Welcome to another edition of Townie Tuesday – the place where we feature the people who make our community so wonderful.
Speaking of wonderful, we’d love to introduce you to Jen!
Jen did her first class at Yogatown in 2014 – a power flow class nonetheless! Since then, we’ve really gotten to know her over the past 780 hours of yoga she has done at the studio.
Jen joined our Energy Exchange program in Stittsville a couple years ago. She is well known in the program for being an incredible person to work with and as someone who works hard both on and off the mat. We’re so grateful that we found you Jen!
We asked Jen to share a little about her yoga practice and the impact Yogatown has had on her practice:
Why did you start doing yoga?
I was going through a really rough period personally – I had separated from my spouse a few years earlier and was the primary caregiver for 4 young kids.
I was tired all the time, impatient, overwhelmed, and generally, unhappy. Something had to change. I knew several people who benefited from a regular yoga practice and I spent a few years searching for a practice that really called to me.
What’s a yoga accomplishment you’re most proud of?
Maintaining a consistent yoga practice and a daily meditation practice – both of which have become priorities in my life and part of my routine. That, plus surviving my first practice when, in my infinite wisdom, I showed up to a Power Flow class! I almost died, but somehow I managed to finish (and I came back)!
I initially found myself at Yogatown because it was the closest studio to me that offered hot yoga.
How long have you been in the EE Program?
Around 2 years. I was an EE for about a year, then took a few months off, and I’ve been back for about another year.
What does the word Townie mean to you?
Being part of a community of like-minded people.
We believe that yoga is about so much more than being bendy. What does yoga mean to you and how has it changed since you started?
Like many people, yoga for me was mostly about the physical practice initially – it felt really good to stretch and work my body.
Then, I began to notice that I was learning lessons that I could take with me off my mat. For example, early on in my practice, Meghan Trevorrow said something like, “I know this is hard, but it won’t last forever. You’re not going to die.” Those words really stuck with me.
I had long avoided discomfort by numbing myself and suppressing my feelings, so it was life-changing for me when I realized that I could survive difficult situations and feelings by actually acknowledging and dealing with them.
As a very anxious person, I’ve always been scared that feeling my feelings would smother me and I wouldn’t be able to manage. It’s been very scary but I’ve started on a journey of reconnecting with my feelings and challenging some long-held beliefs and unhealthy patterns that were not serving me.
Another huge aspect of my practice that is slowly evolving has been reconnecting with my body. I have had life-long challenges with self-esteem, body image, and not feeling “good enough”. Now, I am learning to appreciate my body, accept myself, and embrace the odd, funny, deep feeling, introvert that I am!
When I am practising, there are moments when I forget about all of those things and I feel strong, powerful, and beautiful – it’s an amazing feeling and I wish the same for everyone who steps on his/her/their mat!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for asking me to do this! It’s been nice to reflect on how far I’ve come, and to recognize with gratitude how much learning and joy Yogatown has brought me on this ongoing journey. ️