuries.

Two things most people don’t know about you?
I have multiple personalities! When I am not at yoga, I do part-time work with high school special ed students, and I own and manage a dance company. I love to dance and make dance costumes.

Yoga Training

Sterling Teacher Training 2, September 2014, Casa Om, Mexico, RYT 200 Hour
Iron Hour, March 2015, Sterling Hot Yoga Works Lexington

Education

B.A., Sociology, George Mason University

Hometown

Fairfax, Virginia

Favorite Pose

Standing Bow

Hobbies

Dancing, gym, dogs, costume design, philanthropy, traveling