Meet Jillian. She has a passion for teaching intense power vinyasa flows and hosting inversion workshops. If she's not sweating, laughing, and talking about ice cream while teaching, something is wrong. She is a puppy mama, coffee lover, and adventure seeker attending St. Catherine University in Minneapolis, MN to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. As much as she loves being a teacher, she also loves being a student of yoga. She says her practice is constantly evolving and there is always something she can learn from someone else, even her puppy, Bentley, who loves doing down dog!
In one sentence, what is yoga to you?
Yoga to me is about the acceptance of one’s own body, understanding that even when you push yourself to your edge you can still laugh when you fall down.
How did you start practicing yoga?
I started practicing yoga 8 years ago while I was a freshman in high school. My first class was a hot power vinyasa flow and at the end of it not one part of my body was dry. I instantly became hooked on the silence my mind was able to seek through the intense speed of the class. After a few years of being a student I found myself looking for a change in life and knew that becoming an instructor was my next step. In the summer of 2014, I did my 200-hr training at Heartwork Yoga in Northfield, MN.
What does your practice look like now on the mat and off the mat?
When I am on my mat I am in my own separate world. My mat provides me comfort that, even on the bad days, can still give me hope and support. Off my mat, yoga reminds me that life is not a competition. It helps me slow down and cherish the beauty that god has created all around me.
Favorite pose & why?
My favorite pose is constantly changing, almost on a weekly basis. But a pose that I always find comfort in and can easily transition into is Shirshasana (headstand). There is something so freeing about seeing the world upside down. Shirshasana allows me to switch my perspective on life and gives me a few minutes to shut my eyes and focus on my balance.
How has yoga made your life better?
Yoga has taught me patience, gratitude and acceptance. If you are not happy with an aspect in your life, then remind yourself that you are your greatest supporter to change it. Yoga allows us to see what the body truly can do, how it can heal, and how it can evolve. When we accept ourselves for who we are, we become grateful for what we have and eventually develop patience that will lead us into the future.