WELCOME TO MY FIRST NEWSLETTER!
Exactly two months ago I turned a quarter of a century.
Twenty-five years around the Sun is a milestone, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share more on my Yoga story and mission for ZENN JENN YOGA.
For many this time of the year is associated with anxious feelings and cluttered thoughts as new schedules and responsibilities pile up.
Oh and that busy holiday season…
Anxiety + stress can create tension within the body if not transmuted elsewhere.
Over the last ten years I have learned that movement is crucial for a healthy body and mind.
Yoga was introduced to me in a high-school gym class. I was fourteen years old, with a frail frame and anxious mind.
Growing up I wasn’t considered athletic and had developed poor posture due to a curve in my spine (scoliosis).
In 8th grade I played field hockey (didn’t make the team in 7th grade) and was part of the track team (it was walk-on).
It was around this time that disordered eating, negative self-talk and a lack of self-esteem controlled my thoughts and overall behavior.
These restrictive patterns and limited perspective hindered my ability to perform, learn, socialize and ACCEPT myself.
As many know, anxious thoughts stem from a lack of control.
Anxiety is a fear of the future and focus on the past, which is quite the opposite of being in the present.
After that basic yet life-changing introduction, I longed for more Yoga, mostly to be in Savasana (Corpse Pose) also known as relaxation.
I began to take Bikram Yoga classes at local studios on Long Island, NY, where I was born and raised.
The challenge Bikram Yoga brought to my mind and body was both discipline and liberation.
Typically, hot yoga classes are a 90-minute duration and range anywhere from 80-110 degrees Fahrenheit.
I’d describe Bikram Yoga as a mix of a (long) sauna session and fast-paced workout.
Please note, I do not recommend Bikram Yoga for individuals with pre-existing health conditions of the heart, eyes and or lungs.
I transferred to the University at Albany as a Junior.
College, much like Yoga, is a personal journey brought with challenges.
Another similarity between college and Yoga is the skill of time-management.
Between classes, studying, nutrition, sleep, a social life and alone time to just chill – college felt like a puzzle that I was constantly trying to put together.
My college roommate and I attended a mindfulness event during finals week that first semester.
This is when the practice of mindfulness became a mantra for me.
We were taught how to practice mindfulness in the form of a walking meditation, and I still practice this when needed (more to come on this topic next newsletter).
Off I went again to a Bikram Yoga studio, called Hot Yoga Spot in Albany, NY to practice this new mantra deeper.
I was in a solo car accident on the Long Island Expressway.
As snow began to coat the road, I lost control of the wheel, spun out and hit the guardrail. The car was completely totaled.
The accident left me with whiplash and PTSD from the impact of the crash.
I am beyond grateful that no one was on the LIE that early winter morning.
Unfortunate that this occurred, I truly believe this was an awakening and catalyst to the shift of my life perspective.
The mantra of being PRESENT became a daily practice.
Post college graduation, my boyfriend and I moved into our first apartment in Albany, NY.
Freelance intrigued me and I felt it was the best way to use my degree and creativity.
After two years of freelance in marketing; social media marketing, branding, advertising and event planning, I followed my intuition.
I purchased my digital Yoga Teacher Training from Aura Wellness Center.
The whiplash was back to haunt me, as well as my anxiety + stress.
Though I had the opportunity to work from home, hours hunched over the computer and neck cranked from being on the phone gave me burn out and unnecessary anxiety + stress.
My intention for the YTT was to improve my health + lifestyle and the obvious, to gain further knowledge on the ancient practice to teach others.
Change was needed and only I could do that for myself by action.
Over the last year I’ve experienced moments of grief, anxiety, doubt, loneliness and confusion.
Yet the last year has been the most humbling and transformative.
I’ve developed more acceptance and compassion for myself and others.
Physically, I have gained more strength, balance and flexibility than ever.
Mentally and spiritually, this last year taught me to truly surrender to what is.
Yoga is a practice, with practice to practice.
All over again.
Once I became certified in May, I asked myself the following questions about being a Yoga Teacher.
"Why will people want to learn Yoga with ME?"
"What is MY mission?"
"How can I bring MY knowledge to others?"
The answers are easy:
I practice what I preach.
MY mission is to provide tools to promote wellbeing in others that are willing to learn and transform.
Show up and the rest will follow.
My mission for ZENN JENN YOGA begins with a simple outline to start a Yoga practice: BREATHE, STRETCH, RELAX.
Each Yoga practice begins with the observation of breath and warm-ups to promote awareness, loosen the joints and increase circulation. Breathing is an automatic response, however, it can be more efficient with proper techniques and concentration.
Hatha Yoga is the practice of physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama). Movement is so important for mental health, vitality and the prevention of dis-ease. There are modifications of asanas for those with pre-existing conditions, as well as props like blocks and straps for assistance.
At the end of each Yoga session Savasana (Corpse Pose) is practiced. This is when the practitioner can soak up the physical benefits of the practice and let the mind transcend into peace. Relaxation can be the most challenging aspect of Yoga but it’s more than possible for everyone to relax.
Each newsletter will include an Instagram account(s), links to articles, a podcast or a product for your inspiration, education, entertainment and enjoyment.
Ultimate Yoga inspiration - Kino shares her compassionate heart through her blog and IG posts.
Lee creates colorful food recipes (fell in love with her smoothie shots), monthly intentions as well as a beautiful blog that covers vulnerable topics such as disorder eating.
Take a day trip to this vast landscape of art structures and installations that range in materials from steel to mirrored-glass.
CBD is in everything these days. The anti-inflammatory properties relieve chronic pain and aid in relaxation without a high. Sign up for the Nice Paper Newsletter for all the latest information on CBD to THC.