True power is living the realization that you are your own

healer, hero and leader.

- Yung Pueblo

 
776BFD7B-4C15-4557-92F1-B33D1FB92BB2 3.png
 

My journey with yoga began before I was aware of its existence...

It started in the winter of 2013, in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. I was attending my freshman year at University. At the time, I struggled to feel inspired by the traditional educational system. It seemed to me that despite successfully getting into school and doing well, I wasn’t getting anywhere. I remember constantly feeling stuck, empty and lost. 

 I spent the next few semesters aimlessly trying to get through each class, ultimately just to get a degree in something I wasn’t passionate about.

  I felt disconnected to my true desires; I craved freedom and a creative outlet, a purpose. To fill the void I turned to destructive habits and toxic relationships... But deep in my heart, I knew something had to change. After my first year, I made the decision to leave school and move back home.

What I thought would be an easy transition, wasn't so. Rather than feeling excited about the future, I became anxious and depressed. I was paralyzed with the fear of not knowing who I was, what I wanted to do, or where I was going in this life. I started to procrastinate and avoid making decisions because I didn’t want to make the “wrong” one. I was scared of failing and disappointing the people around me. My mind constantly raced with thoughts and I didn’t know how to turn it off. With the support from my family, I decided to see a therapist who helped me navigate through this transitional period. She helped to shine light on the barriers that kept me from growing, while illuminating the inner strengths I had lost sight of. This allowed me to clearly see new insights that would help to awaken my greatest potential further down the path…

Shortly after, I was introduced to yoga for the first time. I started practicing with an app on my phone which had classes I could easily follow as a beginner. At the time, I was working a retail job full time and didn’t have the time or money to afford to go to nearby studios. So, I started practicing yoga at home. At first, it was just a few minutes here and there. Quickly those few minutes turned into 30 minutes and eventually, I was practicing yoga for an hour nearly every day. I was immediately drawn to the technical exploration of the asanas- the postures. I loved the physical challenge and it didn't take long to notice the benefits- gaining strength, flexibility and creating space in my body that I had never felt before.

628C4EDD-CDAD-41CC-AA22-2AB7FB98BDF1.JPG

Soon it occurred to me there was a more subtle, internal change happening as well.

For the first time I truly felt calm and peaceful. On my mat, I was able to become more mindful of the obsessive thought patterns, how to non-judgementally observe them and gracefully let them go. The racing thoughts slipped away and I was left only with the fluid movements connected with breath. I immersed myself within the practice for the next few years, bringing what I had learned on the mat, into my daily life and habits. 

I had no idea what would come from the experience, but the deepest part of me knew that if I kept my heart open it would lead me to my path...

61ECC563-926F-4B94-A069-7C47F64FD6EA.jpg

My interest in anatomy and bodily mechanics led me to attend an Advanced Massage and Bodywork School in Charlotte, where I completed 500 hours studying Neuromuscular and Therapeutic Massage. From then on my world completely changed, as I was introduced to an entirely new way of living which integrated yoga, mindfulness, meditation, plant based foods, and other holistic practices that opened my eyes to ideas and topics that I had never thought about before. A year after graduating from school and working as a Bodyworker, I signed up for my first yoga teacher training. The eight months that followed were humbling, transformative and grounding. I felt a new awakened sense of purpose and awareness, a shift in my practice- from the material to the spiritual.

I was so inspired by my own growth and what I had learned, that I knew I had to share it with as many people as possible.

Yoga reminds us to return to the essence of the heart- our true self, in our rawest, purest form, so that we can discover who we really are, what ignites us and how we can be of greatest service to others. I believe we all have a purpose in life and unique gifts to share with others. This practice has been a voyage of self discovery, the most healing and life changing experience for me yet. It has opened my heart and created a space for myself to mend, love and grow. I hope to share this powerful practice in hopes of inspiring others to live a life infused with greater states of peace and purpose.

On the mat, I teach an alignment based Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga. I incorporate mindful sequencing and themes to infuse classes with purpose and intention. I encourage freely exploring the physical and subtle bodies with breath awareness. 

I currently reside in Ubud, Bali. When I’m not teaching or working, I love spending my spare time outdoors in nature, traveling and being around loved ones. I love igniting my creativity through cooking, journaling, listening to podcasts and writing. I believe yoga is a lifelong practice that can be reached in our daily lives, through gratitude, compassion, joy and love. 

I look forward to connecting with you further on and off the mat to inspire and empower one another!

Love & Light,

Jessica 

A special thank you to Darius Ollison for providing the photography featured on this page.