The question ‘who am I?’ is a profound one that each of us must ask on our spiritual journey. As a yoga teacher, I encourage students to contemplate this. There are many layers to self-awareness, and we can always go a layer deeper. This is the journey of yoga – coming home to True Self.
Credentials and accomplishments are below, but they do not make up who a person really is. So first I offer you a look into who I am…
On the outside, I play the roles of wife, mom, friend, writer, yoga therapist, teacher, student, meditator, surfer, and hiker.
On the inside, I know that I am light, energy, laughter, love, joy, breath, space, spirit, dancing stars, twinkly particles, an instrument, a container, a part of God, stillness and so much more.
I am totally committed to my spiritual path, marriage, and parenting – which to me are all one in the same. They are the journey of awakening, the challenge of compassion, and the path of pure love – no matter what. Daily meditation keeps me anchored in this commitment to the Divine within all.
What brings me joy is laughing with my son and husband over the silly dramas of life, or catching a pristine wave and soaring down it on my rainbow board. I get equal pleasure hearing someone else hoot in exhilaration on a wave like I did when I first started surfing, or receiving a note from a reader who resonated with words I have written.
What inspires me is to see other people remember who they really are, or shed some long held limiting belief, or realize a dream they have worked long and hard for. I also tingle when I see my son make his own brilliant realizations about life, and prioritize the important things, like integrity and hard work.
What makes me want to check out, is the ego-centricity of the yoga world today, the commercialization of an ancient science of liberation and One-ness.
What makes me really sad are unkind people and the unending violence that humans inflict on each other day after day.
What moves me to tears is my son’s Mother’s Day card that says, “ I want to be like you when I grow up. You know why? Because you have an undefeatable, crap-crushing, bulldozer willpower that has enabled you to fully follow your passion and forgo the meaningless paths that may have made you more money. I truly admire your commitment to spreading yogic truth and serving people without seeking gain for yourself. Thank you for having an indomitable spirit as a mother.”
I am grateful to have accomplished many of my personal goals in this life. Only a few remain, like sitting with Oprah to discuss the importance of meditation and Self-realization for the salvation of the planet. Oh, and to fully and finally merge into pure love with the Divine.
They say you should enjoy the journey as much as the destination. I usually do, but some days I just want to GET THERE already! On a daily basis, I just keep showing up to do what is in front of me to the best of my ability; coaching clients in their journey of healing, listening to my son melt down over school stress, writing words that I hope are inspiring, sitting on my meditation cushion, and praying for grace.
In a world filled with causes and needs, how I serve right now is in my circle of influence; family, friends, students, by loving with my whole heart, listening with compassion, and being present to support in any way that I can.
The questions I ask myself most often are: ‘What do I need to learn from this situation?’ And ‘How can I love more right now?’
If I could change the world, I would make everyone see that we are all the same inside. No color, nationality, religion, or political party matters as much as the hearts that beat within. This is the Divine essence that is who we all really are.
So that’s enough ‘about me.’ I want to hear from you. I want to know who you believe you are? And if you are ready to expand that, to be all that you really are?
That is what True Yoga is about.
I hope you’ll be in touch.
A little more of my story
I believe in the possibility of living in JOY. That is why I write and coach using the ancient teachings of Yoga as the basis of all that I do, because they are what enabled me to find true happiness. Years ago my life was anything but joyful, as I dealt with a rocky marriage, a colicky baby, and an impending move away from my career in Hollywood, friends, my beloved horse and all things familiar. Depression was setting in and things weren’t looking good.
I was studying Spiritual Psychology at the time and practicing physical yoga for stress relief. I wrote my thesis on ‘Joy Therapy,’ a plan of action that I imagined would bring me back to happiness. It was pretty good, but I kept searching for more. When I dove into the teachings of the Yoga Sutras, I found a treasure trove of directions for managing Life! The Yoga Sutras are the foundational text for True Yoga practice.
Over the past 17 years, I have tried to embody these teachings as I continued through grief, loss, anger, depression, anxiety, single parenting and more. The principles of True Yoga have always brought me back to center. Of course I still have down days, times when I lose my strength and faith and feel sad or frustrated by life. But the net is there under me when I fall that has never failed me.
Eventually I realized that my early work on Joy Therapy was actually very similar to the path to freedom outlined in the Yoga Sutras. And after living yoga in my own life and sharing it with hundreds of clients, I now have tons of proof that it holds every answer we need to live a happy, fulfilling life. This is what I want to share with you – a soul-centered Yoga Therapy, to help you claim your life of love, beauty, peace and joy!
The first yoga class I ever took was in Santa Monica, CA with Power Yogi, Bryan Kest. From that day, I knew that yoga would be in my life forever. I have studied Astanga, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Yin, Restorative and so much more. I practiced all the way through my first pregnancy. Now my son does yoga too.
My favorite asanas are balances! I love to do them on the side of cliffs in Hawaii. (It makes my husband very nervous.)
Yoga Meditation is my spiritual practice. I try never to miss a day. It keeps me grounded and able to move beyond the tough hits life sends. And it has led me to total trust in God’s Love. When we can heal the wounds in our hearts and open ourselves in meditation to the Source of all Love, a profound experience awaits. I also try to see everyone as a spark of the Divine. (This is easier with some than with others :))
First and foremost is Paramahansa Yogananda. He wrote the classic Autobiography of a Yogi. If you haven’t read it, you must! It changed my life and instilled the understanding and love for meditation in me. His wisdom guides me daily.
Additionally I have been blessed to study with Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi), Nischala Joy Devi, Joseph LePage, Richard Freeman, Gary Kraftsow, Rama Jyoti Vernon, Richard Miller, Bryan Kest, Baron Baptiste, Beryl Bender Birch, Amy Weintraub, Neil Pearson, Krishna Das, Shakti Gawain, Anodea Judith, Sat Bir Khalsa, Antonio Sausys, Laura Kupperman, Erich Schiffman, Mukunda Stiles, Marc Halpern, Maria Mendola, Durga Leela, and Max Strom.
Also the writings of these fabulous teachers have inspired my practice: Sri Swami Satchidananda, B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar, Donna Farhi, Stephen Cope, Sally Kempton, Judith Hanson Lasater, Michael Singer, Wayne Dyer, Mark Nepo, Charlotte Bell, Gabor Mate, David Frawley, Georg Feuerstein, Stephen Levine, Thich Nhat Hanh, Vasant Lad, Eknath Easwaran, Brene Brown, Ram Dass, Bernard Bouanchaud, Henri Nouwen and so many more.
There is probably a Sanskrit word for surfing. If you know it, will you email me? When I am not coaching or writing these days, you will find me on a wave. If I am lucky, my son and husband are there too. I grew up in Southern California playing Beach Boys music, but it took me until I was in my 40’s before I had the nerve to try surfing myself. I wish I hadn’t waited so long!
Credentials & Accomplishments...
- Author of True Yoga: Practicing With the Yoga Sutras for Happiness and Spiritual Fulfillment (Llewellyn Worldwide)
- 20 years experience in Yoga Therapy & Practice, Meditation Studies & Self Development
- Yoga Studio Owner for 9 years (Stillness in Motion Studio for Yoga & Wellness, Newburyport, MA)
- Yoga Alliance RYT-500
- Certified Process Therapist (aka Somatic Therapy or Body Centered Psychotherapy)
- B.A. in Journalism (Cum Laude) Pepperdine University
- Master’s Degree Candidate: Spiritual Psychology
- Writer for Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, Yoga Therapy Today Magazine, Yogapedia, Urban Wellness Magazine, Yoga Digest, Common Ground Magazine, Gaia, Yogi Times, Wellness.com, Conscious Moms Online, BlogHer, Living the Truth.com, and Yoga Finder.
- International Retreat Facilitator
- International Speaker on the Benefits & Practices of Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness, Wellness
- Workshop Developer & Facilitator: Yoga of Love & Devotion, Gratitude Yoga, Yoga of Imagination, Yoga of Conscious Trust, Implementing Conscious Change, Sri Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: the 8 Limbs of Yoga, The 10 Components of Wellness, Steps to Consciousness, Authenticity and Wellness, Conquering Fear, Chakra Clearing, and Opening to More Joy
- Professional Member of International Association of Yoga Therapists, Yoga Alliance, National Association of Professional Women and the Screen Actors Guild
- Training with Inner Peace Yoga Therapy and Integrative Yoga Therapy
What clients have to say...
“I trust Jennie because she is one of those rare authentic people who practices what she teaches. She is matter-of-fact and unshakable. I can tell her anything and it is received without judgement, just with an open heart. Jennie has done her own work and is not afraid of the shadow. She is able to hold space for me even in my darkest moments.” M.E.
“I trust Jennie because she says what she means and always has my highest good at heart.” A.R.
“Jennie is easy to trust because her strength and reliability is seen in her eyes.” M.S.
“Jennie is integrity personified. There is nothing I would ever hesitate to entrust to her.” L.K.