I’ve got a little down time tonight so I thought I’d take the opportunity to fill my pals in on the latest Jenny-related news.
This past weekend was the retreat in New Harmony, “Stressed Out to Blessed Out,” hosted by one of my most respected yoga instructors, Stacey Shanks, and the wonderful and amazing (did I mention Martha Beck certified life coach) Susan Hyatt. I spent the weekend with these 2 women as well as 10 others and we talked about making our lives everything they deserved to be, replacing our negative thoughts with positive ones; we did yoga; we made art with the help of the fantastic Laura Mitchell and we got massages from the magnificent Joy Timmons. It was a truly inspiring and empowering weekend and it was exactly what I needed.
I was given the opportunity to sit down and really think about how to take on my goals for my life and make them less dream, more reality. I’m very happy with the outcome and I’d like to share it with you all.
Obviously, my main goal is to be able to support myself solely by teaching yoga. What I hadn’t thought about was taking my yoga outside of the studio. Absolutely, studio teaching is something I want to do, I love a good, physical class and I love the community we have at EYC, but with the help of Susan, I was able to begin thinking outside of the box. She asked me, who would I most like to offer yoga to, if I could offer it to absolutely anyone. It was about then that I knew: I need to reach out to girls who have been affected by body image issues and eating disorders. Suddenly the reason for that period of my life became clear. (Incidentally, this became even more clear to me today when I went hiking with my friend Beth, who is also a yoga teacher, and we were talking about our similar experiences and I mentioned to her that I sometimes felt like a “fraud” with my ED because I didn’t have it nearly as bad as other girls- and guys – do. Because I was able to catch myself before it had gone too far, because I had an easier recovery, I thought I was just lucky. The more I think about it though, the more I have come to realize that my struggle was just enough for me to be given the tools to go out into the world and help girls in the same position as I was.)
I have already taken some steps in the direction of making this happen and will continue to do so. I want to help people, through yoga, who need to reestablish their mind-body connection. I want to host classes and I want to host retreats. This is also the reason I established my new blog, Off the Beaten Mat (which, by the way, has it’s first official, new post up at this time). I post a lot of my blogs on the Yoga Journal community page as well and have gotten some very affirming feedback from the people there. By way of my blog, I hope to be able to shed some light on the mental transformations that we experience when we practice yoga.
Those are my next moves “career”wise/ business wise. I am convinced I can turn these ideas into something great, something needed and useful in Evansville.
Also, March 7th is my first official day as a yoga instructor. Chris has given me the Saturday morning class on the East side of town. I’m also substitute teaching for her and Stacey several times in March and tomorrow I’m giving a private session to one of my Starbucks coworkers, trying to help her in her efforts to quit smoking, so I will be getting lots of teaching time in! There has also been mention of organizing and co-hosting a couple of workshops and/or retreats at the studio. All of this plus I’m still doing the Starbucks/Hallmark thing and trying to fit in time for a new hobby: hiking.
It’s a busy life down here in Indiana, but I’ll tell you what, it’s exactly the life I’ve always wanted for myself.