Jen, Yoga Teacher aka Blessed Yoga

10 October 2018

I couldn't believe it when I first met this lovely lady and she told me how she came into yoga... most people practice for a while and the embark on yoga training, oh no not Jen, whose first yoga class was on her teacher training!! Which just shows when you open your mind to new challenges and really go for it wonderful things come about! 

Jen, the beautiful yoga also known on instagram as Blessed Yoga caught up for the shoot and interview on a day which felt like the real start to the winter here in London, and in true Brit style we persisted come rain (and there was A LOT) or shine (which there was none!!!)...

Here is how one very talented yoga came in the world we all love. 

What was the first thing you thought when you practiced yoga?

The first time I practiced yoga was actually on my yoga teacher training, which I know is a bit insane. I think the first thing I thought was “oh goodness, I hope I’m doing this right” and then I was like “who cares, I’m loving it.” I honestly fell in love with the physical practice of yoga from the moment I started.

Favourite yoga pose and why?

My favourite pose is pigeon because magical things happen there. For me it feels like a safe space to open up through a very vulnerable part of the body (the hips) and just let all those crazy emotions go.

Craziest place you’ve practiced?

On a walk around the coastal cliffs in Cornwall, I wanted to get a cool picture on one of the cliff edges. I was too scared to go right up to the edge, but still it felt pretty crazy. But the place that felt the craziest for my actual practice was on a beach in Dubai really early in the morning when it was so foggy that I couldn’t see past the end of my mat. It honestly felt like I was in part of fairytale, it was beyond magical.

Instagram is thought of as a valuable tool to promote yourself as a teacher, do you agree and if so what tips can you share to build a community?

I totally agree that it can be an extremely helpful tool for promotion, but there is definitely a fine line. I’ve heard stories of yoga teachers promoting their Instagram in savasana at the end of class, which is just totally not what its about for me.

For me Instagram has been an amazing opportunity to connect with people from all over the world, who are like minded, supportive and just amazing. My tips would be to follow people that are at a similar stage of their journey to you. These are the kind of people you will be able to relate to. I think often people fill their feed with “insta yogis” that they think may inspire them but actually end up making them feel unworthy or bad about their own practice. If you open your Instagram and feel worse after, then you’ve got some unfollowing to do.

I would also encourage people to get involved in one of the many yoga challenges out there on Instagram at the moment because I found that it really helps to find people that share similar experiences to you and is a great way to get connected.

Where do you sweat, breathe, refuel?

I don’t actually workout. At the moment, walking and yoga is my only form of “exercise” because it suits me best. I mainly have a home practice, but if I do go out to a studio I go to Alchemy Yoga in Essex because they have an amazing rocket yoga class that I honestly just love. There are so many amazing places to eat in London, but I often find myself in Natural Kitchen on the Marylebone high street for a quick bite or a smoothie before I go to teach clients.

Tips for anyone starting yoga or trying to improve their practice?

I would say to start off, find a really nice local studio that do a beginner’s class and go to that instead of going to a really huge fancy class where you may get swallowed up or feel intimidated. I personally feel most comfortable in those kind of small personal classes. I would also say if you don’t have time to get out to a studio, find a teacher on YouTube that you like and try getting into it that way.

For both beginners and for those trying to improve their practice, I would always stress that consistency and patience are key. Even if you practice once a week for an hour, or more often for just five minutes, it will make a huge difference. There’s no hope in going on a crazy hype of yoga for a week and then forgetting about it for the next two months. Build it into your routine to get consistent. Also being patient with yourself is so important because one practice you may feel totally in touch with your body or nail something you’ve been working towards and then the next time you practice its gone again. This happens to me ALL THE TIME and I’m telling you now it’s a test! It’s a test for you to check in with your ego and not let it get the better of you. So yes, consistency and patience for me have been a winning combo.

Five items you can’t live without?

This one really got me thinking because I’ve been working hard on practicing the art of non-attachment, especially to material things, so my brain now automatically goes “don’t be silly Jen, you can live without everything.” But if I had to answer I would say…

iPhone: Shameful, but true. When I don’t have it on me I feel a bit lost. Quite literally, because I have no sense of direction and use maps to navigate everywhere

Earphones: I have always been obsessed with music, I spend most of everyday listening to it

Shiva Linga crystal: I have this big round lump of it and it helps me massively to stay grounded

Nail polish: I’m embarrassed at myself to even say this because it is really superficial, but I’m bare foot most of the time because of teaching and it’s nice to have my toenails painted

Dressing gown: There is truly nothing better than putting on your dressing gown, especially in the winter in London

Follow Jen on her wonderful journey here.

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