What got you into yoga?
When I was 15 I became interested in natural health, world religions, spirituality—that type of stuff. Naturally, yoga fell into those categories. Some friends and I would practice yoga postures in the living room, outside, or wherever we happened to be hanging out.
Over the years I began attending classes in addition to practicing on my own at home. It wasn’t until I became pregnant, however (almost seven years ago) that I began a regular practice. I credit that regular practice with asana, pranayama and meditation, for the ease I had with my pregnancy and birth. Ever since, yoga has been a regular, dedicated practice for me.
When did you decide you wanted to teach yoga?
After experiencing the benefits of a regular practice the idea of being able to share that experience with others became a strong focus of mine. That’s when I began to look into teacher training programs.
Describe your training and influential teachers?
At that time, my exposure to yoga had been to a variety of styles. In fact, I tried to not pay too much attention to the names or labels of the styles, but rather to the experience and how the experience resonated with my body, mind and spirit.
I took from the different yoga disciplines what felt good for me and integrated them into my own practice. I found a yoga teacher training program that shared that same philosophy, and began my journey from student to teacher. About halfway through that program, however, I realized that I wasn’t getting the support I needed so I decided to find another program.
After evaluating a number of options (again), I decided to challenge my long-held belief that practicing a variety of yoga styles was best for me. I enrolled in Ally Ford’s teacher training program, which focuses on Ashtanga-based yoga.
I discovered that I loved the set sequence of Ashtanga. It allowed me to experience yoga in a very meditative way, because after becoming familiar with the sequence, I stopped having to think about the poses. That opens up a lot of space. In Ally’s program I had all the support, resources and guidance I needed to teach with confidence, comfort and knowledge.
Describe your personal approach to the practice.
My approach to yoga practice is: practice when you can, where you can, how you can. Be curious about your practice and what it offers you. This is what I try to do. I still like variety, but do fall back to the Ashtanga and Vinyasa practice. Sometimes I practice at home, sometimes at the beach or a park, sometimes at a studio. I practice with music or without. And most importantly, I try to take my practice off my mat and into my life.
My personal approach to teaching is: I try to make it practical. Everyone can practice yoga. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga in some way. When I’m teaching, I like to remind students of ways they can bring certain aspects of their practice into their life. I like to keep it relevant.
Would you like to share any insights about Yoga from your own experience?
You know, it’s all about just doing it. The insight comes when you practice. That’s the insight.
Jamey teaches the Intro Yoga class on Monday nights at 6:30PM.