ABOUT JENNIFER AND CORPORATE WELLNESS
My yoga journey began when a work colleague suggested I try yoga as a way to relax and deal with my stressful job in broadcast television. I had always been very fit, and having primarily worked in sports, I was privy to many famous athletes and their workout regimens. I was also very nutrition conscious and ate a very clean diet, thanks to my culinary background, but my job was literally starting to affect my health and I didn’t understand at the time how to listen to my body.
My job as an audio engineer involved either sitting in flexion (my spine curved forward) for 14-16 hours a day on an ergonomically dreadful hotel banquet chair, or being on my feet with 20 pounds of mixing gear strapped to my chest putting 40 pounds of pressure on my spine. It was gruelling physical work that required lifting and schlepping a dozen 75-100 pound cases through different time zones all over the world week after week.
I was sleep-deprived, stressed and spending way too many hours sitting in flexion on airplanes getting from job to job.
Teaching yoga has given me a career that I truly enjoy, and enables me to help others on a daily basis. It has given me a sense of purpose, which has greatly impacted my own sense of health.
As I spent year after year traveling the globe, working insane hours and racking up frequent flier miles, my body became tighter, tenser and more muscle bound, and the stress began to manifest itself in many different areas.
I continued to lift weights and do mindless cardio, with no idea that this was not what my body needed. After trying several different types of yoga, I finally discovered Iyengar yoga. It introduced me to the type of practice that brought balance to my life and body as well as alleviated my back pain issues.
There are many different styles of yoga, and my purpose is not to convince you that my style, Purna, is preferable over another. That being said, I do believe that lineage and integrity is of the utmost importance in a world of yoga ‘brands’ and disgraced ‘masters.’ I chose to study with a ‘teacher of teachers’ – Aadil Palkhivala, who studied with the late BKS Iyengar from the age of seven in Pune, India.
Teaching yoga has given me a career that I truly enjoy, and enables me to help others on a daily basis. It has given me a sense of purpose, which has greatly impacted my own sense of health. I now live a life of minimalism and mobility, as my home is a 26 ft. RV, which allows me to travel at will.
As a teacher, I am simultaneously a life long student and I take my continuing education very seriously. As Malcolm Gladwell so eloquently states, “10,000 hours of deliberate practice are a requirement to be considered a master of a specific task.” I believe that requirement is merely the beginning of the journey and with consistent effort and deep engagement of the mind and body; the active pursuit of knowledge never ends. Although often difficult, I relish “going to school” and being able to step out of my teacher hat and become a student over and over observing things from a very different perspective. For not only does education benefit me as a teacher, but also my students, and my community.
When I am not helping my corporate wellness clients and teaching yoga, I enjoy sailing, reading, writing (travel literature being my favorite genre of course), and researching my next adventure. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I have been given to experience so many amazing places and meet so many wonderful people.
And the best part is, there are still so many places left yet to explore.
Expertly trained and educated private instructor Jennifer Smith is yoga alliance certified and specializes in corporate and private alignment-based therapeutic yoga.