Tag Archives: about Jessie

1000 Hours of Teaching

16 Oct

I am very excited to announce that I have officially taught 1,000 hours of yoga since graduating from my first teacher training at Om Ananda Yoga in 2010!

E-RYT200

I am feeling such deep, heartfelt gratitude toward each and every one of you that I have had the privilege of sharing yoga with, for truly being my teachers as I learned how to guide you through your practice, developing a relationship with your bodies, your breath and (my hope) your True Self.  I have grown so much from the opportunity to observe, connect, give and receive on this journey.  Thank you!

I often joke that I teach because I’m selfish: I feel that I gain so much more than my students do from the practice of teaching yoga.  It doesn’t matter what my mental state is walking into a class, teaching demands a presence of mind that immediately gives me clarity—everything I thought I was so worried about falls away as I attune to my students’ breath, bodies and needs.  And as I guide students through pranayama, or a simple deep body scan, it’s like a contact high: I feel the benefits immediately, amplified from the group.  As we take care of ourselves, we in effect are taking care of the world around us, cultivating a way of being that is centered and at peace.  There is a tangible, measurable difference.  So it’s really totally selfish to teach yoga: I want a better world for me, so I help you feel better in your body!

Being a teacher is a privilege, and it is my duty to honor that opportunity by living consciously and integrating my own practice into my life so that I can best serve my community.  Teaching yoga has always been more of a way to connect with something beyond myself rather than an intellectual exercise.  For me, it’s like stepping into my truest self, getting out of the way, and letting my intuitive, inner knowing guide me.  I have searched but never have I found something that is more rewarding: teaching yoga feeds my entire life, my body, my mind, and most of all my spirit.  I am most present, most authentic and connected with my blissful Self when I am teaching.  It’s the most awesome feeling ever!

To become a good teacher, one must have great teachers.  I know I would certainly not be where I am today if it weren’t for the many incredible mentors I have been blessed with.  Even before I was official, I had tremendous encouragement and support to begin teaching yoga at The Nature Place and to friends at Sanborn.  From my very first yoga class in Chicago to the incredible experiences with my beloved teachers and friends at Om Ananda, the Chicago Ashram and Shoshoni, I am in awe of my great fortune to have a vast support network of exceptional beings who inspire and propel me.  I feel tremendous gratitude toward the spiritual master who has guided so many of the teachers I admire and has guided so very much of my own growth, Babaji Shambhavananda.  I love you all!

I know that letters and designations don’t really mean much of anything when it comes to the quality of a human being.  I have had yoga teachers in the past who never did an official yoga training but were so adept at self-study that they had far more impact than others who had been to many advanced trainings by the world’s “leading” yoga instructors, who had all the letters and numbers attached to their names but were lacking what really mattered as a teacher—heart.  My ultimate goal is simple: to be the best yoga teacher I can be, living authentically with a deep connection to my True Self.  To be the change I wish to see in the world.  To grow spiritually.

I also know that letters and numbers and designations mean something in our society, and are useful and helpful in some realms.  A worldly goal of mine is to attend an advanced yoga teacher training at Shoshoni Yoga Ashram sometime in the coming year, to grow closer to my teacher, to grow deeper in my meditation practice, and to become an RYT-500 before I begin my tenure as a physical therapy student in the fall of 2016.  These goals are very much within reach as I celebrate this milestone of 1,000 teaching hours.  Horray!

Oh, and here’s a secret.  When I first started teaching, I had no idea what I was doing, almost all of the time.  And that was okay.

Thank you all for being a part of my journey.  I am truly enriched, and I look forward to many, many more hours of practice together.

Namaste.